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This book is best for intermediate students who want to improve their listening and speaking skills. It comes with a CD that allows you to practice "shadowing" - a technique used by interpreters - in a variety of situations. The book claims to be for beginners, but we think it would be a bit challenging for most beginners, because it uses some kanji (though furigana is included), and the level of conversation needed seems to be higher than most beginners. The thing about this book is that it really focuses on situations that you would face in daily life in Japan, such as taking the train, trying on clothes, going to the post office, restaurants, and talking on the phone; and then moves into more challenging real-life situations such as: inviting and declining, making an offer, discussing vacation plans, and asking people for opinions. Each chapter features a bundle of conversational dialogue, which you practice reading, listening to, repeating, and then using, in conjunction with the CD provided. If you are not familiar with the shadowing method, see the product page for another book we offer, Shadowing, which has a detailed explanation of this effective method.
What is Shadowing?
Shadowing is a form of training that is designed to help improve simultaneous interpretation. However its effectiveness is not limited to this area and with its simple method, beginner students will also gain great value from it. Whilst listening to a flowing conversation, being able to 'shadow' the conversation by repeating immediately afterwards is what we have called the Shadowing learning method.
"I want to be able to speak Japanese easily!", "I want to speak fluently!" We believe that there are many Japanese language students who share these desires. Another opinion that we often hear is, "I understand what people say to me, but I can't speak myself". Shadowing acts as a bridge between understanding what you want to say in your mind and being able to actually say it out loud promptly and fluently. To express this differently, Shadowing is a training method that raises ability from intellectual understanding to practical application. This difference can be compared to knowing the theory of how to swim and actually consciously experiencing how to move your arms and kick your legs in the water.