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Spamming language input – immersion at its cheapest

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? ^^

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    18 September, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Now a days I only listen to music lol (Korean and Japanese music… there’s SO MUCH TO listen to). I used to do the Japanese news thing but then I stopped because I realized I just don’t care about the news whatsoever (I support and agree with your desire to get used to the intonation and the sounds and whatnot and that’s great and I’m sure it’ll help.). By that, I think if Japanese was my native language then I wouldn’t spend my time listening to the news, I would probably just use the time to watch talk/variety shows and/or read interesting stuff on the internet or interesting books (because this is essentially what i’m doing now since i’m just doing what I enjoy in Japanese while learning). Inevitably my watching of talk/variety shows has helped me understand the news better just because there’s gonna be times where I learn a word that’s used in talk/variety shows and news shows or they just happen to mention a word in the talk/variety show because some situation arose and it happens to also be used in news vocab too. I just can’t care about news in english or japanese or korean and i don’t care about politics. I think I got most of my listening skills/intonation copying skills from watching talk/variety shows because I enjoy watching it thus I watch a lot of it and i kept watching it which if i did that with news my japanese would be so shitty right now because I would probably stop after like one day.

    What I personally liked to do now and before is watch a talk/varietiy show and rewatch a scene that is HILARIOUS and laugh again. Sometimes.. it’s so fun and funny that there’s re-watch value.

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