- Q: What kind of English education do you receive in South Korea?
- Q: What made you decide to study Japanese and come to Japan?
- Q: How did you study Japanese?
- Q: Is there anything good about being able to speak Japanese now?
- Q: What do you think is the most important thing to learn when learning a language other than your mother tongue?
Hello everyone, this is Yoshino from the iU Blog. In the second installment,following the interview with Yuto Inoue, I would like to write about how to learn a language
.I had the pleasure of interviewing Haesun Lee, an iU sophomore from South Korea. We spoke about how to study a second language.
Q: What kind of English education do you receive in South Korea?
It might seem strict, but I had to memorize 200 English words every day. (laughs) In my English textbook, there were sentences about the length of a novel, and I had to memorize all the grammar and vocabulary. When I started learning English, I didn’t understand any of it. During the class, the teacher would tell us the meaning of grammar and words, and we would take notes.
. The exams were based on the application of the grammar and vocabulary that we learned. I just kept doing that every day.
As for studying, I had a question booklet that contained the learned grammar and vocabulary in class, and I read and completed it every day. I did the review at home because I couldn’t do it at school. So, if I skipped my homework, I would be left behind and be in trouble. (laughs)
. In short, I learned new things at school and reviewed at home. I think this is a characteristic of English education in Korea.
Q: What made you decide to study Japanese and come to Japan?
There was no particular big reason. (laughs)
. A friend of mine was studying Japanese at a cram school
I originally attended a university in South Korea, but my friend came to Japan to study, so I decided I wanted to follow her example. It was all because of my friend. (laughs) I had no fear. Because I thought that if I have friends in Japan, I can rely on them if I have any problems, and I could manage life. (laughs)
Q: How did you study Japanese?
Almost the same way I studied English. (laughs) I just memorized a lot of words and grammar, and then reviewed them. I studied by just repeating that. For speaking training, I watched anime. I started by reading Japanese subtitles, then I listened to what was said. Then, I actually tried to speak it out loud. I continued this as my main speaking training.
The reason why I used anime as my speaking training was because it was more interesting than the study materials. I like Japanese anime and watch it often. If it’s something that I like, it’s fun to learn, and I can continue without getting bored. I started learning through anime in my second year of high school and was able to continue for about three years.
For those three years, I used anime for speaking training, vocabulary books to learn vocabulary, and grammar books to solidify the basics. I think I can speak Japanese now because I have been able to keep doing this. In fact, there is one thing I noticed my ability to speak Japanese has improved, while watching Japanese anime. During the first year, I had to look at
the Korean subtitles to understand the meaning. So, I realized that the study method I was using was in fact helping me. Now, I can watch anime without subtitles! (laughs)
Q: Is there anything good about being able to speak Japanese now?
I was able to learn about the Japanese way of thinking, which was not possible in South Korea. For example, gyoshiryokuis a concept that didn’t exist in South Korea either. (laughs)The other thing is that after coming to Japan I am able to practice speaking Japanese. When I was in South Korea, I had a longing for Japan. It is great that I am able to actually experience the culture and nature of Japan. Also, I am able to speak more languages, make Japanese friends, and communicating with them a lot. I learned a lot of new things that I didn’t know before, so I am glad that I can speak Japanese now.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing to learn when learning a language other than your mother tongue?
The most important thing is to be able to hear
. and it’s important to continue that.
Once you have developed your vocabulary and grammar skills, then it is time to actually listen to the foreign language.It’s a good idea to use materials that you like to listen to. It can be anything like cartoons, movies, or dramas
, and listen to your favorite foreign language. In my opinion, the language used in cartoons, movies, and dramas are similar to real daily conversation. I think these sources are very useful. If you do this, you will surely be able to understand a foreign language. If you can listen to it, you can speak it. I can say this with confidence. It is what I actually experienced.
What do you think? When you learn a second language like English, other than your own, are the study methods similar? In this article, I have learned that there are quite a few similarities in the way we learn a language. That is to say, “keep at it every day.Do what you like
Is this something that you were aware of when you were studying English?
Maybe you are studying a language such as English with the goal of taking an exam or getting a good score on an exam However, please think about it. Think about why you are studying the language . If you can find it, you may be able to study English in a way that fits the three common points I mentioned above. I sincerely hope that one of you who read this article will be able to speak a language other than your native tongue.
In my next article, I will interview Hisahiro Abekawa, who actually teaches English at the university I belong to, iU (the Professional University of Information and Management for Innovation University (aka, iU). We will discuss about his English teaching methodology.
See you soon!