Japanese for Busy People II – The Workbook
The revised 3rd edition.
AJALT are slowly revising their series of textbooks. The 3rd edition is a major revision.
The revisions are completely modernising the texts that now have a slightly better flow based around practical topics such as shopping, and have a much clearer layout. Another large change is that there will no longer be romaji editions of level 2 and 3. (And I would encourge everyone to start using kana from the beginning; it’s really not that difficult.)
Unfortunatly Biji-san has gone and so has the gentle humour in the workbooks. I wish they could have kept him.
The exercises in the workbook follow the new topic order of the 3rd edition textbook and use the new clearer layout style.
There are the usual practice drills where you insert words to suit the grammar point you are studying.
What is new is the reading and writing section and the listening section.
The reading and writing section is based around fictional blogs, email exchanges, and adverts for services. Fairly practical examples of using Japanese in context. The writing sections are much more geared towards longer productive writing than the prescriptive writing of sentences in the earlier editions of the book. However you will need a teacher or a native speaker to review and correct what you have written.
Also new is the listening section; where you answer short questions in Japanese about an audio passage on the accompanying CD. This is a really good new feature as there isn’t a large amount of graded listening material available so any you can find are very useful. Also the CD being part of the book’s price is much better value than the separate CDs they used to have.
If you are studying using the Japanese for Busy People books, the workbook is a must. I think however it would be useful on it’s own as an adjunct to other textbooks or classwork in order to get a wider variety of practice.
I would also recommend getting hold of the 2nd edition workbook before it goes out of print as I find the drills in it very useful.