This proficiency-oriented introductory Japanese program emphasizes practical communication, the development of all four language skills, student interaction, and cultural awareness. Nakama 1 consists of 12 chapters, and Nakama 2 consists of a review chapter, plus 10 additional chapters. Both volumes feature thematically organized chapters that focus on high-frequency communicative situations and introduce students to the Japanese language and its three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
Super solid resource for getting your feet wet. It takes you from literally 0 knowlege of the language (learning the syllaberies) to being able to compose whole paragraphs in Japanese about activities, family, and daily life. There is also a lot of focus on comprehension practice, which is always welcome!
There are abundant exercises as well, which helps substantially with retaining the information.
One noticeable downside is that their software is quite dated. With that said, it functions smoothly!
A really good book for starting to learn Japanese. Plenty of learning activities and it comes with tapes so that you can always practice listening to what you are reading. Another plus is that romaji, the abominable, are not used after the student learns Hiragana, which is immediately. The only reason it's a four and not a five for me is that it could have used more detailed and advanced explanations. I used it at college, and I think it would be better to use in a high school setting.
My old faithful beginning Japanese textbook, from high school and again later in my 20s. There's so many ways and orders to go about learning the basics of Japanese grammar, vocab, writing etc. and I think this one worked fine for me. Some say that the order certain things are taught is illogical and even harmful, but I don't think so.