Saturday, 3 April 2010

Language Learning: tips & tricks

Teaching our students how to learn is of course as important, if not more important, than what they learn. Learning a language is a new experience for many of our Year 7 students, and for those who have not learnt a language before, they may never have been shown how to do it.

Next time you set
"learn the ... vocab on p... of the text" as part of your students' homework, give them a few tips on how they can do that, assuming you haven't already. Let them know that we all learn in different ways and the way one student learns their vocab will not necessarily be the way that everyone else does. We need to help each student find the most effective way for them to learn. At school I learnt my vocabulary by writing it down again and again (and again), now I learn through flashcards and by trying to use the vocabulary as often as possible. Both methods work in their own way but I now prefer flashcards and flash games.

Here's my attempt at putting some tips for language learning into one place. If you have any tips for me to improve the presentation, please let me know via a comment.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Music and Japanese Lyrics

A while back I wrote here about using music to inspire your Japanese language learning. In class this week my students pointed me towards 'jpopasia', a place to watch music videos and communicate with like minded fans of Japanese and Korean Pop music. The added benefit of this site, from my angle, is that many of the videos have the lyrics (including kanji lyrics) alongside them. This means we can listen to as well as read the Japanese. As mentioned in the post linked above, I learnt a lot of kanji and vocabulary from too much karaoke and now I see many of my students doing the same; as well as learning Japanese through manga and anime. The difference now is accessibility - Japan and Japanese music is so much closer. As the site's authors put it:

All we want is to promote Japanese music outside Japan. It's really hard to find and discover new Japanese music because of the language barrier and availability. We think we can fill this missing link in providing romaji titles and promotional videos.

So, find a song your students like, look at the grammar and kanji in the lyrics and use these to help reinforce the structures and script being learnt in class. In class yesterday, Angela Aki's song Tegami and lyrics helped us to revise a whole heap of kanji and to look at the grammar structures 〜ないで、〜そう(な)and 〜(え)ば. I even learnt a couple of new kanji myself.

Posted via web from Js Nihongo