Yasuke Tips: Writing Trifecta! Using Journaling, tools like HiNative, and “Shadow Writing” to improve your Japanese

The goal of this post is to help Japanese teachers, japanese tutors, classroom students, and self-learners BURN their English language retreat bridges and march on to victory in Japanese.


UPDATE: http://japantree.benfii.com/yasuke-tips-for-teachers-using-erin-ne-jp-to-teach-japanese-especially-immersion-lessons/ has more info on journaling ideas.

Journaling

So let’s start with what journaling is all about (and dispel some misconceptions)

Misconception: “you want me to write a diary?! I’m not a schoolgirl.”

Journals are not schoolgirl diaries. They are the habit of almost every historical great; And even some fairly efficient but far from great people like me 🙂

I don’t have to tell you how to journal or what to journal – it’s entirely up to you (which is the great thing about journaling).

But if you are totally drawing a blank, check out these language journal ideas:

Once you start to write something you’ll need to do a few things like:

  • research topics
  • look up words and learn to use them in context

Thankfully I have made some guides to that too.

The “Native-Check” (with HiNative)

Like I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there is no shame in having a native check your Japanese – even if you are a Ninja. Even monkey’s fall from trees.

(Not being humble enough to get something checked by a native is the reason Asia is littered with EngRish.)


This is how to use HiNative to check your sentences and interact with some real people.
http://japantree.benfii.com/yasuke-tips-using-hinative-to-practice-japanese/

Shadow Writing

Once your sentences are polished it’s time for the real heavy-lifting bodybuilding. Let’s pump some iron! Yay! Ha!

The method described in the link below (the “Benf”) will have you dissect your sentences and re-write them from memory. It’s a great exercise, but basically any practice you want to do is ok.

Another thing you can do is take your sentences, type them up, and then put them into a Japanese text-to-speech recorder to make yourself some audio for Shadow Reading.

For Japanese text-to-speech I use the free Balabolka, but you might have success with any of these.

Once, you have your audio you can Shadow Read behind the audio – in the same way I describe using Erin.ne.jp

That’s it

Enjoy Journaling!

As a bonus, here is one of my journal entries.

(the blue marks are showing where I self-corrected kanji. It’s why I leave spaces)

The journal entry is about my somewhat unusual “levelup” of self-learning Japanese Sign Language to re-enforce Japanese vocabulary (and just because I love sign language and it’s fun).

I turned it into a post on my blog I keep in Japanese:

I hope that give you some inspiration and a starting place to do something similar yourself. Or maybe you are running in the other direction…? I hope not. It’s not as scary as it might seem.

Give it a try.

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