Variety is essential to keep any routine from becoming stale, repetitive, and uninteresting, which are sentiments that can jeopardise endeavours like learning a second language. As such, shaking things up occasionally can do wonders in keeping us motivated or, at the very least, drive away those feelings of ennui that can hamper our productivity. When it comes to learning Japanese, this is more important than ever, as the road to attaining your desired level of fluency is anything but a walk in the park. Thus, when you want a short break from textbooks or your Japanese class in Singapore, consider trying unconventional ways to improve your Japanese skills!
What You Can Do Now
1. Use Your Hobbies and Interests to Practise Japanese
Combining your interests with your Japanese learning may prove helpful in getting you to make progress with your studies during those days when you don’t feel like hitting the books. Start small by discovering the Japanese equivalent of the many terms, objects, and concepts of your hobbies and branch out from there.
For instance, you could search for Japanese content creators on YouTube who make content about the things you like and use their videos as learning material. By leveraging what keeps you engaged, you can mask that your mind is learning Japanese as you get engrossed in the things you enjoy.
2. Find a Language Exchange Partner
As you may already know, putting your learning into practice is the best way to ensure it sticks to your brain for good. Thus, if you are keen on polishing your speaking and listening skills, conversing with a native speaker is the best way to do so. By participating in a language exchange program, you and your partner can mutually benefit from one another; they help you with your Japanese, and you help them with whatever language they wish to learn from you.
3. Try Gamified Learning
The gamification of learning is a tried-and-true educational approach that leverages game elements in learning environments to motivate students to study. In other words, if you already use various media like movies and anime to improve your Japanese, you will most likely enjoy the added interactiveness of gamified learning.
For instance, you could try out games explicitly designed for learning Japanese or language learning, such as the Influent app and Earthlingo. Both share the same genre of being an open-world game where players can roam around various environments and learn the Japanese words for everyday objects along with their native pronunciation.
Alternatively, you could play a more traditional game but set the game language and voiceover language to Japanese. Such a simple change can often make your new playthrough of previously completed games turn into an entirely different experience!
When You Get The Chance to Visit Japan
It is entirely possible to master Japanese without ever stepping foot in Japan. That said, for those who have taken Japanese classes in Singapore and want to improve, a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun is the best way to take that next big step. No matter how much you have studied, walking the streets of Japan will almost certainly throw you for a loop. Therefore, once you get the chance to spend some time there, you can learn on the go by trying out the following:
4. Learn As You Commute
Getting around Japan requires understanding what all the signs and labels say, which are often written in kanji, hiragana, katakana, and English. This means even just a single train ride lets you learn several kanji at the very least. To make this learning method as effective as possible, refrain from looking at your phone as much as possible but instead pay attention to the writing you will encounter.
5. Explore The Cuisine
We all have to eat to survive, and getting food and water is virtually impossible without at least engaging in some form of human interaction. Each exchange helps build your language skills out of pure necessity if you want to eat something and not go hungry. To ease yourself into these essential interactions, start by heading to the nearest コンビニ (konbini, convenience store) and then work your way up until you are more confident to dine at a Japanese restaurant.
Feeling frustrated is part and parcel of learning a foreign language like Japanese. Besides not knowing where to start, the second biggest hurdle many encounter is hitting a plateau and feeling demoralised, making it harder to study like you know you should. Since getting out of these ruts is often enough to get back your urge to learn, hopefully, the tips above prove helpful in getting you back in the saddle.
Ensure you make steady progress with your Japanese studies by signing up at Japanese Explorer today! With the help of our native Japanese teachers and AJALT-accredited Japanese lesson in Singapore, we can help streamline your language learning journey so you can reach your desired fluency as soon as possible.