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Nihongo Online School > Tips for More Effective Studying > The language acquisition process is learned in the order of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

The language acquisition process is learned in the order of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

2023/12/15

The process of learning a language is no different no matter what language it is. It is the same for a foreigner learning Japanese or a Japanese learning a foreign language. It is also the same as when a baby learns a language. The language acquisition process is learned in the order of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Language acquisition begins with listening. In the case of a baby, the mother talks to the baby a lot from the time the baby is in the womb, and the baby spends a lot of time listening to the mother, and finally learns to speak. In language learning, too, it is important to “listen” to the language.

The next step after “listening” is “speaking. There is also the procedure of “speaking” after “reading” has been mastered. However, according to brain science research, it is easier for the brain to retain input through repetitive output, or speaking and writing, than through repetitive input, or listening and reading. Once you have input to a certain extent, you should output, in other words, once you are able to “listen”, you should “try speaking”. This is a more efficient way of learning.

Next comes “reading. Of course, you cannot write what you cannot read. Reading” is followed by “writing,” in that order.

The important thing is to understand your own learning level and to learn the four skills in a balanced proportion appropriate to your level.

So, how should you go about learning each of these Japanese language skills? Let’s look at them one by one.

1.Listening
We recommend that you listen to Japanese conversation as if it were music. You can use a special listening CD, but we recommend listening to anime, dramas, movies, etc. If there is something that interests you, that is the best way to learn Japanese. If there is something that interests you, that is the best way to go.

In the beginning, you only need a few words that you can understand. As you listen repeatedly, the number of words you can understand will naturally increase. Furthermore, if you repeatedly look up words whose meanings you do not understand, listening comprehension of general Japanese conversation will not be so difficult.

2. Speaking
Speaking is the most important of the four skills. Even if you are able to understand Japanese conversation, it is meaningless if you cannot speak it. The best way to achieve this is to have active conversations with Japanese people.

By outputting what you have learned through listening, you will learn Japanese conversation. It is also important to be able to speak keigo (honorific language). Honorifics are essential for working and doing business in Japan.

3.Reading
Once you are able to read hiragana, katakana, and simple kanji that are commonly used, choose the best reading material that matches your level and study it. For beginners in reading, we recommend news sites for non-native speakers that have kanji with ruby. You can read the latest news in “easy Japanese”. Manga is also recommended, as many of them have ruby. For advanced learners, try reading short stories. Short stories can be read over and over again, so they are ideal for practice.

4.Writing
Writing improves quickly if you have some proficiency in speaking and reading. Start by transcribing sentences. For learners, it seems to be very difficult to learn how to write Kanji characters.

However, at first it is enough to be able to write only those kanji that are commonly used in daily life. Even Japanese people are forgetting kanji because they are not writing by hand as often as they used to.

Once you are able to transcribe sentences easily, you can gradually improve your writing skills by writing letters, diaries, and other tasks to put your thoughts and words into writing.

Output is also important when training business Japanese
As with daily conversation, it is important to learn business Japanese in the order of “listening,” “speaking,” “reading,” and “writing.

Conclusion
If you follow this learning process, it is possible to master Japanese even by self-study. However, it is a different story when it comes to business conversation. The language used in each industry and occupation will vary, so more specialized study is required.

At the Japanese Online School, you can learn business Japanese patterns in a variety of situations that simulate real business situations, from basic conversation required in daily business situations to advanced conversation used in “presentations” and “business negotiations. We support your development with Japanese language education and career support coaching tailored to your issues and needs.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.

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