Language learning through mutual help
Do you write a diary or an essay using the Japanese you have studied?
If possible, please try checking your written sentences with a Japanese language teacher, or maybe a Japanese friend.
If you do that, you can make sure you're using words and grammar correctly, and develop a more natural style of phrasing in your written Japanese.
Write a passage, get it checked then go over your mistakes - this is a really good 3-step process to raise your Japanese ability level.
However, there are probably lots of you students out there who don't have a Japanese teacher close by and who don't have any Japanese friends. Or perhaps you do, but you'd feel awkward repeatedly having them read and comment on a diary you had written...
Well, here we'll introduce a website useful for learners who find themselves in this kind of situation.
This is a community-style, mutual language-learning website with students from more than 190 different countries participating.
It's really easy to use.
Register (for free) and you can get your own page.
Then you can try putting your own diary and photos up on your page.
For example, say you were a native English speaker learning Japanese.
The example below shows you writing a diary using the Japanese you've learned.
Other members of the site - native speakers of Japanese - will add corrections to your writing.
Mistakes are carefully corrected, sentence by sentence.
Next, please look for a member of your community who is studying English.
Then you can help them out by correcting their diary written in English.
In this way, Lang-8, with its 3 repeated stages of writing a diary, having your writing corrected, then correcting other people's work, is a site that can help you to boost your language ability and make lots of new friends.
Livemocha is the world's biggest online community of language-learners.
You can take free language lessons that suit your own level.
For example, the following kinds of lessons are available for Japanese learners.
Lessons are made up of 8 basic parts: 'Introduction', 'Vocabulary', 'Usage', 'Usage Practice', 'Read/Write', 'Read/Speak', 'Listen/Write' and 'Listen/Speak'.
The image below shows some study about weather.
Using pictures, audio and words, you can memorise vocabulary and phrases related to weather.
Various tasks, or exercises, are presented in the lessons.
The main two are 'writing exercises' and 'speaking exercises'.
The next image is an example of a writing exercise.
When you present your exercise to be checked, your writing will be corrected by a native speaker of Japanese.
For example, we wrote and turned in the following piece of writing...
And it was corrected for us like this.
For the speaking exercises you can present your own audio files and receive some comments back on them.
If you do receive some corrections to your own work, please be sure to support someone studying your native language next time!
Last update 2010.07.09