Do you have hesitation in learning Japanese because of your job? Discover these effective tips for learning Japanese after work, even while managing your job. Gain confidence and find practical strategies to master the language here.
Japan is a developed nation that ranks among the best in the world. That’s why working in this country as a foreigner is no joke. And because of your busy schedule, it is advisable to use the immersion method to know the tips for learning Japanese after work. This method is the most natural way of learning any language. It is effective, especially for busy people who don’t have time to enroll or take some courses, whether online or offline.
If you’re interested in discovering tips for learning Japanese after work, keep reading this article for valuable insights and strategies!
Tips for Learning Japanese: The Immersion Method
If you’re studying Japanese while managing a full-time job, immersion becomes a crucial component of your language-learning journey. But you might be wondering what the immersion method is. The immersion method of learning means learning a language in the most authentic and natural way. This is a great way to learn any language because it allows you to experience almost all aspects of life in the specific language you’re studying. If you can’t be in a country where the language is spoken, then you should make your learning environment as authentic as possible. This can only happen when you immerse yourself in as much of the language, native speakers, and culture as possible.
This is the question you should be answering in studying Japanese with the immersion method, “How do I let myself experience Japan?”. Avoid looking answer for these questions like “How do I teach myself or study Japanese?”. In the immersion method of learning the Japanese language, remember these three pillars of the whole approach; use authentic materials, emphasize communication over language, and the interdisciplinary nature of language learning.
THREE PILLARS OF THE IMMERSION METHOD
Pillar 1: Use of the Authentic Materials
Using authentic materials is one of the valuable tips for learning Japanese. It uses newspapers, TV shows, radio programs, books, magazines, articles, and other materials that native speakers use in their day-to-day lives. The good thing about this is that there is no limit to the kinds of authentic materials you can use. For example, you can use something as simple as a frank movie poster. It can be a way to teach concepts and vocabulary pertaining to date, time, slots, production, director, characters or actors, and other related information from the movie poster.
Remember that these materials were never actually designed to teach you the Japanese language. It is assumed that those who use and consume them already have a broad knowledge of the Japanese language. Authentic material is just where the rubber meets the road.
Pillar 2: Emphasis on communication over language
As you know from the above description, immersion will prepare you to be able to speak effectively in the Japanese language. You’re not taking an exam or something, so get rid of those strategies that are on your head to ace an evaluation. This method is about making yourself ready for myriad situations that show the use of the Japanese language. You’re not just translating stuff or just using the language in a technical way. You are actually using it as if it is your first language.
Pillar 3: The Interdisciplinary nature of language learning
Learning a language involves a great deal more than just reading a book, finding a list of rules, and committing them to memory, as we know from our own experiences as children. That is not how we acquired our first linguistic skills. The issue is that we had already attained a high level of grammatical proficiency even before we attended our first grammar lesson. In full color, we learned it all through real-life experiences when we did everyday activities.
These different topics—pop culture, sports, world events, movies, etc.—are the actual bearers of the language that you wish to learn. You have the constituent vocabularies, terms, and phrases that make the language come to life. So, spend time working on your studying technique. Allow the topics that you chose to provide you with the necessary context that makes the language stick in your memories.
Effective Tips for Learning Japanese: Immersive Strategies for Foreign Workers
So, you want to learn Japanese by immersion rather than by the traditional way of studying. It makes good sense, at least for many learners. The problem is, how do you get started when you’ve got a full day ahead; working, errands, chores, social obligations, and family time? Well, immersive learning Japanese after work is what you need with your packed schedule.
Here are a few that may help you learn Japanese even with a busy schedule. We have outlined game-changer tips for your immersion in learning Japanese after work.
Set a goal.
What skills are you aiming for in the near future with your Japanese? Is it for your current full-time job now or personal enjoyment? Determine your goals, purpose, and what you can do to get there. However, given the challenges of managing time and consistency while juggling a full-time job, studying Japanese might seem overwhelming. Additionally, even though you are living and working in Japan, communicating in Japanese can still be intimidating.
With the immersive learning strategy, you might lose motivation along the way, unlike having a personal goal like, for example, taking the JLPT N5 exam by the end of this year. So, you better set your goal, whether it is to translate one chapter of a book in a month or watch animes without subtitles. Maybe it’s to learn 20 new vocabulary words in a week. Maybe it’s just to pick up your book every day.
Let the Japanese language be a part of you.
No one is too busy learning once you are motivated with yours. Allow the Japanese language to become a part of your daily life through effective time management. Like your commute to work, your automobile must serve as your Japanese hideaway. You’ll be restricted to using audio only. If your objective is to read, take advantage of this opportunity to listen to content relating to your reading book. Many novels are accompanied by a movie, drama, anime, or drama cd. Another advantage of taking the train is that you may read on it while also using Anki and watching movies on your mobile device. Your commuting time must be set aside as Japanese time, which means you cannot use it to prepare for exams or do assignments.
Other times you can set aside such activities, effectively balancing work and study. Always have one Japanese book with you wherever you travel. You may use this when you have to wait someplace or even in the restroom. If you’re going to read in the toilet, establish a page restriction, so you don’t spend too much time irritating relatives or roommates. While walking about, listen to your MP3 player. Of course, you should listen to and enjoy Japanese music. Walking is rarely helping to productivity, but listening to Japanese music allows you to quickly immerse yourself in the language.
Labeling everything is great when you’re starting to become more familiar with some Japanese vocabulary words. Label all the objects in your house or office in Japanese. Don’t write English, just Japanese. That way, you’ll be able to read Japanese for such things on a daily basis. Labeling objects doesn’t take long, but doing so often is an excellent practice. You may even cover the labels with another label and make an effort to recall the correct name of the item before you get to it. You may quickly have a glance behind the flap in case you can’t recall the word. Just raise it up. You can also read or say everything out loud to help you remember the labels, especially those you use daily. Very helpful and immersive not just in learning Japanese after work but also during and before work.
Make a planner in Japanese.
Writing in Japanese is one of the effective ways to learn the language. And since you’re a busy person with a job, making a planner for your day, month, or annual planner is very helpful. Writing a to-do list with a planner and writing them by hand has many advantages. Since your planner is hand-written, you won’t get distracted by Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, or any social media notifications. All you have to do is open your notes and get your pen to list down your plans.
The good thing about writing is that you can avoid procrastination or pressure in writing your plans because having apps or tools may take time and put you under pressure to do things over and over. And nobody wants to copy the same Todo list over and over. You will have a natural tendency to want to complete chores as soon as possible so that you may avoid having to write them down. You won’t have to worry about your To-Do list becoming out of hand since it is difficult to maintain track of a large number of items on paper. This will allow you to concentrate on the things that are most important to you.
In addition, you will look forward to writing your to-dos because doing so will become a brief opportunity for you to study Japanese. Keeping your to-do list by hand in Japanese also gives you the opportunity to practice your Japanese writing skills. In addition, if you write about subjects that are relevant to you and are linked to your everyday life, you will automatically pick up a lot of new languages. This problem is made much more difficult by the fact that learning to write by hand is more efficient than learning to type.
Use your phone or any device in Japanese.
Online resources can greatly enhance your Japanese language learning experience, especially when it comes to using smartphones. Both Android and iPhone users will find that these devices are user-friendly and offer seamless language-switching capabilities. For Android users, the Language Switcher app allows you to effortlessly switch between Japanese and your primary language, enabling lightning-fast language transitions. There is no need to be concerned; moving back and forth between languages on iPhones and Android phones is a pretty simple process.
Knowledge of kanji is important in order to do this, but it isn’t as much as you would think it is! Play your favorite mobile games in Japanese on your smartphone. Another thing, using GPS navigation with Google Maps on your phone while using Japanese is one of the finest things about using your phone in Japanese. Simply driving around town will give you plenty of opportunities to practice listening to Japanese GPS directions.
By leveraging these online resources and integrating them into your daily smartphone usage, you can transform your device into a valuable tool for learning Japanese.
Immerse at your own level.
You are at your own pace learning in an immersive way, especially when you are learning Japanese after work. So, you better pick something that is fitted to your level of proficiency in the Japanese language. This means if your peers are on a different level and you are still a beginner, then start with something at or below your level. I know it’s very tempting to jump right into a higher level or something you want to study or read. But it is necessary to select something that is not too difficult for you to avoid ineffective learning techniques.
Immerse at your own pace.
Once you have selected appropriate reading materials that match your level, it’s time to gradually build up your knowledge. Once you’ve found something that’s on your level that you can fully immerse yourself in, it’s time to start gradually expanding your knowledge of the subject. If reading or listening right away might seem intimidating, you don’t have to do it. Finding the best way to get comfortable studying is important since learning Japanese after work is tiring and might give you pressure or stress.
You can start by just reading a section or page without looking anything up. After you’ve read a section once or twice, check up on anything you don’t understand. Take note of any new words, phrases, or grammar. Add fresh language and kanji to flashcard software or hand-written flashcards (or whatever else you use to study.) It is critical to study these new topics so that you may begin to expand your knowledge, so you better avoid this at this moment.
You don’t have to remember everything before going to the next area, but you should study as much as you feel comfortable with. Balancing fresh information study with immersion reading is essential for steadily expanding your knowledge. Rereading previous sections or pages can also help you get more comfortable with the language and reinforce what you’ve previously learned!
Why use the immersion method for Japanese learning?
Since you are busy with your job and learning Japanese after work seems impossible, immersion will help you study the said language. It promotes bilingualism intending to develop your native-like competence in Japanese without losing fluency in your first language. Your purpose here is to facilitate your learning process by increasing comprehension. With immersion, you will have access to the authentic Japanese language because you are exposed to native speakers and various contexts, which will help you to detect sociocultural differences.
A native-like environment for Japanese can be set in a classroom, even in a country where Japanese is not the native language. While you are at work, you can speak Japanese; you will learn and interact in Japanese. You demonstrate sociocultural norms as the native speaker in charge of teaching. Learning Japanese after work can be easy because you can use your first language. Books, movies, field trips, and other experiences will expose you to Japanese culture. You can talk to your workmates about their favorite book in Japanese and check if you are still behind on your Japanese. It would be best if you had the same conversation in Japanese with your workmate, whose Japanese is stronger.
TIPS FOR LEARNING JAPANESE: KEY TAKEAWAYS
When you first start learning a language, you typically fall into the mindset that you must sit down and study. But that is not the case. Yes, studying or working with an instructor may help you learn. However, it is less effective if not used on a regular basis. These recommendations might be a fun approach to learning Japanese after work or when you have a hectic schedule. Each one takes a few minutes and may be done many times throughout the day.
The tips for learning Japanese after work are proven and tested. However, keep in mind that the key to swiftly and effectively progressing from beginner to intermediate is a combination of study and immersion. Studying is necessary; nevertheless, studying consistently and intensely may lead to burnout. Before moving on to the next chapter, section, episode, or book, you don’t have to study or know everything. You may discover a balance that works for you and makes learning Japanese entertaining rather than a duty by immersing yourself in the language and employing many techniques simultaneously.