Aizuchi (back-channeling): A key to smooth conversation

This is a website where you can watch videos showing the use of "aizuchi" (small, agreeable responses made while listening to a conversation partner, sometimes referred to as "back-channeling") to help you study and practise a smoother style of conversation. How changes in intonation effect the meaning of these is also introduced in a simple way.

  • There are videos provided for various conversations, so you can observe and practise the kind of responses the listener makes in different situations.
  • You can find out about the basic forms of "aizuchi" and intonation. There are explanations and examples of these kinds of 'back-channeling'.
  • There are scripts and vocabulary charts provided for the videos, so you can use them for listening comprehension practice too.

How to...

Click on 'Enter' on the top screen to start.

In '相づちのいろいろ (Various Aizuchi in practical situations)' there are two sets of conversation examples, '練習あり (with practice)'examples and a '練習なし' (no practice) examples.
Let's take a look at one '練習あり (with practice)' conversation example.

You can watch the video conversation, with script, and check the 'back-channeling' responses used.
There is also a list of words used in the conversation for reference.
It's a good idea to check through this list before you watch the video.

This is the 'Practice' screen for the same conversation.
There are 2 practice tasks: '友達レベルの会話 (Conversation style used for friends)' and '丁寧な会話 (Polite conversation)'
The image shown here is from the '友達レベルの会話 (Conversation style used for friends)' practice.

There are 3 main topics in the menu: '相づちのいろいろ (Various Aizuchi in practical situations)', 'イントネーション (Intonation)' and '相づちの基本形 (Basic forms of Aizuchi)'.
'Basic forms of Aizuchi' summarizes simple explanations of various responses, so your best option might be to read through that section before trying any aizuchi practice of your own.

Last update 2010.05.31