What kind of teaching materials is Kumon Japanese G Be prepared for three changes kanji, description and contractions.


Japanese (language)

t f B! P L

What grade level are the Kumon Japanese G materials for?

The G materials are at a level equivalent to Junior High School 1. Even in the second or third year of junior high school, there is a pattern where children who have difficulty with Japanese start Kumon at this level. This is because Kumon is suited to thorough repetitive practice from simple areas, in the sense that the fundamentals can be consolidated once again.

I think the volume zone is from grade 4 to grade 1. I myself studied the G materials in the vicinity of grade 5. If you can finish the G materials in grade 3, you will receive a trophy as a "highly advanced learner", so some people may set this as one of their goals. If you have reached this point in grade 1 or 2, you may be able to say that this is a very good child.

What is the content of Kumon Japanese G?

Kumon Japanese is divided into G I and G II. Let's check the GⅠ first.

Towards the GII material, the students grasp the contents of long sentences of about 800 characters largely scene by scene, develop reading comprehension skills to maintain topic awareness and trace them, and at the same time improve their ability to write on their own; encounter 50 G-grade Suisen books, poems and other works in a variety of genres, and broaden their reading and vocabulary; and learn about the Japanese language and culture of Japan. Study non-teaching kanji characters from the perspective of related words (words that are widely related) to expand vocabulary.

Based on the premise of "the ability to read in cohesion" up to the F materials, the explanation is that it enhances the ability to write.

Regarding kanji, the term 'Kyoiku Kanji' is used, which is a way of referring to kanji learned during primary school. Therefore, it means that "regular kanji other than educational kanji" = kanji learnt in junior high school are handled, but unlike the F materials, the part about how many kanji are learnt is no longer explicitly stated.

Students learn the basic skill of contraction (summarising the topic of the source text into a whole sentence). Students learn to condense sentences while being aware of 'topic and description' (what is being said and how it is said), and gradually improve their writing skills. Vocabulary is expanded through the study of regular Kanji characters. Grammar study and reading comprehension at the level of high school entrance examinations are also carried out based on the reading comprehension skills cultivated.

This is where the new concept of 'contraction' comes into play. Writing skills are also continuously described.

What are the features of Kumon Japanese G?

The Kumon G materials have three features.

The notation of the number of words of the kanji to be learnt disappears.

The first thing to focus on is the notation regarding kanji.

Until now, for example, the number of kanji for the relevant grade and the number of characters to be learnt in the Kumon Japanese G materials were clearly stated, for example, "91 out of 181 elementary 6 dividend kanji are to be learnt" or "The elementary 6 dividend kanji are to be reviewed in general using idiomatic phrases as a starting point". However, from the G materials onwards, this description disappears and is replaced by a vague statement that 'vocabulary is expanded through the study of common kanji'.

Kumon's stance is that students learn kanji because they are necessary for reading comprehension. Even the teaching materials come with example sentences and navigation, and there is no image of Kumon advancing to the point where kanji are memorised or can be written in tests. Rather, I have the impression that the aim is to get to the point where "if you read along with the sentences before and after, you can vaguely understand the meaning". I myself learnt kanji through Kumon, and through reading and kanji tests, I learned kanji up to the level where I could get points in tests.

The number of kanji you have to learn per grade is more than double in junior high school compared to primary schools, and each kanji itself becomes more difficult.

Kumon Japanese's evaluation of kanji learning tends to be higher the younger the child is in the lower grades. This is because in the lower grades, the opportunity to become familiar with kanji itself is precious, and even if you have only vaguely seen a kanji before, you will be able to write it easily because of its simple form. However, as the school year progresses, there are more and more kanji that are difficult to write by just looking at them, both in terms of meaning and form.

As the grade goes up, there is an increase in the number of cases where learners themselves feel that Kumon alone is not enough for kanji. If you have reached the G materials, which have advanced to the equivalent of the first year of junior high school, you may want to bear in mind that you need something extra when it comes to kanji. I think it is an excellent means of aiming to acquire the kanji test.

The number of characters in writing questions increases all the more.

The point of writing ability is also noteworthy.

The questions up to F materials inevitably have a strong 'fill-in-the-blanks' nuance. Instead of writing long sentences on your own, many questions require you to understand the content of the text and then extract the appropriate parts. Even if they did write a description, it was at most 10 words.

This tendency is completely changed by the contraction of the GII material. Even in the official Kumon example materials, there are questions in GII that require students to 'condense to 45-50 characters'. You can see that the difficulty level of the questions has increased considerably.

A new concept called "contraction" appears.

Then there is "contraction", a major feature of Kumon Japanese.

We have discussed contractions separately. In contrast to 'summary', which is a technique for accurately extracting the main points from a logically structured text, 'contraction' is a technique for capturing all kinds of sentences in a condensed form. Both have their merits, but 'contraction' is characterised by its wider range of target texts.

What is 'contraction' in Kumon Japanese? Differences from 'summary' and the reading comprehension Kumon aims for

Other learning materials often deal with 'summary', so it is fair to say that 'contraction' is a characteristic of Kumon Japanese. And the G materials are the first materials in which the study of this 'contraction' begins.

Writing experience comes into play in Kumon Japanese G

Based on these characteristics, it can be said that what becomes important in the G materials is the experience of output.

In terms of writing skills, of course, writing skills are also necessary for contractions. This is because in the Kumon Japanese contractions, you will be asked to summarise sentences of a certain length into a single sentence. Therefore, it is necessary to write a sentence of about 50 characters per sentence, and this requires a certain level of writing ability.

However, the writing questions up to F material are basically fill-in-the-blanks questions of about 10 characters. Writing skills are hardly necessary, and the level required becomes higher at a stretch in the G material. In addition to the Kumon materials, students also need to reach a higher level in Kanken and composition in order to acquire Kanji characters at a level that will enable them to score points on tests.

Writing is the solution to all these problems in one place. If you have frequent opportunities to write, you will have many opportunities to compose longer sentences. It also ensures that you have the chance to raise kanji that you have only vaguely memorised to a usable level.

Ensuring writing opportunities is not easy. Unlike reading to children, it requires a certain amount of initiative on the part of the child. For example, asking your child to keep a diary is an effective way of doing this, but it can be very difficult to get your own child to write in a diary habitually.

Writing is an expression, a way of communicating, a means of communication. If they have someone they want to communicate with, they will be more motivated to write.

In the 2010s, social networking was a good way to do this. In the 2010s, social networking was a good way to communicate because there was momentum in media such as Twitter and blogs, which are mainly text-based and can be run by individuals. However, if we get to around 2020, social networking is also mainly based on audio and video, like Instagram, Youtube and Tiktok. The opportunities to communicate by text in this day and age are really limited.

Learning programming could be one breakthrough. This is because text, not sound or images, is what is used when writing code, so text is inevitably the dominant means of communication between programmers. If your child has a particular area of interest, not just programming, one way to do this is to let him or her go all the way through. In order for your child to be a communicator, he or she has to know something well enough to be able to teach it.

Get into something they like to do to the level where they can teach others. This may be the key to going beyond increasing the amount of writing in G-materials.