I need a suggestion for what to listen to after the Pimsleur courses.
I have around 15 hours a week where I can listen to Japanese language classes, but very little time to actually study the books. So it would have to be an "all audio" "learn in your car" thing. Right now Im doing the Jpod beginners I'm at around lesson 100, but would like something similar to the Pimsleur. Thanks for any suggestions.
Having done Pimsleur for a few languages now (Spanish, German, and I'm on Level II lesson 28 of Japanese) I can attest to the addictive nature of the half hour verbal class - It's such fun.
But at the same time, the Pimsleur is limited in that you don't really get a lot of the structure, and no slang or everyday usage. Also, by the end of 45 hours of work, I find that I'm really only at a lower intermediate level if not upper basic once I move to other methods.
So I think you're doing the right thing, going up the JPOD tree: I could suggest jumping up to the Intermediate classes and doing each one 3-4 times: That would really force you to the next level. Also, as you hit the intermediates, the chatting in english goes WAY down - it's all Japanese, so you really begin to advance.
I haven't been able to find any other audio classes that weren't on the same level as Pimsleur or horrible horrible phrase-book based. I think JPOD is unique and probably your best bet.
I bought their audio book from iTunes.. Basically I learned how to say, "I don't understand Japanese very well, please speak in English please.". As helpful as that was when I went to Japan.. It's sort of depressing having to say that.
the 8 lesson preview course is how I crammed for my trip to Tokyo 2 years ago, and I did get hooked on their method. If nothing else, their program builds speed-of-response and natural speaking speed... I'm finding that it's a great companion piece to JPOD and CPOD.
If you do all 90 lessons from Pimsleur (Japanese Comprehensive I,II and III) then it gives you a pretty good start at learning Japanese. Thats how I started learning Japanese, and I have never regretted it. The 8 lessons introduction is pretty much a waste of time though for anything other than a holiday.
Once the 90 lessons have finished though, you are on your own. Japanesepod101.com is the only audio course I know that can take you to the next level.
If I was to start learning another language now (which I am considering) then probably the first thing I would do is get hold of the Pimsleur course for that language.
The other problem with Pimsleur, of course, is the cost...