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As a student, the one learning resource that you can always keep with you 24 hours a day is your textbook. And that makes the book your best friend, because it is always there to help you learn more. But some friends are hard to understand. Some don't speak English well, some whisper, and some are moody. So you might need an interpreter sometimes.   That's where your tutor comes in. The tutor gives you one-on-one attention, taking you step-by-step through the book to help you understand what the book is trying to tell you and what the book is asking you to do. Tutors slowly and patiently take you through the examples, even when your teacher can't.   Use your tutors to explain your lessons in ways that simplify the concepts and clarify ideas. Tutors can help break down problem-solving procedures for you in small, digestible steps. You'd be surprised how much easier things can be when someone skilled and patient gives you individual attention and shares their... read more

The first thing you as a student should do to prepare for your first visit with your Tutor, is to gather all of the correspondence you have between your Teacher or Professor and yourself.  Key items would be a syllabus, or a list of things your Teacher or Professor expects you to accomplish during your course.  This list should include a list or chart of how the grading will be assessed for that course.  If any of this is no longer in your possession, get a new copy and protect it.    The next thing you should do is to gather all of the resources available to you for the course.  These items include textbooks, online links, handouts, and tools.  This should include anything recommended by your Teacher or Professor to help you succeed in the course.  This also should include anything you normally use for that course, even if it was recommended by someone else, such as an adviser.  Have a general idea of what each of these items are... read more

Hi, everyone. It's been a while, so I'm easing back into things with a nice, easy post. Many of my friends and students have asked me and each other "what are the best methods for learning Japanese? What do you use?" And so, I'm going to offer my take on some of the materials I have found most useful. Textbooks: The Genki Series: Perhaps the most commonly used textbook out there, as well as most easy to use. This elementary course is 23 chapters long and offers 300+ kanji, as well as easy to understand grammar points. I think its main weak point is a lack of in-depth cultural topics, somewhat less than thematic kanji featured in each chapter and very embarrassingly slow audio, then again it is an elementary level textbook. However, these weaknesses really don't hinder the experience. Toss in supplementary kanji resources, audio and some healthy curiosity (or a great teacher) and you have a darn good resource. The Nakama Series: This series was... read more

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