Have you ever returned to JapanesePod101 lessons you’ve completed?
Accessing a lesson once is enough to learn more Japanese. But to master what you’ve learned, to understand Japanese the second you hear it, to read with just a quick glance, and to speak smoothly, without thinking… you need to review.
In this blog post, you’ll learn the 5 review tactics and learning tools that will truly sharpen your Japanese (all of which I’ve been able to resources for on JapanesePod101.com).
1. Listen to lines over and over again!
One of the best ways to learn Japanese (or any language) is to listen to native speakers over and over again until you understand what they are saying. By listening closely and often, you start to pick up the rhythm of a language and pronunciation from a native speaker. It’s not surprising, then, that Innovative Language offers a great line-by-line feature that lets you listen (and read along!) as many times as you’d like. I really recommend taking advantage of this feature— aside from moving to Japan, it is the best way to immerse yourself in the language.
2. Use a voice-recording tool to perfect pronunciation.
No one likes to hear themselves recorded, but it is a great way to perfect your pronunciation! Record yourself and compare against a fluent speaker. If you sound different, repeat after the fluent speaker until your pronunciation matches. Innovative Language has a great voice-recording feature that makes recording super easy. Never hesitate or be shy about your pronunciation again.
3. Master recorded conversations.
Another excellent way to review your Japanese is to record conversations and go over them again and again until you have the entire conversation mastered and can repeat it line by line. Now, it might be kind of awkward trying to explain to someone why you are recording them speak so it is fortunate that Innovative Language has dialogues available for download right off of their website. I found these also come with transcripts of the entire conversation, which is great if you don’t want to spend tons of time translating the conversation yourself.
4. Use mobile devices to reinforce previously learned conversations.
It might sound redundant at this point, but constant review is the best, and only, way to perfect Japanese. In that spirit, I strongly recommend downloading the recorded dialogue to your mobile device and incorporating it into your music playlist. You’ll be amazed how effectively quick reviews throughout a day can reinforce what you’ve learned.
5. Read with line by line notes.
The guaranteed accurate transcript of the recorded dialogues is one of the most useful features Innovative Language offers. You can read along with a fluent speaker to really master pronunciation and natural conversation. You should start slow at first, then slowly increase the speed with each pass through. Every time you read through, your pronunciation will become more intuitive and your ability to understand fluent speakers will greatly increase.
Imagine a child who just learned how to read. At first, they slowly struggle through a sentence, but on the second try, they know what the most of the words sound like and so they read a bit faster and easier and on the third try, they read that sentence at normal, native speed.
Using these five simple review techniques the most challenging parts of learning Japanese will become your areas of comfort. Conversations will no longer be excruciating and embarrassing, but rather offer a chance to show off your new skills and communicate with someone from a different culture in their natural language. You will be able to casually listen to Japanese and understand everything. Reading, too, will become natural and enjoyable.
Learning any language takes time and dedication. With the right focus, however, you can ensure the maximum impact of your efforts. Consistently listening to fluent speakers, recording your own voice and comparing it against fluent speakers, mastering conversations, listening to them on go, and following along with written transcripts will put you on the path to becoming fluent in Japanese. Learn from the mistakes that so many have made, myself included, don’t let what you’ve already learned slip away.
Review, review, review!