There are many different ways to learn Japanese, but like most people, you are probably asking yourself what is the best way to learn Japanese.
There is no simple answer to this question. Firstly there are a number of different learning styles and it depends depends on which one is most effective for you. Everyone learns a little bit differently. Some people need more visual stimulus, whereas others rely more on an auditory method.
The second important factor relates to your motivations for Japanese learning. The different ways of learning Japanese are aimed to teach you in a specific way. If you want to learn Japanese quickly so that you can become fluent, then a Japanese course in Tokyo would be best as you would be completely immersed by the language with plenty of opportunities to practice.
If you want to just learn basic Japanese in order to have a few greetings and phrases before you visit Japan, then a course in Japanese online might suit you better.
If however you have a test coming up, and you need to practice Japanese grammar and improve your Japanese vocabulary, then lessons with a private tutor are probably the way to go.
It doesn't matter if you are studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), or a set of national exams in a particular country, a private tutor can help you prepare for the test in a way that aims to improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths.
Here is a guide to how to progress thanks to a private tutor, and prepare for your Japanese exam in an effective manner!
Why Enlist the Help of Japanese Teachers?
You're not used to taking private Japanese lessons...You don't know if you want to. And yet, and this is especially true for languages, it is a wise choice to take them when preparing an exam.
There are many advantages of learning Japanese with a tutor, especially when it comes to test preparation. This is because a test can improve your resume, and give you a huge psychological boost, not just in terms of language learning, but in terms of taking on any challenge that looks difficult from the outset.
It is important to work regularly in order to master the language in all its aspects.
Thanks to the Japanese private lessons, you will be fully prepared when test day arrives. Think of all the unnecessary stress you will avoid!
So, how will private lessons help you prepare for a Japanese test?:
- Organize your studying: the tutor will guide you. Because of their experience, they will easily find be able to create a personalized study schedule which will be designed to best help you progress. One of the keys to success is definitely knowing how to organize your studying. This is one of the roles of the private tutor when it comes to learning Japanese.
- Benefit from your tutor's prior experience: your private tutor will likely have already taken and passed Japanese exams! He or she will have valuable advice and tips to give you.
- Improve your oral fluency: a language must be spoken. Unlike with Spanish, it is not easy to find someone around you in order to practice this aspect of the language. With a private tutoring class, you get to practice speaking Japanese and conducting a conversation in the language like a native. You will work on your pronunciation and progress in your listening exercises.
- To be more confident in the exam: If you have been preparing all year long, you will be more confident when the exam comes around. The stress will be easier to handle as you will feel prepared.
- Save time: By studying regularly with a tutor, or by participating in an intensive study session or refresher course, you will reinforce what you learn which will make you a lot less likely to get discouraged.
There are Many Japanese Teachers Out There: Finding the Best Japanese Tutor with Superprof
Thanks to Superprof, you can stop searching "how to learn Japanese" and "learn to speak Japanese" because in just a few clicks you will find the tutor of your dreams to accompany you in learning the Japanese language.
Of course you will need to listen to all of the advice about finding a Japanese tutor, but with over 170 registered teachers on our site, you won't have a problem finding the right one for you!
If none of the teachers are available near you, you should know that they also offer classes via webcam. A very practical and effective alternative. Thanks to the internet and to instant messaging tools, you will feel like you are face to face.
Your Japanese teacher can help you master the Japanese writing system and Japanese characters, improve your Japanese pronunciation, and augment your range of Japanese words.
Remember, parts of Japanese can be tricky, particularly how to read and write, and how to pronounce certain words. If you remove romaji (writing Japanese using the Latin alphabet) from the equation, you might come unstuck trying to understand Japanese sentences. Having a tutor on hand to answer your specific questions is easier than searching for the answers on the internet, and it's a much more effective way to prepare for a test than using a textbook on your own!
Of course, you will need to know what are the normal rates for a Japanese tutor.
Private Japanese tutoring is not the most expensive kind of tutoring. On average, one class hour costs £18 (€21, $25 USD, $32 CAD, $33 AUD). 96% of Japanese teachers offer the first hour free and some offer discounted rates depending on the duration of the lesson. You will always be able to find find something to fit your budget.
Some Japanese language courses can take place over a limited period, for example when you are studying to take the JLPT or a national test in Japanese. In any case, tutoring is an investment that pays off and will help you progress. In addition, if you take courses with a native speaker whose mother tongue is Japanese, you will discover many other elements about Japanese culture and life in Japan.
Directly choosing your private tutor saves you money in comparison to conventional tutoring structures requiring higher rates.
How to Study Well for Your Japanese Test
Since tutoring is not everything (let's not get carried away!), you will also have to study on your own and adopt the right tips!
What's ideal is to put a little studying into each day in order to stay on track and stimulate your memory. Regular studying is one of the keys to learning to speak Japanese.
What are the methods to revise the Japanese language in 4 steps?:
Prepare revision flashcards: Whatever the subject, this is a must-do. The cards allow you to find information quickly when you are in doubt. By reading them regularly, you will also memorize them more easily. In order to be effective, classify them by theme: Japanese phrases, vocabulary, grammar, expressions...For those who have also decided to take private lessons to be ready on the day of the exam, know that it is very important to prepare between Japanese classes London as well! Personal work always pays off!
Practice speaking: Practising to speak Japanese is essential if you would like to become familiar with the language. You will gain fluidity and refine your pronunciation. To exercise your Japanese ear, immersion is a good solution. Even without traveling to the land of the rising sun, watch videos online, listen to the conversation and practice repeating. You will develop your listening skills. In addition, it's nice to work while watching manga! Speakers of Japanese will be the first ones to tell you of the importance of constant practice. This is not just the case for beginners, but for students at an intermediate level and beyond as well.
To practice writing: Japanese writing requires diligent practice. Practice drawing Kana and Kanji daily. It is also useful to regularly read in Japanese for good written comprehension. For a fun learning experience, download an application for learning Japanese on your smartphone, like Skritter or Ja Sensei, to practice at your own pace and become a master of calligraphy. And, if you are motivated enough, you can also find a Japanese penpal whom you can write to in Japanese.
Revisiting Kanji: You started your Japanese lessons by learning kana (Hiragana and Katakana), but depending on the test that you are going to take, you may also have to be familiar with Japanese kanji. Not all of it of course because there are more than 2000 borrowed Chinese characters to learn in total!
Mobile and tablet applications are also there to help you memorize things more easily. Obenkyo is a good example.
Who Should Take a Test in Japanese
The answer is almost anyone! A test in Nihongo, as the Japanese call it, will vary depending on the purpose of the test, and the level. If you do decide that you want to take a test in Japanese, then make sure that you meet the requirements of what will be tested. You can do this by looking at each specific test, and the skills that are required to be successful.
An example of the requirements for an intermediate test might be:
- Ability to understand spoken Japanese and identify what is being said in short spoken dialogues and narratives about everyday topics.
- Ability to complete sentences in a way that is appropriate in terms of structure (grammar), vocabulary, and contexts.
- Identify usage that is both structurally correct and contextually appropriate.
- Understand such points as the main and supporting ideas. Selections are taken from materials you might encounter in everyday situations, such as notes, menus, newspaper articles, advertisements, and letters.
You should also look at the format of the test to find out the best way to prepare for it. Again the format will differ depending on the level, and different skills will be tested using a variety of methods. It is recommended that you do some specific exam preparation with your Japanese tutor so that the format of the test is familiar when you come to sit it. This will limit the amount of nasty surprises that you might experience.
If we use the example of the JLPT, the upper levels have three parts; Language knowledge-vocabulary, Language knowledge-grammar, and listening. There is no speaking aspect in the JLPT.
Now that you have all the cards in hand to succeed when you take your Japanese test, the only thing left is study study study...by following the advice of your Superprof!
Hopefully the success that you have on your test will lead to you taking a study trip to Japan. Learning a new language is tough going and the boost of doing well in a test is essential in helping any learner stick to their task of studying the language and culture.