Immersion is always touted as the best way to learn a language. Language immersion at the country itself is expensive and probably not available to everyone, but with the internet connection, low-cost (or even free) immersion is very much possible.
Recently I’ve been listening to NHKラジオニュース podcast while doing my work. 😀 Personally I dislike podcasts that don’t have a clear sound (I’m sorry to those who have been listening to my audio stuff ㅠㅠ) and sometimes I find talk shows (with all the laughter, noise etc) a little distracting. So now my personal favorite is news podcast. As I’m typing this now, I’m listening to the podcast. I don’t really understand anything (just little bits here and there) but that’s not the main point. I’m not really making special effort to listen to it actively but I just want to get used to the Japanese intonation, the sounds etc. Now and then, I’ll pay attention to the news, but most of the time, I’m typing away on some other document.
Language CDs and dialogues are a good source to practice listening but shouldn’t be the only sources. It’s not enough just putting the same dialogue on repeat but you should expose yourself to as much material as possible. I like to change my podcast (background immersion) time and again. Right now, I’m partial towards news podcasts but previously I was listening to a pretty nice podcast on understanding your boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s important to get used to all kinds of audio input – news, talk shows, radio, audio blogs etc. I know most of us have a personal preference sometimes. I like listening to females for Koreans and males for Japanese. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ But try to get a wide variety of audio input by people of different ages, both males and females.
You will probably know that different people speak differently and it’s not very effective if you are too used to the proper Korean / Japanese heard on language CD dialogues. ^^ Some of my friends told me that because they are so used to the more formal and proper Korean, they find it difficult to understand ajummas etc or people on the streets. So I think varying your input is very important 😀
If you are learning Japanese too, download this podcast!
What have you been listening to as your audio input? ^^