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Introduces three Japanese language training methods to improve Japanese conversation skills!

2023/12/11

One of the most common inquiries we receive at our Japanese language online school is “I have been studying Japanese for a long time, but my Japanese conversation skills are not improving,

In this article, we would like to introduce three useful Japanese language training methods for those who have such problems in improving their Japanese conversation skills. We hope this will be of some help to you.

Shadowing

Naturally, foreigners living abroad are not always able to communicate with Japanese people. Therefore, it is important to practice speaking on your own. Shadowing is one of the best methods of speaking training that can be done by individuals. Shadowing is the practice of listening to Japanese speech and then imitating and reciting it. Shadowing is particularly effective in improving intonation and pronunciation. It also helps to improve your listening skills and increase your vocabulary.

Here is a specific way to do it.

Without looking at the text, try to vocalize almost simultaneously immediately after hearing the audio. The delay should be about 0.2 seconds at most, and try to respond as quickly as possible. When vocalizing, be aware that the pronunciation and intonation should be the same as the voice data as much as possible. If it is difficult at first, you can pause each sentence to practice.

If there are words you do not understand, check them using the text. If you are unsure of the meaning or pronunciation of a word, refer to the text for the correct information.

Repeat the same audio data 3 to 5 times to practice. Repetition will help you acquire more accurate pronunciation and intonation.

For shadowing, you can use a variety of audio sources such as Japanese textbooks, movies, TV dramas, and Japanese news. Movies and dramas in particular are close to the way Japanese people actually speak, so it is recommended that you choose a film you like and practice with it. In addition, YouTube has free audio uploads for shadowing, so you can easily try it.

Answer the questions on the list of Japanese questions.

Shadowing will help you acquire a Japanese-like speaking style and intonation, but you cannot expect to develop the ability to construct your own sentences by simply imitating others. In order to speak Japanese flexibly according to the situation, we recommend practicing using a list of Japanese questions, thinking of your own answers, and pronouncing them aloud. This will improve your skills in freely expressing what you want to say.

The specific method is as follows.

1. speak aloud a question you have chosen from the list of questions and record your answer. It is important to think and express yourself in Japanese on the spot, without any advance preparation.

2. If you cannot answer well, there are two possibilities. 1) You can express yourself in your native language, but you cannot express yourself well in Japanese, or 2) You cannot express yourself well in either language. To resolve these issues, take the following methods: 1) examine your expression in Japanese in case of 1), and 2) conduct self-analysis in case of 2).

3. Check the recording of your answers and note any phrasing or pronunciation problems that you feel are unnatural. If you have a friend or Japanese teacher who can help you, ask them to point out any mistakes on the recording.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to improve your answers. Gradually you will be able to speak confidently and smoothly in Japanese.

Create many opportunities to speak in Japanese

While practicing speaking alone can build a foundation for speaking, to develop more natural speaking ability, it is also important to find someone to talk to and learn through practice. In particular, by gaining experience in speaking Japanese with a variety of people, you can develop Japanese communication skills tailored to other people, which will help you catch up better in conversation.

For example, you can connect online with people from your home country or people from around the world who are learning Japanese through social networking services to train yourself in conversation, or you can take online Japanese lessons on a regular basis, such as our Japanese online school.

Conclusion

To improve your Japanese speaking ability, you need to approach not only pronunciation but also intonation, fluency, grammar, and many other aspects. In addition, the way you speak may differ depending on your professional, personal, or hierarchical relationship. Acquiring native-like pronunciation and intonation requires long-term training. Therefore, by first working on aspects that are easy to improve, such as using correct grammar and improving fluency, you will be more likely to see results and be more motivated. Use the practice methods introduced in this article to improve your Japanese language skills.

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