I sometimes go to a local bookstore, looking around for some good books to use in my Japanese tutoring sessions, and I came across the following books that looked promising: For the Beginners: - Japanese in 10 minutes a day, by Kristine K. Kershul. I liked this book because each section seemed nice and concise, just the right amount of material to cover in a 60 minute session. It has a good description of each topic a session covers, along with helpful illustrations and phrases that students can get to use right away. It seemed to have the right blend of memorization learning and hands-on exercises. It has a very familiar format to one of my old conversational English textbooks that was very helpful to me when I was learning English. It also comes with a CD to allow students to learn the sounds on their own between the sessions. -Basic Japanese: Learn to Speak Everyday Japanese in 10 Carefully Structured Lessons, by Eriko Sato. I thought this... read more
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The Summer of 2012 I embarked on a study abroad journey to Hikone, Japan. Hikone is home to the historic Hikone castle and known for it's close proximity to the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. The Japanese language school I attended is called JCMU (Japan Center for Michigan Universities). It is right on the edge of the lake and provides many beaches and opportunities for chatting with the locals. Most of us stayed in the dorms connected to the main building. We woke up 5 days a week at 8 am and by 9am were in our classrooms learning Japanese straight until 3 pm. On Fridays we got to stop at 1 pm and enjoy a cultural activity. I tested into the fourth and highest level with two other students. I was in this level for three weeks before deciding to drop down to the third level because of the lack of sleep and stress level. That was a good decision because instead of constantly studying my textbooks I could leave and explore Hikone, using my language skills in real interactions... read more
I am finally getting my blog set up! As I try to expand my audience, I have made a craigslist post for my tutoring services, directing potential students to this website: http://flint.craigslist.org/lss/3167663221.html The business end of things seems to have put a damper on my leisure reading time. Because of this, I think I'll use a tip I usually reserve for students on myself- a word of the day! It helps to expand one's vocabulary while using up only minimal time. I'll borrow today's word from dictionary.com: Intrapaneur- An employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc., and does not have to follow the corporation's usual routines or protocols. Interesting indeed... As time progresses, I hope to write about some exciting things here, and hopefully I'll have some handy tips for those who wish to gain greater knowledge and skill in the areas of reading and writing.
Are you looking for a great way to practice your speaking skills in French? Go to www.sharedtalk.com! There you will find native speakers of French (among many other languages) with whom you can practice your speaking skills. This is a great way to improve your listening comprehension, too! Try it out! It's free and all you have to do is sign up!
I've been re-reading an old copy of Barry Farber's book How to Learn Any Language. The copy I have is more than a little out-of-date, as the author talks about the "innovation" of portable audio-cassette players as a language-learning tool. The internet has opened up countless new tools for learners of foreign languages. If I were to update Farber's book myself, here are the online tools I would add to his list of advice. If you would like the details of any language-specific sites or need help navigating the overwhelming amount of available online resources, feel free to contact me through WyzAnt by email to set up a tutoring session. (I specialize in tutoring Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and English, but I have also "dabbled" in other languages). Online dictionaries that provide two-way look-up are usually much easier than looking up words in a paper dictionary, especially for character-based languages like Chinese and Japanese. Podcasts online are plentiful in many... read more
Whether you're learning Spanish, French, English, or even new science or social studies vocabulary, developing vocabulary is the key to a world of new conversations. When approaching a new set of vocabulary, different techniques work for different kinds of learning. Watching movies, listening to music, and interacting with people in the new language are fun and effective means of immersion. When you hear unfamiliar terms, sound them out and jot them down to look up later. When preparing for a test or working with a textbook, a systematic approach can help reinforce and practice new terms. With a new set of thirty words from a textbook chapter, follow these four easy steps to quickly learn up to thirty terms in one sitting: 1. Make a list of new words in the target language. 2. Attempt to translate them on the same line in a second column, using cognates as clues to recall the term in your native language. 3. After attempting to translate all the vocabulary, use a... read more
You are interested in learning Japanese? Why? If you have something to get into, such as Manga, J-pop or anything! You can do it!!! When I started to learn English, that was difficult to do. At the beginning, I had terrible spelling and didn't know enough words... I didn't even know how to spell "Bye." But... I started to watch kids programs like a Sesame Street or movies where I switched original English sounds and wrote down words that I didn't understand. The important point is to KEEP STUDYING!!!!! If you keep studying, you can learn more and more :) Good luck in anything you are studying right now!!!
Why learn a second language? You might not be aware of some of the profound affects that early language exposure can have on the developing brain of a child. How learning a second language affects the young brain It has long been known that there is a strong link between language, music and other developmental skills, such as math and logical thinking. Children who are exposed to music and/or language training show measurable improvements in other cognitive skills. Researchers believe that early language exposure actually increases the size and power of a child's brain! Current Brain Research In some regards an infant's brain is like a blank slate. Exposing your child to a second language at an early age can actually change the way your child's brain is structured by forming connections that otherwise would not be formed. These connections seem to be not only necessary for learning language, but are beneficial in many other academic areas: study after... read more
Hello, this is my first time blogging so I don't really know how to go about this but I thought it might be nice to have something up for those of you who are wanting to learn Japanese but don't really know where to begin! I hope this helps you and if you have any questions feel free to ask me, answers are always free! The first thing you need to do when learning Japanese is to start learning your Kana systems. There are two Japanese Kana systems: Hiragana and Katakana. Hiragana is used to write everyday Japanese (without Kanji) and Katakana is used for sounding out foreign words such as non-Japanese names, places, foods, etc. Once you have learned the Kana system you can then also learn Kanji. Kanji dictionaries and most books use a THIRD Kana system called Furigana BUT don't worry...its simply tiny little Hira/Katakana symbols above the Kanji that tell you how its pronounced, this also makes it easier for you to look up the meaning of the word without already knowing... read more
I just discovered this book, which is an interesting resource for Japanese speakers learning Spanish. The title is Hajimete no Supeingo (Beginning Spanish). The lesson introductions and explanations are all in Japanese, and the Spanish phrases that are being taught are presented in Spanish with the pronunciation rendered in katakana below each phrase. The book comes with a cd. The audio reads portions from the book aloud, and it is unclear whether the Spanish is read by Japanese or Spanish speakers. I am using this book with my conversation exchange partner. We speak Japanese for one hour (she is fluent in Japanese), and then switch to Spanish for one hour (I speak fluent Spanish). So, this book nicely complements our efforts at mutual language exchange. We have found that it is easier to use Japanese as our teaching language rather than English, since the vowels of Spanish and Japanese are somewhat comparable. Spanish has always been one of my favorite subjects... read more
Hi! As you can see my name is Elizabeth, most people call me Liz. I enjoy tutoring and my students enjoy my classes. I have worked in the classroom in private schools and public schools, tutored in tutoring centers, and tutored privately. My knowledge base is wide and includes all the subjects I have listed please many more. When I teach, my time is centered on making the information easy to understand and use. I always spend as much time as possible making sure that my students learn as much as they can as quickly as possible. I believe in many ways to teach as well as many ways to learn. I will find a way that works for the student best. I love teaching and would never dream of doing anything else. What can I do for you?
Creating Confidence When Speaking a Foreign Language Studying a foreign language? Feeling tongue-tied, unable to spit out what you're trying to say? You aren't alone. One of the biggest challenges in learning a foreign language is training our tongues (literally) to speak in a way that is rather unnatural. Ever tried to roll an "r" in Spanish? Or (for me) speak a lick of French? It is exhausting, at best. One way to ease your fear of speaking a foreign language is - you guessed it - to SPEAK the language! And I don't mean go out in public and ramble at any random person you meet (although in some scenarios, a version of this may be highly recommendable). Instead, have you ever thought of RECORDING yourself speaking the new language? Listening to our own voices pronounce new words and phrases not only creates confidence in our speaking skills, but it allows us to focus on our pronunciation, and the intonation of our voice. Most computers nowadays have built-in... read more
For Japanese learners, I want to recommend TV dramas and movies from Japan; however, it's very hard to select a program for lessons. AIBO or Partners is recommended for advanced adult students. Q.E.D. is cute and good for middle and high school students. Both protagonists speak beautiful standard Japanese. Their Japanese sounds great and intelligent. Mr. Ukyo Sugishita, an unusually sensitive and talented detective, has superb vocabulary which is also good for Japanese learners. There is nothing wrong with local accents and slang but they are distracting for foreigners. In my opinion, the concept of Globalization and Internationalization should include the usage of standard Japanese. Be thoughtful, please.
My lessons are fun. I use Japanese TV dramas, anime, and magazines to design lessons. If you want to see sample lessons, please contact me. I will send a sample lesson in Power Point format to you. Lessons must be fun. When you are motivated, you can learn anything quickly.
Summer vacation has begun, and many young people are suddenly free and looking for something to keep them entertained and busy. If you or your kids want to do something educational this summer (besides hiring a WyzAnt tutor, of course!), I have some ideas. Here is the first one of the week: Study a foreign language! If you have ever traveled abroad or plan to do so, you will appreciate how useful and fun it can be to speak a foreign language, even at a beginner level. It's like stepping into another person's shoes, trying on a different lifestyle, using parts of your mouth you never knew existed, or tasting a delicious new dish that feels different & amazing in your mouth. There are many wonderful books, CDs, and websites that can help you study the language of your choice on your own. It can be hard to learn entirely on your own, but there is much you can do to get a headstart before you hire a tutor or go abroad for an immersion experience. Many people ask... read more
I was supposed to teach him conversational English. He was a Japanese heart surgeon who had been here for forty-eight hours and was soon to start work at a major Boston teaching hospital. I also needed to understand the obstacles between him and a full understanding of the meaning beneath the words we all spoke with ease every day. My own insecurities about public speaking and how I came across to strangers were irrelevant. ESL teachers were not supposed to let their students see them sweat. Don’t break down or stammer or fall into some sort of nervous speech pattern. Immediately I thought of Guy Smiley, the exaggerated game show host muppet from “Sesame Street.” There was no chance of pulling this off without a little theatrical flair. Unfortunately, I didn’t get into teaching to become a performer. My motivation was quite the opposite. I started teaching English and writing because I wanted to hide behind the artifice and pomposity of the grand literary statement. My... read more
Yesterday I worked with a student on his sick make up work in Japanese and English, two of my favorite subjects in high school. I speak conversational Japanese and I took Japanese language in high school and college. As a kid I also went to Japanese school on Saturdays for a short period. I still don't speak the language fluently, however, and haven't really studied it since my undergraduate college days but I am definitely competent in most high school level Japanese 1 and 2 courses. Tutoring basic Japanese for me is like teaching someone to ride a bike. It is something that is ingrained in my ethnic culture. My desire to learn as much as I could about my people’s culture and language never really manifested itself in perfect fluency but was always a goal throughout my schooling years. I was "eliminated" in the college round because UC Berkeley’s Japanese program was very challenging and bad grades outside of my major were going to be too detrimental, so I had to drop the... read more
If you are a beginner students learning Japanese writing system, Hiragana and Katakana. Japanese 101: Hiragana & Japanese 101: Katakana may help you memorize them! For more information, you can check this website: http://www.japannewbie.com/2009/09/17/japanese-101-hiragana-app-1-01-released/
If you are interested in Japanese language and culture, you should know some of giongo and gitaigo (onomatopoeia). They are important part of Japanese language, and they are fun to learn! More information is here: http://www.japannewbie.com/iphone-apps/japanese-101-giongo-gitaigo/
Although I usually teach/tutor standard Japanese to my students, being a native Kansai dialect speaker, I'd like to introduce the "Japanese 101: Kansai Dialect" application!! This is the first iPhone application designed to teach Kansai-ben. And, "with this application even beginners completely new to Japanese can learn to understand and speak phrases in the Kansai dialect (Kansai-ben)." You can read a detailed description here: http://www.japannewbie.com/iphone/. The application is available in the iTunes Store at the following URL: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=316390868&mt=8. If you are interested in Japanese language & culture, you should check it out!