Hi! It’s Saturday, October 29, 2011, and time for Foreign Languages at ClickSchooling!
Kids Web Japan
Age Range: 4 to 12 (with parental supervision)
This website, created by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), is designed to foster appreciation of Japan among American children and introduce them to the Japanese language!
The simple artwork, the openness of each page, the soft color scheme and intuitive navigation, are all immediately attractive to young ones. And the content is top-notch! Here’s what you’ll find:
*Lessons 1-8 – Nicely illustrated formal language lessons, complete with audio examples, English and Japanese text, and pronunciation in text form. (Typical lessons contain dialog, vocabulary/grammar, and an exercise.)
*Animated Japanese – There are 3 scenarios on this page with 3 menu choices each. The 3rd link in each scenario is the ONLY one that works – but it opens terrific interactive cartoons. Click on the numbered speech balloons sequentially (as many times as you like) to hear the dialog in Japanese and read the captions in English, Japanese, and phonetic transcription. Learn fun sentences like, “Welcome home, Master!” and “Let’s play together until our spaceship gets fixed.”
*Quick Kanji – Here you can play with a fully interactive drawing of a scene in Japan. Click on any part of the scene to watch the picture evolve into a Japanese/Chinese character. This is a winner!
*Hiragana and Katakana Charts – Japanese alphabets. Click any letter to hear it pronounced.
*Numbers – Learn to speak and read the numbers from 1 to 100.
And under Related Articles:
*Language – The older kids and adults will appreciate this clear article about the Japanese language.
*Hiragana Matching Game – Click and drag the Japanese word to the picture. If you guess correctly, you hear the word pronounced and learn to write it correctly. Even if you are just guessing wildly, you will still learn something by playing this game. (You probably won’t want to play it past level two, tho ugh, unless you already know some words and letters.)
And last but not least:
*Gesture Game – This hidden gem is listed under “Games” in the left column. Look at the gesture and try to guess what it means. These gestures are also used in Japanese Sign Langauge.
You may also wish to spend some time on the rest of this website; some additional Japanese vocabulary (origami, manga, ninja,..) is presented in the context of the culture and history of Japan. Parents, as always, should preview the site and supervise Internet use.