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The Kanji Learner’s Course Graded Reading Sets

#1
The first three volumes of this have finally been released. It looks like it will be 9 volumes in total.  The first volume is free  as a pdf at the site. This weekend it's on sale, for 50% off.  So it comes out to  like $5.   I bought it, and have only taken a cursory  glance, but it seems pretty good. It's basically a collection of increasingly kanji-fied parallel sentences.
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#2
These reading sets were compiled by Andrew Scott Conning, the author of Kodansha Kanji Learner's Course.

Notably, the sentences include references for where to look up grammar items in the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar and Genki.

It looks like a great value for the price.
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#3
This looks like a great resource - thanks for the tip, RandomQuotes.

The kanji are introduced gradually but the vocab/expressions certainly aren't - I found plenty of interest even in the first few chapters.

It's just a pity that there seems to be no way to get it without some kind of iJunk device, which is a bit hard to fathom. At $5 for the first 3 vols he's practically giving it away anyway.
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#4
I find it unusual that they are advertised as "graded reading sets" when they are actually just collections of sentences. It gives the impression that there is actual meaningful content to read, like stories or articles. But for what it is, I would say it looks pretty good, and the price is very reasonable.
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#5
They're "graded" in that they use kanji in order, and they have to say "graded reader" because normal people don't associate "graded reader"-ness with anything other than graded readers. If they said "graded sentence collection" people wouldn't understand what it is.
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#6
I downloaded the pdf.  Unfortunately it's not short stories made up of connected sentences (which is what I was hoping for), it's a set of disjointed sentences.

"Neeeeeexxxxxxxtttttt!"  [just kidding].
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#7
(2017-07-29, 1:06 pm)phil321 Wrote: I downloaded the pdf.  Unfortunately it's not short stories made up of connected sentences (which is what I was hoping for), it's a set of disjointed sentences.

"Neeeeeexxxxxxxtttttt!"  [just kidding].

I think the point of the segmentation is to give you as much practice as possible with each character right after you learn it in the KLC. If the exercise for kanji X were a short story, you might read a whole story and only see kanji X a couple of times. By segmenting into a bunch of short sentences that all contain kanji X, you get to see many sentences with the kanji you're trying to learn right now. 

Plus there's the fact that the examples can only use the kanji you learned up to that point. It would be kind of hard to write a whole story using only a restricted subset of kanji. Not impossible, but any stories written with the majority of kanji off the table would either have to be pretty bad or be riddled with words in hiragana that are supposed to be in kanji, like children's books. I actually find children's books very hard to read, and a page full of hiragana would kind of defeat the purpose of a book that's supposed to help you practice kanji. By using shorter examples, they can give you more kanji and more practice with the kanji you just learned.

So to me it makes a lot of sense that they keep the sentences short. I can't say they skimped on material, since there are 30,000 of them Exclamation . At least that's what they're claiming. So far they've just released the one $5 set for V1-3, which they claim has 4000 "exercises".
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#8
Here's a direct link to volume one [free PDF].

Here's my Anki deck of the volume one entries. I like using Anki preview mode (rather than SRS) to read the sentences and then check the answers.

[Image: KLC_GRS_vol_1.png]
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#9
(2017-07-29, 1:06 pm)phil321 Wrote: I downloaded the pdf.  Unfortunately it's not short stories made up of connected sentences (which is what I was hoping for), it's a set of disjointed sentences.

"Neeeeeexxxxxxxtttttt!"  [just kidding].

The intro says that the readings test more interesting once you get past kanji 300. Unfortunately, the free sample doesn't go that far. If I end up buying the series, I'll report back.
Edited: 2017-08-08, 8:46 am
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#10
(2017-08-08, 8:45 am)mspertus Wrote: The intro says that the readings test more interesting once you get past kanji 300. Unfortunately, the free sample doesn't go that far. If I end up buying the series, I'll report back.

Here are the first and last exercises for kanji 400 有:

Quote:共同所有。
共同(きょうどう) 所有(しょゆう)。
Joint ownership.

スティーヴンソンの最も有名な作品は多分「宝島」だ。
スティーヴンソン の 最も(もっとも) 有名(ゆうめい) な 作品(さくひん) は 多分(たぶん) 「宝島(たからじま)」 だ。
Stevenson's best-known work is probably 'Treasure Island'.
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#11
Are there any larger entries or are they all just one sentence long? I guess from a "Reader" set I expected a bit more than out of context sentences Sad  Better than not having any sentences at all I think, but still~
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#12
As somebody pointed out, it kind of has to have the phrase “graded readings”, or people wouldn’t know what it is, which is basically a tool for reading comprehension practice. I guess you could call it “graded example sentences” or something, but that would not really communicate the purpose of it.

I also agree with the point made earlier that it actually makes more sense to divide the content into small bits, since the series is designed to give you practice readings for each kanji, one at a time. Obviously you couldn’t write a full-length reading for every kanji, so if you wanted full-length readings it would realistically have to be after every 50 kanji or so, or at best after every 25 kanji. But I don’t see how you could make such a reading that would include ALL of those 25 or 50 kanji in it. At best the reading might contain half of the kanji in that set you just studied, and only once or twice each.

By using small snippets instead of full-length readings, he’s able to arrange a bunch of exercises for every single kanji, so you get to practice reading your kanji du jour over and over in short succession, in its various different compounds and verb/adjective conjugations. That seems like the whole purpose of something being “graded” - focusing on reinforcing what you just learned, instead of reading a bunch of unrelated stuff. If you think about it, the longer each exercise is, the more unrelated stuff it would have to contain.

The more I think about it, the more I’m realizing that this is really a new kind of resource. It seems like we just don’t have an existing label or category for it. It’s a long series of kanji & vocabulary comprehension exercises graded by character. It's based on a specific kanji learning order, and with every exercise consisting only of kanji that have already been taught.
Edited: 2017-08-15, 11:44 am
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#13
(2017-08-06, 1:01 pm)fkb9g Wrote: Here's a direct link to volume one [free PDF].

Here's my Anki deck of the volume one entries. I like using Anki preview mode (rather than SRS) to read the sentences and then check the answers.

[Image: KLC_GRS_vol_1.png]

Thanks for this! I downloaded and started using your deck today. So far, none of the kanji are challenging for me (一、二、日) , but I like that the sentences chosen include phrases that seem actually useful.

I have avoided actually formally learning kanji, but have rather winged it going through Genki and sort of inferring what is what through context, and then painstakingly copying the lesson kanji when doing workbook exercises. Nothing sticks. I bought KKLC a while back, but have been rather uncertain on how to use it out of context. This is a step in the right direction. 

I was hesitant about RTK because it so...preliminary, and wanted to use something more immediately applicable, so this might bring it together. I wish KKLC had a companion app like RTK, though. It's really nice, actually.
Edited: 2017-08-15, 4:05 pm
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#14
(2017-08-15, 4:02 pm)johndoe2015 Wrote:
(2017-08-06, 1:01 pm)fkb9g Wrote: Here's a direct link to volume one [free PDF].

Here's my Anki deck of the volume one entries. I like using Anki preview mode (rather than SRS) to read the sentences and then check the answers.

[Image: KLC_GRS_vol_1.png]

Thanks for this! I downloaded and started using your deck today. So far, none of the kanji are challenging for me (一、二、日) , but I like that the sentences chosen include phrases that seem actually useful.

I have avoided actually formally learning kanji, but have rather winged it going through Genki and sort of inferring what is what through context, and then painstakingly copying the lesson kanji when doing workbook exercises. Nothing sticks. I bought KKLC a while back, but have been rather uncertain on how to use it out of context. This is a step in the right direction. 

I was hesitant about RTK because it so...preliminary, and wanted to use something more immediately applicable, so this might bring it together. I wish KKLC had a companion app like RTK, though. It's really nice, actually.

The apps for KLC are basically Anki and Kanji Study. KS is the best kanji app on Android, AFAIK. It has the KLC order built in as an option, but you have to get the book for the explanations and mnemonics. The Anki deck is also very well done: ankiweb.net/shared/info/779483253
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#15
(2017-08-18, 11:39 am)ChestnutMouse Wrote:
(2017-08-15, 4:02 pm)johndoe2015 Wrote:
(2017-08-06, 1:01 pm)fkb9g Wrote: Here's a direct link to volume one [free PDF].

Here's my Anki deck of the volume one entries. I like using Anki preview mode (rather than SRS) to read the sentences and then check the answers.

[Image: KLC_GRS_vol_1.png]

Thanks for this! I downloaded and started using your deck today. So far, none of the kanji are challenging for me (一、二、日) , but I like that the sentences chosen include phrases that seem actually useful.

I have avoided actually formally learning kanji, but have rather winged it going through Genki and sort of inferring what is what through context, and then painstakingly copying the lesson kanji when doing workbook exercises. Nothing sticks. I bought KKLC a while back, but have been rather uncertain on how to use it out of context. This is a step in the right direction. 

I was hesitant about RTK because it so...preliminary, and wanted to use something more immediately applicable, so this might bring it together. I wish KKLC had a companion app like RTK, though. It's really nice, actually.

The apps for KLC are basically Anki and Kanji Study. KS is the best kanji app on Android, AFAIK. It has the KLC order built in as an option, but you have to get the book for the explanations and mnemonics. The Anki deck is also very well done: ankiweb.net/shared/info/779483253

Thanks. I'll check out Kanji Study. I also have Sticky Study, which seems to be along the same lines.
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#16
I've been working through these sentences and really enjoying them so far. It's a solid resource for the price IMO.

For each Kanji there are a bunch of real sentences using only the 1 new Kanji and the proceeding Kanji. The vocab and grammar seems like good representative Japanese to me and is at a very useful level of complexity (for me). For each important reading there are a few sentences that exercise that reading, so after working through a whole Kanji section, I often remember the new readings without additional intentional drilling. (Seeing a reading in 5 different contexts consecutively is a big benefit and much more interesting than reading one sentence five times.)

I'm using iBooks as suggested and agree the vertical scrolling is helpful. I go through sentence by sentence, highlight only the ones I feel need additional repetition and then go back occasionally and look just at the highlighted ones. It's like a simple SRS which I find less grueling. I'm starting to do the same for real books but find it works much better with the carefully chosen canned sentences. Very curious to hear others' methodology & approach!

Probably to use these you need to be somewhat advanced at Japanese relative to your level of Kanji. Starting from the very beginning, the sentences are not exactly easy and I think if you can't understand them, there's no point. But if it does work for you, you can improve reading, grammar & vocab simultaneously.
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#17
Is there anyone who has looked at these who is also familiar with Kanji in Context that could compare the resources?
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#18
(2017-08-24, 7:48 pm)colinsky Wrote: Is there anyone who has looked at these who is also familiar with Kanji in Context that could compare the resources?

After reading some comments here my initial thought was "Well, KiC has been around for ages, so what's new about this one?" but then I had a brief look at the pdf and I must say there are some differences.

1. With KiC, when they teach you new kanji, they introduce several words using this kanji in a dictionary style. It is not the case here, the vocab is introduced in the context of a sentence.
2. KiC does test you on new vocabulary with sentences and common phrases but while doing that they don't limit themselves only to kanji that you have learned so far - they just give you furigana for words/kanji you have not studied yet.
3. KiC starts with high C as far as grammar is concerned - you do need to be at the intermediate level to break down sentences even in the first lesson (the course is aimed at the 中/上 students, mind you).
4. There are no English translations in KiC, nor there are any explanations of the used grammar.
5. The amount of exercises seems to be higher in "The Kanji Learner’s Course Graded Reading Sets" - it's hard to beat 30,000 sentences.
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#19
(2017-07-29, 10:20 am)anotherjohn Wrote: This looks like a great resource - thanks for the tip, RandomQuotes.

The kanji are introduced gradually but the vocab/expressions certainly aren't - I found plenty of interest even in the first few chapters.

It's just a pity that there seems to be no way to get it without some kind of iJunk device, which is a bit hard to fathom. At $5 for the first 3 vols he's practically giving it away anyway.

They have the series on iBooks but also on mobi format for Kindle, which has an app for non-Kindle devices. So I think you can read these on pretty much any device. 

This series is pretty much replacing SRS for me. Much more fun, and I feel like I'm learning more.
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