Looking for Fresh New Japanese Teaching Books? We’ve Got 6 Right Here

Going it alone is scary.

If you decide to go alone at rewiring your house, you can expect a few singe marks and hospital visits.

If you go on a road trip with nothing but the sometimes questionable Google Maps to guide you, you might end up doing some unexpected off-roading.

If you walk in the woods alone, you could get lost and end up becoming the least hairy member of a wolf family.

And if you teach Japanese unassisted, you might find yourself struggling to teach complicated Japanese grammar and help your students learn valuable vocabulary.

While there are many books for learning Japanese, books to help you teach Japanese are definitely rarer reading material.

Luckily, there are some great books out there designed specifically for Japanese teachers, as well as various other books teachers can use to help them along the way.

Today, we’re going to look at several Japanese teaching books that can enhance your classroom lessons.

Are Teaching Books Really Effective?

One reason to use Japanese teaching books is to give you new teaching ideas. Whether you need innovative ideas for new Japanese gamesgrammar games, activities or lessons, books can give you the information and inspiration you need to try new techniques.

You might also use teaching books to help you determine how to teach a difficult concept. Sometimes, you just don’t know the right angle to approach a topic from. A teaching book can help you figure out your approach to tackle the tricky stuff.

Additionally, teaching books can serve as learning resources for students. Even if you’re not using it all the time, it can be helpful to keep teaching books in your classroom for students to use as a supplemental learning material. A lot of teaching resources explain things in more depth than their student counterparts, so learners who want to read about a concept in more depth could benefit from a perusal of your teaching books.

6 Japanese Teaching Books to Take Your Lessons to the Next Level

“A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners”

日本語文型辞典 英語版 ―A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners

“A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Teachers and Learners /日本語文型辞典 英語版” is a thorough dictionary of Japanese sentence patterns. While it is intended to be used as a reference manual, it can offer terrific insight for Japanese teachers when teaching tricky patterns.

This volume includes thousands of example sentences along with explanations. Plus, the book even contains examples of potential misuse, allowing you to anticipate possible problems your students might face.

And guess what? This book was originally in Japanese, so if you’re teaching an advanced class and want explanations solely in Japanese, you can also get the original Japanese book, “日本語文型辞典” (“Japanese Sentence Type Dictionary”).

“Japanese the Manga Way”

Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure

While this book is intended for Japanese learners rather than teachers, it is a terrific tool to help teachers come up with innovative ways to engage their students.

That’s because this book uses manga to teach and illustrate grammar rules. While the book assumes students have a basic knowledge of Japanese, it also builds on that knowledge in a fun, easy-to-understand format.

Whether you want to have your students read the book themselves or merely apply some of the strategies this book uses in your own classroom, “Japanese the Manga Way” is a book you can use to make your lessons more engaging.

At the very least, it might help familiarize you with some great manga you’ll want to share with your students.

“Elementary Japanese”

Elementary Japanese Volume One: This Beginner Japanese Language Textbook Expertly Teaches Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana, Speaking & Listening (Audio-CD Included)

“Elementary Japanese” is a textbook with a lot to offer.

It aims to “expertly teach” key skills, including Japanese characters, listening skills and speaking skills. The book offers detailed explanations and a structured approach to teaching and learning. If you’re using the book in class, this is obviously helpful. However, you could also just use the book to help you determine how to structure your own course.

Not only that, “Elementary Japanese” even comes with a CD that you can use in class.

And there’s more where that came from. All the learning goodness can continue with “Elementary Japanese Volume Two.”

For teachers, the book series has even more to offer. In addition to the textbooks, there is an “Elementary Japanese Teacher’s Guide” that provides additional guidance on how to use the “Elementary Japanese” series.

“Japanese From Zero!”

Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals

“Japanese From Zero!” is another textbook series perfect for teachers. And since one book is never enough, you might also want to check out the other books in the series:

While the series is designed for students, it also works well for teachers since the techniques used in the book have also been used in classroom settings. With plenty of vocabulary, dialogues and activities, this series offers plenty of material to build your own lessons with. Pair it with free videos from the Learn Japanese From Zero! YouTube channel, and your lesson plans will runneth over.

“Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese”

GENKI I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (English and Japanese Edition)

Man, oh man—the “Genki” series of textbooks has a lot of material.

Not only does the series offer a first volume, it also offers a second one as well: “Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Volume II.” These volumes are some of the most well-regarded Japanese learning textbooks, but they offer a lot for teachers, too. Not only do these books contain valuable reading, writing, speaking, listening and cultural lessons you can use in class, each volume also comes with CDs you can use when you just don’t feel up to lecturing your students.

Looking for activities? Look no further than “Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Workbook I” and “Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Workbook II.” These offer an array of exercises that you might use as models to create your own activities.

If you’re the kind of person who wants it all, you can even get a “Genki” bundle.

Not only that, “Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Teacher’s Manual” is also available, giving teachers more explicit ideas for how to use the “Genki” series.

“Japanese for Busy People”

Japanese for Busy People I: Kana Version (Japanese for Busy People Series)

Your students are busy, and so are you. You might as well try to pick up a few tips from a series designed specifically for busy learners. And if one book just isn’t enough, you can follow it up with “Japanese for Busy People II” and “Japanese for Busy People III.”

“Japanese for Busy People” bills itself as “the most popular Japanese language textbook series in the world,” and it aims to be comprehensive, offering workbooks, CDs and texts. It teaches grammar and vocabulary through realistic scenarios, which you can use to help your students understand the practical usage of the Japanese language.

However, you don’t have to just come up with your own material based on the textbooks. The series also offers “Japanese for Busy People I, Teacher’s Manual” and “Japanese for Busy People II & III, Teacher’s Manual,” which give teaching tips and ideas for presenting content to your class. But be warned: The teacher’s manual is entirely in Japanese, so if you have any doubts about your own skills, you might be better off using a different resource.


Don’t go it alone! Use these six awesome teaching books to guide you through the hazards of teaching Japanese so that you and your students can benefit from structured, more engaging lessons.

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe