Japanese - KanaBeats - Hiragana and Katakana

An innovative and rhythmic approach to learning the phonetic writing systems of hiragana and katakana.
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Instructed by Michael Van Krey Language / Japanese
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 5.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2013 English

Course Description

Can't quite seem to memorize all the kana characters? Need some extra motivation to help you "automate" the stroke order of kana and make them "stick" better? This course is packed with innovative videos to help you learn quickly and effectively. Learn all 46 hiragana and 46 katakana in a series of 10 video lessons, each approximately 20 minutes long. That's over 200 minutes of motivational instructional/practice videos and that not all...

Included with the video lessons are downloadable practice paper specific to each set, the mp3 tracks used in the videos to help keep you motivated to practice (without my narration), 10-question quizzes for each set, and video "KanaQuizzes" to gauge how you are progressing. The approximately 20-minute KanaQuizzes also have embedded mini lessons to go over how the basic 46 phonemes are altered to make all the sounds possible in Japanese. Currently all 5 of the hiragana KanaQuizzes are developed. I will continue to add new katakana video quizzes. That's another 100 minutes of video tutorials.

Most students find the repetitive practice needed to learn the writing systems a bit dull, so this video course is intended to motivate you through a musical approach with fun beats so that your regular practice sessions become more enjoyable. The different approach in this course engages different parts of your brain other than those typically utilized with "pencil and paper only" practice so that you (theoretically) learn the characters faster and more strongly.

What are the requirements?

  • regular 20-minute practice sessions to learn hiragana solidly
  • regular 20-minute practice sessions to learn katakana solidly

What am I going to get from this course?

  • learn to write all 46 hiragana from memory with correct stroke order
  • learn to write all 46 katakana from memory with correct stroke order
  • learn all the phonemes that derive from the base 46 sounds

What is the target audience?

  • beginners of Japanese study
  • students of Japanese who want an engaging way to learn hiragana
  • students of Japanese who want an engaging way to learn katakana
  • students of Japanese who have difficulty remembering hiragana and katakana and their stroke orders

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Learn 46 Hiragana Characters and Stroke Orders
22:28
DURING THE VIDEO
1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.
2.  Say the hiragana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each hiragana).
AFTER THE VIDEO
1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks.  
2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the hiragana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the hiragana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the hiragana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the hiragana and stroke order for the hiragana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the hiragana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
10 questions

Check to see how you are progressing at visualizing the hiragana in each set.  

I encourage you to also practice with the KanaQuizzes, which are video-based self assessment tools to reinforce writing and stroke order with Japanese vocabulary.

21:56

DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the hiragana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each hiragana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks.  

2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the hiragana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the hiragana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the hiragana that you need the most work on.


GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the hiragana and stroke order for the hiragana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the hiragana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.

10 questions

Check to see how you are progressing at visualizing the hiragana in each set.  

I encourage you to also practice with the KanaQuizzes, which are video-based self assessment tools to reinforce writing and stroke order with Japanese vocabulary.

22:55
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the hiragana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each hiragana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 

2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the hiragana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the hiragana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the hiragana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the hiragana and stroke order for the hiragana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the hiragana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.

Hiragana Set 3 na-ho
10 questions
19:01
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the hiragana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each hiragana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the hiragana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the hiragana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the hiragana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the hiragana and stroke order for the hiragana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the hiragana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
Hiragana Set 4 ma-yo
10 questions
19:10
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the hiragana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each hiragana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the hiragana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the hiragana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the hiragana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the hiragana and stroke order for the hiragana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the hiragana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
Hiragana Set 5 ra-n
10 questions
Section 2: Learn 46 Katakana Characters and Stroke Orders
26:50
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the katakana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each katakana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the katakana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the katakana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the katakana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the katakana and stroke order for the katakana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the katakana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
24:10
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the katakana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each katakana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the katakana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the katakana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the katakana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the katakana and stroke order for the katakana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the katakana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
23:13
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the katakana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each katakana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the katakana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the katakana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the katakana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the katakana and stroke order for the katakana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the katakana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
18:49
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the katakana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each katakana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the katakana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the katakana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the katakana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the katakana and stroke order for the katakana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the katakana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
19:52
DURING THE VIDEO

1.  Write the character on an app like "zen brush," or with your fingertip on the palm of your hand, or using good ol' pencil and paper.

2.  Say the katakana that you are practicing out loud each time you write it.  (The repetition of saying reinforces the sound with the character and the number of strokes in each katakana).

AFTER THE VIDEO

1.  Use the downloadable practice paper to confirm stroke order and check for neatness.  Take pride in your kana and treat them like mini artworks. 


2.  Use the "beats" mp3s to help you repetitively work on the katakana that you need the most practice with.  Get into that "Zen-like" trace state to let your mind begin to absorb the katakana, always remembering to say them out loud.  The tracks are nice to use because you are in control of your practice session and can practice the katakana that you need the most work on.

GOOD TO REMEMBER

1.  After practicing for a bit, always make sure you confirm that the katakana and stroke order for the katakana are correct by referring to the practice sheet model of the video.

2.  Though you might feel like you are "absorbing" the katakana by watching the video, it isn't nearly as effective (or perhaps not at all effective) for learning the characters.  Practice needs to be consistent and with concentration.
Section 3: Video KanaQuizzes
20:06
After you feel competent with the first set of 10 hiragana and have mastered the Quiz for Set 1, try your hand at this video KanaQuiz which has you write words in Japanese using any of the hiragana from the first set of 10.

Included in this KanaQuiz are two "mini lessons" that go over some of the ways you can use hiragana to create more sounds than just the basic 10 you have learned in the first video lesson.

You will need paper and pencil to write down the words.  Be prepared to stop the video to allow yourself time to write each word before I write the answers on the screen.  If you find yourself getting fatigued, stop the video and pick up where you left off.

Always attempt to write the word, even if you are unsure.  If you watch me write it and think "that's what I would have written" you can create a sort of false sense of security that you know more than you can actually do on your own. 

I also suggest that you revisit these video KanaQuizzes after you have learned the next sets of characters to see if you are getting more accurate and proficient at writing the words from earlier KanaQuizzes.  Just because you knew a kana at one point in time doesn't mean that it will stick forever.

However, before you know it, with consistent and concentrated practice, these characters will seem just as easy as A, B, C!
23:06
      • After you feel competent with the second set of 10 hiragana and have mastered the Quiz for Set 2, try your hand at this video KanaQuiz which has you write words in Japanese using any of the hiragana from the first and second sets of hiragana (any of the first 20). 

        Included in this KanaQuiz are two "mini lessons" that go over some of the ways you can use hiragana to create more sounds than just the basic 10 you have learned in the second video lesson. 

        You will need paper and pencil to write down the words.  Be prepared to stop the video to allow yourself time to write each word before I write the answers on the screen.  If you find yourself getting fatigued, stop the video and pick up where you left off.

        Always attempt to write the word, even if you are unsure.  If you watch me write it and think "that's what I would have written" you can create a sort of false sense of security that you know more than you can actually do on your own. 

        I also suggest that you revisit these video KanaQuizzes after you have learned the next sets of characters to see if you are getting more accurate and proficient at writing the words from earlier KanaQuizzes.  Just because you knew a kana at one point in time doesn't mean that it will stick forever.

        However, before you know it, with consistent and concentrated practice, these characters will seem just as easy as A, B, C!


19:33
      • After you feel competent with the third set of 10 hiragana and have mastered the Quiz for Set 3, try your hand at this video KanaQuiz which has you write words in Japanese using any of the hiragana from the first, second, and third sets of hiragana (any of the first 30). 

        Included in this KanaQuiz is one "mini lesson" that goes over another way you can use hiragana to create more sounds than just the basic 10 you have learned in the KanaBeats video lesson. 

        You will need paper and pencil to write down the words.  Be prepared to stop the video to allow yourself time to write each word before I write the answers on the screen.  If you find yourself getting fatigued, stop the video and pick up where you left off.

        Always attempt to write the word, even if you are unsure.  If you watch me write it and think "that's what I would have written" you can create a sort of false sense of security that you know more than you can actually do on your own. 

        I also suggest that you revisit these video KanaQuizzes after you have learned the next sets of characters to see if you are getting more accurate and proficient at writing the words from earlier KanaQuizzes.  Just because you knew a kana at one point in time doesn't mean that it will stick forever.

        However, before you know it, with consistent and concentrated practice, these characters will seem just as easy as A, B, C!

20:29
      • After you feel competent with the fourth set of 8 hiragana and have mastered the Quiz for Set 4, try your hand at this video KanaQuiz which has you write words in Japanese using any of the hiragana from the first, second, third and fourth sets of hiragana (any of the first 38). 

        Included in this KanaQuiz is a "mini lesson" that goes over one last way you can use hiragana to create more sounds than just the basic kana that you have learned in the KanaBeats video lesson. 

        You will need paper and pencil to write down the words.  Be prepared to stop the video to allow yourself time to write each word before I write the answers on the screen.  If you find yourself getting fatigued, stop the video and pick up where you left off.

        Always attempt to write the word, even if you are unsure.  If you watch me write it and think "that's what I would have written" you can create a sort of false sense of security that you know more than you can actually do on your own. 

        I also suggest that you revisit these video KanaQuizzes after you have learned the next sets of characters to see if you are getting more accurate and proficient at writing the words from earlier KanaQuizzes.  Just because you knew a kana at one point in time doesn't mean that it will stick forever.

        However, before you know it, with consistent and concentrated practice, these characters will seem just as easy as A, B, C!

23:15
      • After you feel competent with the fifth set of 8 hiragana and have mastered the Quiz for Set 5, try your hand at this video KanaQuiz which has you write words and short sentences in Japanese using any of the hiragana. 

        Included in this KanaQuiz is a "mini lesson" that goes over one particle and how its usage is different from all the rest. 

        You will need paper and pencil to write down the words.  Be prepared to stop the video to allow yourself time to write each word before I write the answers on the screen.  If you find yourself getting fatigued, stop the video and pick up where you left off.

        Always attempt to write the word, even if you are unsure.  If you watch me write it and think "that's what I would have written" you can create a sort of false sense of security that you know more than you can actually do on your own. 

        I also suggest that you revisit these video KanaQuizzes after you have learned the next sets of characters to see if you are getting more accurate and proficient at writing the words from earlier KanaQuizzes.  Just because you knew a kana at one point in time doesn't mean that it will stick forever.

        However, before you know it, with consistent and concentrated practice, these characters will seem just as easy as A, B, C!

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Instructor Biography

Michael Van Krey, Japanese Instructor

Michael Van Krey is a high school Japanese teacher at Evanston Township High School since 1997.  Before teaching, he lived in Japan for 3 years and has been back to Japan over 10 times since then for study, scholarships, and trips with his students.  

He wrote all four years of the curricula for his high school courses and believes that teaching language should be dynamic and not bound to a textbook.  He consistently uses technology and pushes the boundaries with sophisticated language lab usage, creating video lessons on specific topics, and using iPads in the classroom for each student to increase engagement and efficacy.

He has been nominated for a Golden Apple teaching award twice, won the inaugural Aurora Scholaship for summer study in Japan, a Fulbright/Hayes Scholarship to create video lesson in Japan, a US-Japan Foundation award for computers in the classroom, and a JCCC grant to purchase a classroom set of iPods.

In addition to teaching Japanese, he has served as a mentor to several teachers, a departmental staff developer, a technology staff developer, and co-facilitator of professional development for ETHS. 

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