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September 23rd, 2006 at 11:15 PM
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Mina-san, we hope you are having a great weekend wherever you are! Please be sure to give us as much feedback as possible on our future direction!:grin:

In addition, please look foward to another great premium feature that didn't make it into this podcast but will be released before the next news.:grin:

Chloe from Sydney
September 28th, 2006 at 08:05 AM
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So the date of my post will give me up as a person who is always a few days behind!

I have been on JP101 since day 1 - and the pace of the lessons has been incredible.

I like the idea of breaking down the site into different levels - working through say, 50 lessons and then testing yourself.

Check out yesjapan.com - i spend a number of months here and found the way they set out the different levels. You could also see what level each person was up to in the forusm section - and most people were around the same level which was encouraging!!

I def agree to a user survey. it would be a great way to asses where all the users are at. If you find out that 90% are still at beginnere level, then you won't need to do as many advanced lessons. BUT - if most of us are intermediate - then you could justify 2 lessons a week.

BUT - I'd like the revision to happen. I'm actually going back aeach week and doing a couple of earlier lessons and working my way through them. Does anyone else find the questions really hard!?

September 27th, 2006 at 02:23 AM
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I too like the idea of a season 2; although I won't personally be listening to it (at least till it gets around beginner lesson 50 level). I think it is necessary though to keep the site accessible to new learners and to keep it growing.

This is one possible format that could work: You could release one new lesson a week at this level, which would be revision for the grammar points raised in 3 lessons at normal beginner level (i.e. week 1, lessons 1-3, week 2, lessons 4-6 etc). The new lesson could have one slightly longer dialog that incorporates the grammar points from the 3 equivalent lessons, and maybe adds a few new vocab words for good measure. You could then link the 3 equivalent lessons from the season 2 lesson, so that the new listener could do all 4 lessons (the 3 old ones and the new one).

This would keep the pace of 3 beginners lessons a week for the new beginners, but only take 1 day’s slot, allowing you to keep releasing new lessons for season 1 beginners and also intermediate.

Btw, I *LOVE* the site. This is my first post, as I only just caught up to the current level - I have spent the last few months playing catch up, so I can understand how a new learner would feel (overwhelmed). Please, keep it up - you have created a fantastic body of work, and a fantastic resource.

September 26th, 2006 at 02:25 PM
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i think reviews summarizing lessons with similar points would be helpful. for instance, a lesson on the different nouns that can take "suru" -> verb form, a review on the most essential adverbs, like those describing action duration e.g. "sometimes", "always". and so on. maybe one on the te form and regular form of verbs and how these are used in various constructions.

An emphasis on grammar would be helpful too, by incorporating the same constructions more often in subsequent casts and maybe even brief reminders of where theyre from.. sometimes i forget a certain vocabulary word or grammar point.. i like having it pounded into my head repeatedly. on the other hand i could review old casts, but doing that means i have less time to listen to current ones; catching up in a reasonable time frame means less time to absorb the material. i feel that in order to have a solid foundation in japanese, i need much more review. vocabulary isn't so bad, there are dictionaries and the english translations in the audio to compensate for lack of retention.

but grammar is a different matter, much more difficult if i dont know the stem of a verb and forgot how the form in the audio was derived.

that brings me to particles. i think detailed instruction on particle usage would be absolutely fantastic. like in episode 126 with "mo" instead of "wo". i was so happy with that explanation i almost cried. so beautiful. along with this, word order, where phrases, clauses, and so on should go. again, a lot of it was probably already covered, but i want to make sure you know that i know before the next lesson, so that were always on the same page: the first one :wink:

im only sort of kidding.

the "how would we say _ in japanese?" with peter explaining the role of each morpheme is wonderful.

a break down of each morpheme would be really, really helpful.

the slowest learner is the limiting factor in linear progression. so lessons should progress such that a slow learner with a reasonable amount of time to review each podcast (i.e. once or twice, are there very many ppl who listen to each lesson more?) would have no trouble keeping pace.

the thing that bothers me the most, though, is where is kazunori? he just vanished and no one mentioned him ever again :shock:

hope all is going well..

i hope that didnt sound too demanding. its a wonderful educational source. i cant say thanks enough.

September 26th, 2006 at 02:20 PM
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As usual, I am behind- :oops:but still I wanted to put in my two cents' worth. I began learning Japanese at the end of May and without any previous knowledge. Needless to say I began at lesson one and am dragging on...barely into March. So this very subject, that is, how to not leave us newbies and slow-pokes hopelessly behind, has actually been worrying me for a very long time.

The podcast is, after all, JP101, which implies a class for beginners, yes? Reading the posts I see that there are others like me who take the recreational path to learning- I realy enjoy the no-pressure learning, and the JP101 cast makes every lesson so much fun! I work every day, don't have a lot of time to devote, hence, I am sooooo far behind! I for one am very pleased that you are aware of the lengthening gap between those dedicated listeners from the beginning who kept up and those like me.

My worry is that someone like myself may not go all the way back to lesson one should they come upon JP101 now or later. Can you imagine not knowing any Japanese and needing to catch up on nine months of back lessons??? So in the future, a potential new listener might just move on. You have to keep adding new listeners to be a continuing success I suppose.

I do sympathize with those who are on a higher level and want more intermediate episodes. I do not mean to be heartless to them! I enjoy listening and struggling with the intermediate lessons, trying to pick up a little, and I also listen to Miki's audio blog, and get excited because I can pick out a few words:roll:

Anyway, I know I am rambling, but I do have at least a small contribution- perhaps when new listeners come on board they could answer a brief questionaire upon subscribing. Those already a part of the community could also do so. I would like one of those questions to not only be what level the listener is on now, but what level they began.

Oh, one other thing- one reason I am so far behind is that I realy enjoy the old comments! I listen to the new lessons but don't realy study them because there is too much (vocab and grammer) missing. I study on the old lessons and in the comments I see new members tuning in for the first time, names I recognize now in the newer lesson comments, I see the progress they have made, I learn a little about them and feel like I also know them a little. I do not post because the lessons are so old, but this is actually my second post because I only recently got excited to see someone had posted to an old lesson comment six months later!:mrgreen:

I notice someone asked about whatever happened to Kazunori- the original 'Alpha Male' - I wonder if Hatsumi ever returned? I loved her voice!

You are doing a great job guys (and gals)- Ganbatte kudasai!

September 26th, 2006 at 04:26 AM
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Mina-san, thank you for all the amazing feedback! After all the great posts, we are offically looking forward to doing season II. We feel that this will give us a chance to go over and reinforce what we covered in the first 8 months.

As you know we've been using a linear approach with our beginner lessons. One of our goals in to clarify the difficulty of our levels and the level of each lesson. For example, our current beginner lessons are much more difficult than our first intermediate lesson. So a road map and level clarification are two major goals.

Season II lessons will be designed as stand alone lessons, while we will continue on in a linear fashion with our original progression plan. So those listeners who have listened to the first 126 Beginner shows, will be able to continue on with two lessons a week. While Season II will occupy at least 2 days a week. The linear progression course and season II lessons will be offered every other day to allow more time for review and practice in between. We would love to offer more high level material, but with our current staff this seems a bit too challenging. We'll keep working to address this matter in the best way possible, while at the same time continuing to introduce new and innovative ways of learning Japanese.

Again, this is an open ended discussion, as we will continue to build JapanesePod101.com!

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!:grin:

September 26th, 2006 at 03:17 AM
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It is clear that JP101 has to reboot to atract new listeners. If so, I have no problem, will stick around. To keep old listeners, well, you just need to keep it going, simulatenously.

Hey,..., maybe, JP101 has just become a large learning corporation with several simultaneous podcasts, where Peter-san is a CEO and a show host of one of them.:smile: No bad, ha?

September 26th, 2006 at 02:33 AM
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I would agree, the beginner lessons are getting a bit beyond me, but like someone else pointed out, it's not so much the grammar points that stump me, it's the vocabulary. I seem to be a bit ahead of the curve with regard to grammar, but behind when it comes to vocabulary.

Recently, I started over at beginner lesson 1 (I'm up to lesson 40 now) and started listening to them for review purposes. My thinking is that by the time I catch up, I'll be able to understand the current beginner lessons.

Intermediate lessons are out of reach for me now. I feel like I need to know about 80% of the content before I can handle the new stuff in a lesson. If I don't, I get overwhelmed and distracted. Actually, in listening to the lessons over again, I've picked up a lot that I missed the first time through.

Having studied Japanese before finding JP101, most of the early lessons were actually a review already. However lately, most of the beginner vocabulary is new to me, while the grammar is still a review.

I would recommend slowing down and adding some review. How about a weekly review lesson? Or, occasionally focus on grammar or vocabulary instead of both.

Regardless, you guys are doing a great job and even if you don't change a thing, I'll still be listening.

Michael D. Cassidy
September 25th, 2006 at 10:25 PM
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Some comments:

You need to clean out all the non-relevant comments in the old lessons. The lessons may be ‘old’ to people that have been on JPod-101 from the beginning, however for someone just starting out they are new and vital and many of the comments are old and relevant to the lessons. Also, someone from the team will need to monitor these early lessons for new questions and comments. The early lessons need to be viewed as vital to students just joining JPod-101.

Ramping Up:

In three years ‘ramping up’ will not be possible for someone deciding to study Japanese from JPod-101 for ‘fun.’ The problem that really needs to be solved how not to ignore the new people and keep the feeling of community.

The Second Season:

It's a good idea. For all of non-students [those of us working 8-14 hours a day] its hard to progress linear. I find some beginner lessons easy, some difficult, though not very difficult. To review past material is ‘good’.

Intermediate are always challenging; some I by-pass as to difficult at the moment with my limited time, and spend more time on the beginner lessons and the new blog by Miki.

The blog by Miki is great. Very challenging but worth the battle.

September 25th, 2006 at 09:55 PM
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I satarded listening to Japanesepod101.com this last wednesday, I could'nt hold my self and I am already in Beginners lessons 21. I'm from Brazil, main laguage portuguese (really difficult comparing to english or japanese) I'm loving these classes you guys have. I've downloaded all lessons in my ipod and I'm listening 3 or 4 times each. I have my notebook to keep the "goi" and pratice Kana. I can say that you guys are great the ideia of season 2 is good as long as you guys don't lose the speed that you have beeing teching for so long now. The manga cartoon from justin is awesome and the idea to pick some anime clips for the study is awesome too. I LOVE animes, here in Brazil we don't have some good animes on Tv. But I keep my manga and animes from the past like Ranma, Naruto and of couse Musashi (the book). Weel I've spoken enough and lose my track so, "sore dake".


September 25th, 2006 at 06:02 PM
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I think that a good format would be to create new lessons that tie together the key points from a couple of the first season lessons and review key vocabulary while introducing some new vocabulary.

I really like this idea, too. It would not only reinforce old stuff that for reinforcement really doesn't need an entire lesson, and it also helps to teach combining constructions which is extremely important for being able to better express yourself.