What kind of material is Kumon Japanese E Understanding the subjunctive relationship and dealing with the dare not speak narrative are key points.


Japanese (language)

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At what grade level are Kumon Japanese E materials studied?

There are two main guidelines for the progression of Kumon materials.

One is the approximate grade level for each material: as the E materials are at a level equivalent to grade 5, most of the people studying them are also around grade 5.

The other guideline is whether or not the students are at a "high advanced level". Kumon recognises those who are at least three grades ahead in their studies with the 'Highly Advanced Learner Award' in the 'Highly Advanced Category'. You can receive this award if you complete the E materials in grade 2, so if you are learning the E materials before grade 2, you can assume that you are making fairly rapid progress.

What is the content of Kumon Japanese E?

Kumon Japanese is divided into E I and E II. Let's first check the E I one.

You will learn the types and functions of conjunctions and develop your reading comprehension skills with an awareness of conjunctive relations. Learn about the typical relationships between clusters in sentences and use them in actual reading comprehension. Of the 185 Kanji characters in the 5th grade, study 90 new Kanji characters to expand your vocabulary. Also, using homonyms as a starting point, students review all the kanji learnt in E I.

In the D material, students practise understanding sentences in terms of cohesion; in the E I material, they develop the ability to understand the relationship between cohesion and cohesion. In addition to understanding events in the order in which they are written, students will also work with various connecting relationships, such as paradoxes and examples.

The students develop their ability to grasp the various relationships in the text, focusing on "characters' actions and feelings", "facts and other descriptions, thoughts and opinions" and "cause-and-effect relationships". Cultivate the ability to appropriately answer questions that require explanation of reasons. Of the 185 Kanji characters in the 5th grade, 96 (including one new Kanji character in the 6th grade) are studied to expand vocabulary. In addition, students review all the kanji learnt in EII, using homonymy as a starting point.

Students read sentences on the premise of the conjunctive relations learnt in EⅠ. The common Japanese question "There is a '00', but why? The questions in the form of "〇とある, but why?" will also appear in the EII materials.

The first point to focus on is the subjunctive relation

The first thing to focus on is the subjunctive relationship.

There are only a limited number of sentences that can be read without understanding the subjunctive. If you cannot grasp paradoxes such as 'but' and the relationship between assertion and reason such as 'because' and 'therefore', you will only be able to grasp what is written in chronological order.

To get through the E material, you need to understand that there is a relationship between the paragraphs and that the whole is asserting a single message.

The Kumon materials are effective as they are in understanding this part of the text. They give you the minimum amount of information necessary to understand the conjunctive relationship in the form of questions and help you acquire it through repeated practice.

However, there is one more area that needs to be taken care of in order to clear the Kumon e-materials. That is the difficulty level of the recommended books.

The teaching materials are now full-fledged novels.

Kumon publishes recommended books for each grade, and the questions in the Japanese language teaching materials are basically taken from the recommended books. And gradually, from around the E level, the line-up of recommended books starts to take on a novel-like quality.

Recommended books that had a faint whiff of picture books up to D are now clearly novels in the E reading material.

If you are not in the habit of reading, even as an adult, you may start to feel that there is a hurdle in reading from this point onwards. From a certain point, there is a kind of threshold in novels that is different from that of vocabulary and grammar. More specifically, the author starts to prioritise making the story more interesting and realistic rather than easy to understand.

In general, it is said that in stories, things are more emotionally engaging to read if they are imagined rather than explained. It is the same in real life. If you like someone to some extent, you can say, "I'm interested in you and I'd like to hold your hand, is that okay?" It is more exciting to have your hand held silently than to have someone ask you, "Can I hold your hand because I'm interested in you?

But of course, the lack of explanation makes it more difficult to understand. If someone holds your hand in a crowded place, it may be that they only took your hand because they were afraid they would get separated from you, or there may not be any romantic nuance to it.

In real life, you might be able to ask them what they meant. But in a novel, you can't ask the characters. You can only indirectly find out the meaning of their actions from the episodes and dialogues written in other parts of the novel. This room for interpretation is the real appeal of novels, and it takes a certain amount of familiarity and training to feel the real appeal.

Get used to the 'dare not speak' narrative manner through manga and anime.

It is difficult to get used to the unique culture of novels (stories) that dare not tell the truth. What can help here is to watch anime and manga, which contain visual information.

There are also many parts of a novel that 'dare not speak'. However, novels are a text-only medium. What is not said in the text is not really said anywhere and requires a high level of reading comprehension to guess.

Anime and manga contain visual information in the form of illustrations in addition to dialogue. This makes it easier for children to understand that they can infer the meaning from the characters' actions and facial expressions, even if they don't speak. If you have a favourite cartoon, think of the most famous scene. There may be no dialogue or it may be very straightforward. But together with short words, you can guess the meaning of the expression and the scene, including the various circumstances that have taken place.

If you have read One Piece, think back to the Alabaster Arc. He showed Bibi that he was one of them by showing her the O mark on his arm. That's it. This is where you can get used to the "dare not speak" manner of storytelling.

Dramas and films are no different in that they contain visual information, but on the contrary, there is too much visual information. There is far more information in live action than in pictures. Then there is a risk that attention will now be drawn to irrelevant parts. If you like it, it will not be a problem, but anime and manga are better from the point of view of the objective.

Kumon's recommended books include quite a lot of narrative text. If you focus too much on 'study' and limit entertainment, you may find that your Japanese is not developing in unexpected ways. Daring to choose media that are easy to understand and encourage deep reading will help them to become familiar with the stories.