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PuniPuniJapan Website

8 Feb

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I just happened upon this website, Puni Puni Japan, awhile ago. It is not super-useful to me (because I’m pretty fluent) but I thought some of you beginners might enjoy it! There are short videos that teach Japanese phrases, vocabulary, and grammar. There is also a free printable kana workbook you can download.  Here is an example video:

Happy Holidays! Plus Favorite Posts and Sites.

19 Nov

image from fumira.jp

Can you believe the holiday season is upon us? I just put up a homemade wreath on our front door and am looking forward to turkey dinner with close family and friends this week. I love this time of the year, and I especially love that my husband gets some time off from work and we get to spend a lot of time together as a family! Because of that, I will probably not post anything new for the rest of 2012 (um, just kidding). I am going to leave you with some holiday links, my favorite posts, and my current favorite websites. Click on the “***” to go to the sites. See you in 2013!

CHRISTMAS

1. Decorate for the holidays using origami! ***

NEW YEARS

1. Send a New Year’s card, Japanese-style: ***

2. A past blog post about ways to celebrate the new year like the Japanese: ***

3. Printable, Japanese-themed calendars for 2013 (they are adorable!): ***

SETSUBUN

1. Setsubun isn’t until the first week of February, but for those who like to plan ahead, here is a past blog post about it: ***

FAVORITE POSTS 

1. How to survive a long plane ride with a toddler! *** (reader favorite!)

2. Ideas for souvenirs to take to Japan: ***

3. The yummiest homemade purin recipe! ***

4. Is the cold weather making you think of sunnier days? Or maybe you live somewhere that’s currently summer? Check out my How to Have a Natsu Matsuri post: ***

5. Since Obama just got re-elected, this video is worth watching again: ***

6. How to Begin Teaching Your Child Japanese: ***

FAVORITE JAPANESE LEARNING WEBSITES

1. Brother.co.jp ***

2. Honda Kids ***

3. Links to LOTS of great printable hiragana practice sheets ***

4. Ready Steady NihonGo! ***

5. Erin’s Challenge: ***

KEEP YOUR KIDS BUSY AND LEARNING DURING THE HOLIDAYS:

1. Blog post with a lot of great links to websites that teach you  how to play traditional Japanese children’s games: ***

2. Ekaki-uta’s (Drawing Songs) are fun for all ages! ***

3. Japanese Fingerplays… a great way to pass the time on the drive to grandma and grandpa’s house! ***

4. Play karuta! ***

5. DOZENS for Japanese videos for kids via YouTube: ***

How will you spend the rest of 2012? I’d love to hear from you. Readers comments give me the motivation to keep up this blog! 

Ready Steady NihonGo!

1 Nov

Ready Steady NihonGo!” is another wonderful Japanese-learning/teaching resource by the Japan Society. The website provides ten 45-minute lesson plans for introducing children to the Japanese language and culture. The lessons are fun and interactive… it makes me want to be a Japanese Teacher! Each lesson includes printable flashcards and sample dialogue.

Here’s a description of this program from the Ready Steady NihonGo! website:

*****
Ready Steady NihonGO! has been carefully structured to tie in with
the National Curriculum Objectives for KS2 Modern Foreign
Languages. These aims are all clearly stated in the initial summary
and also at the start of each lesson plan. Curriculum links to other
subject areas are also listed, thus making Ready Steady NihonGO!
a complete and relevant unit of work in any upper primary classroom.

*
Ready Steady NihonGO! also ties in with the latest ‘Oracy’,
‘Intercultural Understanding’ and ‘Knowledge about Language’
learning objectives as stated within the Key Stage Two Framework
for Modern Foreign Languages (autumn 2005). Points of particular
relevance include the following:

*
• providing children with the opportunity to imitate and play with the
sounds and sound patterns of the target language
• asking and answering questions on a range of topics
• learning about the cultural traditions, celebrations and literature of
countries where the target language is spoken and making
comparisons with their own
• recognising the language (Japanese) uses a different writing
system, has different ways of expressing social relationships and
borrows words from other languages

*
Targets discussed within the new ‘Languages Ladder’ can also be
applied to Ready Steady NihonGO! and any child who completes
the ten week course can be expected to show progress up the rungs.
Foundation stones in language awareness will also have been laid
and these will support any future study of Japanese.

*****

If you are a parent teaching your children Japanese or a Japanese Teacher looking for a wonderful resource, please check out Ready Steady NihonGo! You’ll be glad you did!

Animal ABC Karuta for iPad (FREE for 2 days!)

17 Oct

Karuta is one of the most popular games in Japan. The game helps children learn their kana in a fun way.

A San Francisco-based illustrator from Tokyo, Yuki Yamagata, contacted me to let me know that she is releasing an Animal ABC Karuta game for the iPad. Since it is brand-new, the app is going to be free for download today and tomorrow (October 17-18, 2012)!! What a deal!

Here is a description of Animal ABC Karuta:

******

ABC Karuta introduces a Japanese traditional card game to English learners!

~ABC Karuta arrives as an amazing animal alphabet app~

 

ABC Karuta is a fun way to learn English for kids and adults. Yuki Yamagata, a San Francisco based illustrator, created a series of beautiful “kawaii” animal illustrations for cards A to Z. The rules are simple; players listen to an alliterative phrase, and then pick the matching card. This app beautifully combines traditional Japanese games, Karuta, with whimsical English speaking animals, resulting in an imaginative and exciting new way to learn the English language. Try it now!

 

ABC Karuta start out by tapping Karuta dog to hear fun alliteration phrase: for example, Calico Cat Carries Chocolate Cookies, Mother Monkey Makes Millions of marshmallows and so on. Then a player finds the illustration cards matches the phrase they hear. Once you get the right cards, it’s going to be shown in their collection page! 

– ABC Karuta is available on iPad in the app store for $1.99, starting October 17, 2012. 

 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abckaruta/id554914746?ls=1&mt=8

– A Cute Collection of Cuddly Creature Cards Campaign!

Download ABC Karuta app for FREE! Two days only, Oct 17th and 18th, 2012.

– Best for ages 4-up.

 

Published by: Project KYUN at SmashBooth, Inc

Contact: abckarutainfo@gmail.com

Website: http://www.facebook.com/AbcKaruta

Yuki Yamagata (illustrator): http://www.yamagatayuki.com/

Karuta (Japanese card game): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karuta

*****

If you have an iPad, be sure to snatch up this cool game asap! I don’t own an iPad, but I plan to download it anyway just in case I get an iPad in the future (Santa, are you listening?). If you enjoy this game, please leave her some positive feedback.

Also, be sure to check out Yumi Yamagata’s personal website. Her illustrations are just beautiful.

Thanks Yuki! I hope you will come out with some Japanese-learning games in the future too 🙂

Be sure to visit Hiragana Mama often, or sign up for the email list (bottom of the page), so you don’t miss great deals like this in the future!

AWESOME Japanese-Learning Website: “Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese”

16 Oct

Oh my goodness, I just found the BEST website for learning how to speak Japanese, called ”  エリンが挑戦!にほんごできます。/Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese.” I might as well just stop blogging now, this site is so good. Do you all know about it, or am I the last one to discover it?

Erin’s Challenge is a free Japanese-learning website for beginners and more advanced students (perfect for those who will be visiting Japan as an exchange student!). It is made by the Japan Foundation (their website is worth a look as well). Their goal is to help people living overseas learn the Japanese language and learn about the culture too. The website has very helpful videos where “Erin”, a student from England, moves to Japan and slowly improves her Japanese. In addition to videos, there are manga, quizzes, and games to help you review what you have learned.

Things I love about this website: It is very easy to navigate, you can view the website in Japanese, English, or a bunch of other languages, the videos are high quality and the acting is great, the content is with the times and relevant, and it truly is helpful for both beginners and those who are mostly fluent! I also love  that the actors are Japanese, so you can hear REAL Japanese pronunciation.

Don’t just take my word for it, please go visit エリンが挑戦!にほんごできます。 /Erin’s Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese. I plan to show the videos to my children, and use the site to improve my own Japanese as well. Please come back and let me know what you thought!

Here’s a video that shows some of the features on this site:

There’s also a separate website by the Japan Foundation, “Japanese in Anime & Manga” that teaches you about Japanese words and phrases that are used in manga. Some of you might be interested in that as well!

Dorilu.net: Printable, Customizable Japanese Drills

18 Sep

Dorilu.net is a website where you can customize and print various drills for learning in Japanese (all free!) . There are drills for math, Japanese language (mostly kanji practice), geography, and English. You can even search for drills by grade level (1st~6th grade).

Looking at these drills makes me nervous for my daughter to enter elementary school. Some of these worksheets are very difficult!

from dorilu.net

Kids Wonder Project

13 Sep

Those of you with older children, you are going to be thrilled with today’s website. “キッズワンダープロジェクト/Kids Wonder Project” is a project aimed at helping children explore the exciting and wonderful world through enjoyable, educational games. Children can explore the deep sea, outer space, etc and discover little-known animals. I love that the narration is so clear (makes for great Japanese listening practice).

Here are some scenes from the Deep Sea adventures:

In the Deep Sea adventures, you take a submarine under water and search for sea creatures.

The website is created by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. I think they did a wonderful job!

If you are an older student/adult learning the Japanese Language, I think you will find this site enjoyable and educational as well. Let me know what you think!

PS I know I am very behind replying to emails recently. Please forgive me! Life is very busy for us right now.

Printable Japanese Worksheets and Books from Brother.co.jp

12 Aug

There seems to be no lack of wonderful websites for learning Japanese geared toward children these days. I love it!! It was just a few years ago when I would scour the internet for resources and could never find anything good. We are blessed in this digital age to have all these resources at our fingertips.

image from brother.co.jp

The website I want to highlight today is brother.co.jp. Their “free downloads” section has wonderful printables, including hiragana and katana worksheets, papercrafts, BOOKS, etc. I want to print off their free books onto cardstock and have them bound for my kids. Their hiragana/katakana worksheets are beautifully done too.  Thank you, brother!

P.S. I have updated my “hiragana practice sheets” and “katakana resources” pages lately. Check them out and share with your friends! :).

Website: Okochama.jp

10 Aug

Today I have another website to share with you: okochama.jp. This website is made for preschoolers and up and has age-appropriate games for learning hiragana, katakana, numbers, etc. Check it out and see if you like it!

image from okochama.jp

image from okochama.jp

image from okochama.jp

Is anyone else totally sleep-deprived because of the Olympics? The athletes are so incredible and inspire me to be the best that I can be!

 

おべんきょう.com

23 Jul

Today I have another great website for you to check out: おべんきょう.com! It has great printable worksheets to practice writing hiragana and katakana, numbers, telling time, etc! It also has printable flashcards and hiragana/katakana charts. I thought it was really clever of them to use hiragana as their web address 🙂

image from おべんきょう.com

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