HOW TO STUDY JAPANESE IN THE CLASSROOM: listen – because so much learning takes place in the classroom think about what you are doing use each other for revision. explain the work to your class mates after a segment of work – ‘perception check’ keep organised, logical, legible. well-spaced notes and write clear definitions keep all handouts set out work in an interesting way so that it is fun to come back and revise – use colours! make up dialogues which are based on new structures learned and perform them AT HOME: teach/show someone else your work have someone test you know your textbook AND your own notes thoroughly – don’t forget to revise handouts too hang up vocabulary around the house, on the fridge, in the shower etc. have a vocabulary workbook recite aloud or read to a parent, brother, sister or pet group similar words together in a list and learn that list write out words countless times on scrap paper – look at word / write it / say it learn words, useful phrases or whole sentences off by heart – constant repetition think about what you are learning – make the word/phrase part of yourself try not to translate from English – try to think in the language and revise words in context after each unit of work, make revision notes for tests reduce grammar points into small segments draw up lists of words and phrases – cover English, then cover the target language revise small amounts regularly, perhaps 5 – 10 minutes each night to go over new work put information on different coloured flashcards – it helps the memory process find out other words in the ‘semantic field’ e.g. the verb that comes from this noun use a highlighter pen to show the words in a passage that you don’t know use any opportunity to listen to tapes, CDs, listening tasks on the intranet/internet, watch SBS or use the language with a native speaker try to use the language orally whenever you can – talk to yourself if necessary practise in front of a mirror, exaggerating sounds and acting don’t be afraid to make mistakes – you are still communicating! try to remember words and phrases by attaching them to a story or silly rhymes or pictures for tests, put yourself in the examiner’s place and guess what questions could be asked make up you own test on the topic before exams make up a checklist of topics to tick off record work onto computer/MP3 player slowly and playback before going to sleep AFTER TESTS: analyse what study techniques worked best for you and what didn’t talk to teacher or other students about alternative study methods be more concerned with your errors and correcting them rather than your marks ORGANISING YOUR STUDY: One example of a very effective method for long term learning of kanji and vocabulary is called paired associate learning. The key is rehearsal. When you study a kanji or vocabulary, you need to review within minutes. From there you need an expanding review schedule: 1 hour later 2 hours later just before bed the next day two days later four days later a week later 2 weeks later a month later 2 months later etc. You should practice writing the kanji/vocabulary as you study. Flashcards are useful with this method as you can easily organise the words you are studying into groups for revising. If you know a word well you can put it into one pile, a word you are having more difficulty with can go into another.