AIUEO Japanese Learning Blog – Nu – Learn by stealing
This week – Yumi Yoshida will teach us about how to learn Japanese by stealing.
“Learn your job by stealing!”
That is what my supervisor told me when I started working over 20 years ago.
Is this common in your country?
New employees don’t get things explained to them and aren’t allowed to ask lots of questions.
They’re supposed to learn their jobs by observing their supervisor and senior employees.
I wasn’t apprenticed to some craftsman.
I was an ordinary company employee. There was no manual, and it was difficult to ask questions.
There was no way to learn the ropes. It’s a really inefficient system, right? Sobs
That’s why I hated the idea of learning by stealing.
However, when it comes studying languages, I think that learning by stealing might be viable.
I remember when I was taking English classes. I learned a lot by listening to the native teacher.
But, this is what really helped me to improve my conversational skills: Imitating my more advanced classmates.
“Saying this makes you sound really fluent.”
“You use this phrase at times like this.”
“I see. I didn’t realize that this phrase existed.”
And so on. It’s a lot easier to steal from someone who is closer to your level.
If you aren’t confident in your Japanese ability, then speaking with a native Japanese speaker is really difficult.
You might have something to say, but you don’t know the vocabulary.
You don’t know how to express your ideas.
Because you’re speaking slowly, the other person switches to English.
The conversation doesn’t last very long if you only use Japanese…
So, you end up thinking, “I’ll just speak in English.”
Before that, why not try speaking more with your classmates?
You can relax more than when you’re speaking with a native speaker.
It’s just for practice, so it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes.
Then one day, you can try what you’ve learned with a native speaker to build your confidence.
So, keep on stealing from your classmates to learn more.
You can become fluent by effectively using the “Learn by stealing!” principle!
About the Author – Yumi Yoshida from Tohoku has 16 years experience as a Japanese Language Teacher. Yumi loves hiking, traveling and drinking Japanese Sake. She thinks that the best way to learn Japanese is from fun and friendly conversation.
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