Help with speaking
  • konnichiwa

    My name is Jackie, im in year 12 studying japanese, i was wondering if anyone can give me some speaking tips, when sensei ask's me a question i just freeze up, i know what she is asking but i dont trust my self enough to respond, i have been studying jap since yr7 but just now (yr11 and 12) ive started becoming scared that i muck up, some days i can speaak fine but other days all my confidence is gone

    Can anyone help!
  • My view on speaking ability is that it's a separate skill. Just reading and hearing Japanese won't make one good at it. The only way to really train it is to use it. All it takes is to 1: Have a very firm grasp of the basics, know so much Japanese so well that speaking feels kind of natural. 2: Speak.

    One should as much as possible try to only say what one is confident in. If you want to express something and can't find the words, it's usually a better idea to fall back to easier Japanese which you know better and try to express it using that. As much as possible though, you should try speaking a lot since that's the only way to get better, faster and more confident. If you feel you know enough Japanese to have real conversations, you could try looking for Japanese people on Skype.
  • Dont worry, I get the same, when the sensei ask you a question, you mind goes blank, you doubt your self and stuble around Japanese you should know easily.

    Most of its psychological, and the performance anxiety of it all.

    But part of it is the teachers fault, and the whole learning system. Making you construct sentences in your head on the fly, using the grammer rules you've learnt ect.
    IMHO if you have to think about it too hard, then you dont know it well enough and should'nt be saying it.
    Only say sentences you are confident and feel natural with.

    Perfect, natural Japanese comes from perfectly copying natural Japanese. Like a parrot. Once you've done this, your brain will naturally construct sentences with out you logically thinking about it. Which is as it should be.

    Trying to construct Japanese on the fly, leads to all the problems you've mentioned, and also the reinforcing of bad habits, and wierd "Foreign"(though "technically" correct) sounding Japanese.

    Before lesson, look over the stuff you are gonna do, and practice some answers to questions, you think she might ask. She when she does you don't have to think about it too much.
  • Being asked a question directly by a teacher can be a pressure situation. You can try to get more practice in lower pressure situations. For example, if you go to university/college later, try to get to know some Japanese students by joining a Japan society. For the moment, make sure you take the opportunity to speak in pairwork or groupwork with your classmates.
  • ok thanks guys
  • I have a friend who's at the same level as me, and we both feel uncomfortable talking. So we decided to try to meet once a week and talk on a predetermined topic so we could prepare a little. If you have someone in your class, try to get together for 1h and talk about a subject. Last time we talked about movies and anime, next time we're talking about pictures and travel.
  • Posted By: Aodh
    [p]I have a friend who's at the same level as me, and we both feel uncomfortable talking. So we decided to try to meet once a week and talk on a predetermined topic so we could prepare a little. If you have someone in your class, try to get together for 1h and talk about a subject. Last time we talked about movies and anime, next time we're talking about pictures and travel.[/p]

    That might not be such a good idea. You will probably both make mistakes yet neither of you are good enough to correct one another. On top of that, neither of you will speak native natural Japanese which will enforce unnatural patterns which may or may not be hard to get rid of later. It's a much better idea to speak to native people. You and your friend should look around, most towns have meetings between Japanese exchange students and students of Japanese.
  • Posted By: Tobberoth
    [p]That might not be such a good idea. You will probably both make mistakes yet neither of you are good enough to correct one another. On top of that, neither of you will speak native natural Japanese which will enforce unnatural patterns which may or may not be hard to get rid of later. It's a much better idea to speak to native people. You and your friend should look around, most towns have meetings between Japanese exchange students and students of Japanese.[/p]

    We both take Japanese lessons, and we do help each other a little. The point isn't really as much to get better/more natural at speaking, but more to get used to it. I do try to speak Japanese with my co-workers and friends, but I hate having to make them wait while I look up or try to remember words, or pull out my textbook to review a grammar point, both things I can do with my other friend. I hear you and it is a valid concern, but this is only one small part in the learning and a good place to make mistakes without feeling pressure. And I'm living in Japan right now, so we both get daily interaction with natural speakers. ^.^;
  • Posted By: Aodh
    [quote]
    Posted By: Tobberoth
    [p]That might not be such a good idea. You will probably both make mistakes yet neither of you are good enough to correct one another. On top of that, neither of you will speak native natural Japanese which will enforce unnatural patterns which may or may not be hard to get rid of later. It's a much better idea to speak to native people. You and your friend should look around, most towns have meetings between Japanese exchange students and students of Japanese.[/p]
    [p]We both take Japanese lessons, and we do help each other a little. The point isn't really as much to get better/more natural at speaking, but more to get used to it. I do try to speak Japanese with my co-workers and friends, but I hate having to make them wait while I look up or try to remember words, or pull out my textbook to review a grammar point, both things I can do with my other friend. I hear you and it is a valid concern, but this is only one small part in the learning and a good place to make mistakes without feeling pressure. And I'm living in Japan right now, so we both get daily interaction with natural speakers. ^.^;[/p][/quote]
    Well, then it shouldn't be a problem as long as your exposure to each others Japanese keeps being a minor part (while native interaction remains the major part). I've always found it easier myself to remember grammatic structures by using them so it could be a good idea I guess.

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