Originally Posted by Freshgrease
Actually, I don't take the actual course (I bought the textbooks regardless). There are only 15 seats in each course for a university of 40k+ students. Instead, we have several student-led and one professor led organization that teaches Japanese. Unfortunately, the professor-led one is full of students that have been studying for years (or are Japanese transfer students), and there is no real room for a newbie like me to get in there despite how kind they are.
I use Japanese pod 101 for alot of stuff, but I am well traveled at learning languages. One, my mother is a German (Advanced Placement certified) teacher for my old high school with 23+ years of teaching experience (and quite the hardass even on me). Two, I took German I-III and made A's. I was given more work than the regular students, and I was forced at home to do my homework and studying. If you can learn a language proficiently by use of learning techniques and regiments of practice, you can do the same with other languages.
Speaking of learning techniques, we used do a variety of interactive dialouges in German class. We'd create a short skit in groups by writing and translating, then we would act our parts out. I found that helped me alot in conversational German when I traveled Southern Germany and Austria in 2005. Of course, this technique is applicable to Japanese and other languages.
In fact, the only real thing different about learning Japanese and German (to me) was learning two more alphabets and some kanji (which I need to get back on). In both languages you are going to have to learn vocab, grammar, santax, genders or formalities of words (in German the particle before the word can very based on 3+ forms EX: Das/Die/Der = the based on the gender of the subject.), and other nuances.
On a side note: I am suprised to see so little teaching positions for Japanese teachers in schools. Anime is an integral part of alot of Texan kids (lol we have ADV Films and Newtype USA in Houston). They mostly don't give a shit to learn, but there would be enough reason to try with them.
Where can I find the Japanese Pod 101?? iTunes? Well I want to learn and using audio and video podcasts for me can help because I have my iPod Touch w/ alot and I'm not particularly busy so I can sit down and watch and learn, to top that off I have a friend that wants to learn and we have a class together which we do nothing in. So I told her that we should get together and learn Japanese since we do nothing else, I'm hoping to learn because it is possible that the People to People Ambassador Program (which always picks me every freakin' year!) might be going to Japan next year. They go by a cycle, I am not sure though, I do know that they go to Australia and Europe which my sister is going to this summer. Since they went to Australia last year and they are going to Europe this year then there is a chance that they are going to Japan the summer after the one that is next. So, I want to learn Japanese before I go so that I won't need a translator for everything. I have a year and a half to learn, and by then I want to at least learn to speak and understand, I would love to be able to read a little though. I won't have to write anything so that is not my concern, but I might meet a cute girl ;P ad she might want my e-mail... Just kidding, but you never know... So I would love it if you guys could help me w/ at least to speak Hiragana and Katakana and be able to read it and understand when spoken to. If I can read them and maybe a little of Kanji then that would be wonderful!! So guys I am hoping you guys can help me. Even if I don't go next summer, my mom says she might send me there after I graduate from high school as a present. And if that is the case then I have even more time to learn since I am a freshman.