Study Ideas

Japanese Reading Practice with Children's Books

On using children's books for Japanese reading practice, with a healthy dose of otaku shopping thrown in for good measure.

Challenging My Real Time Listening Comprehension

image Sensei and her teaching assistants have started to play CD's containing Japanese conversations in real time. Our task has been to see just how much we can pick out. The answer? Not much.

Nothing makes it so blatantly clear just how far we have to climb than listening to that CD. It made it obvious just how much sensei and her assistants have slowed down their speech for us.

On the first pass, we caught the odd word. By the third pass, we were able to catch phrases - so long as the CD was paused after each phrase!

The question now becomes, "How to practice this at home during the week?" Here are a few ideas that sensei, my classmates and I have come up with:

  • listen to Japanese radio shows
  • listen to Japanese music
  • watch Japanese shows - raw, or without looking at the subtitles

The trick is to listen to the track several times, to see if you can pick out a little bit more each time. むずかしい です ね?

Fun Time Planning, Minamiーke Style

One of the anime shows that I've been watching this winter is Minami-ke Tadaima. It's a slice of life comedy about the adventures of the Minami sisters and their friends. There is responsible eldest sister Haruka, lazy middle sister Kana and study bug Chiaki. Once in a while, Kana comes up with a brilliant idea. In Episode 5, Kana and her friends make a pie chart with various summer fun activities. Kana posted the chart on the wall and throws a dart at it to choose the activity of the day. In Episode 6 (the obligatory pool episode), Chiaki adds studying, seeing as Kana never studies.

I digress. I decided to take Kana's idea and made my own fun time planner filled with fun activities. It's in Japanese to test my vocabulary:

Minami-ke pie chart

Would you look at that? First up is: きっさてん へ いきます。 じゃあ また ね!