EasyJapaneseE offers an interactive online “Katakana Learning Modules.”
This course is aimed at those who have already learned Hiragana and starting to learn Katakana and/or those who have learned through all Katakana letters but are not confident in reading and writing English words in Katakana.
This course is made up of 4 modules:
Module 1: Katakana Letter Recognition (Part I – simple sounds)
This part is designed to help you learn the 46 basic Katakana letters.
Learn them column by column. For each column there is:
- An explanation page with audio clip, stroke order animation and notes to remember.
- A Single Letter Recognition quiz – you are to listen to 2 to 6 audio clips and pick the corresponding letter for each sound. You need to achieve 80% or more to get this marked “complete.” Until you complete the quiz, the next quizzes are locked and won’t be displayed.
- A set of 10 spelling questions – again you are to listen to audio clips and spell the words using the tiles below. These words are usually written in Kanji or Hiragana but they are actual words and their meaning is also given, so you can try to expand your vocabulary while you are learning Katakana. You need to achieve 80% or more to get this marked “complete.” Until you complete the quiz, the next quizzes are locked and won’t be displayed.
Module 2: Katakana Letter Recognition (Part II – modified and combined sounds)
This module is in the same format as Module 1 but aiming to help you learn modified sounds (letters with 〝 and ゜) and combination sounds (using small letters). Katakana has many more combination sounds than Hiragana and this module will help you learn them quickly and efficiently.
Module 3: Katakana Reading Module – this module is for reading Katakana words. The first page lists most commonly used Katakana words which does not follow the common transliteration rules (the words which were imported into the Japanese language much earlier than others). The second page explains the common rules such as:
- which letters are used to scribe an orphan consonant sound (consonant only sound)
- possible English spelling when a prolonged sound bar (ー) appears in the Katakana word
- the likely Katakana letters used for the sounds like “r/l” and “th” which do not exist in Japanese.
After these explanation pages, there are many quizzes where you can get used to reading Katakana words. Formats of the quizzes are:
- placing Katakana labels to the corresponding image
- matching Katakana words with the English equivalent
- transliterating Katakana into English
Katakana words are divided into groups such as people’s names, place names, etc and each group usually has 3 levels – Level 1 is without any modified sounds, Level 2 with modified sounds but no combination sounds and Level 3 includes everything. You can attempt these quizzes as many times as you like during your subscription and as all quizzes have rotating questions, you will come across different questions in different orders every time you attempt a quiz. Your answers will be marked against the prescribed answers on the system immediately and you can check your answer against the correct answer.
Module 4: Katakana Writing Module – this module is for practising your Katakana spelling skills. Again the first few pages explain the common rules such as:
- how to scribe orphan consonant sounds in Katakana
- how to scribe “th” and “r” in Katakana
- when to use a small ｯ
- when to use a prolonged sound bar ー
After reading these explanation pages, you are to spell words using tiles provided, so your answer will be marked against the correct answers immediately. Alternatively, you can hand-write them and compare your answers with what gets displayed on the screen. These questions are divided into groups and levels in the same way with Module 3.
Modules 3 and 4 can be undertaken concurrently with or without Modules 1 & 2 completed. All quizzes in this course can be attempted as many times as you need or like and only the highest marks will be recorded. All quizzes have rotating questions, so you will come across a different set of questions every time you attempt them. As Katakana writing is not that easy, even the more advanced students will benefit from doing this course.
This course is built on the Moodle Cloud platform and you can do the course on your mobile device if you download the “Moodle” app onto your device.
This course is currently offered at AUD 14.95 for a 26-weeks access.