What's new

Using Forums To Learn Japanese

Welcome to our Japan community!

A discussion forum for all Things Japanese. Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Today I want to discuss vocabulary.
Dealing with Vocabulary
Here's a few interesting things about vocabulary (all of the following quotes are from How Languages are Learned):
① "Among the factors that make new vocabulary more easily learnable by second language learners is the frequency with which the word is seen, heard and understood. [...] The estimates range as high as sixteen times in some studies." p.98
② "Stephen Krashen (1985, 1989) has asserted that the best source of vocabulary growth is reading for pleasure." p.100
③ "[...] Jan Hulstin and Bhatia Laufer (2001) provide evidence that vocabulary development is more successful when learners are fully engaged in activities that require them to attend carefully to the new words and even to use them in productive tasks" p.100
④ "Research evidence suggests that second language learners benefit from opportunities to read material that is interesting and important to them" p.188
⑤ "Second language learning is not simply linear in its development", p.189
⑥ "Research has shown that no matter how language is presented to learners, certain structures are acquired before others. This suggests that it is neither necessary not desirable to restrict learners' exposure to structures that are perceived in linguistic term to be 'simple' [...]" p.189
⑦ "Errors are a natural part of language learning" p.190
⑧ "Children and adults with little education in their first language will not benefit greatly from sophisticated metalinguistic explanations, [...]" p.190
Putting this Advice into Practice

I'm the defense attorney. I'm in this charge of this defendant's defense.
Regarding ① & ③, I write the same word 16 times with the kana reading:

I realize that it's not the same as seeing 「弁護」16 times in text but it's one way to get involved with the word. In other words, it's me trying to make the most out of both suggestions.
I also like to take the time to analyze and mentally ''reverse engineer'' each kanji of the word to further get involved in the word. This makes the word a lot easier to assimilate.


Regarding ②, ④, ⑤ & ⑥, choose what you find pleasure in reading. You end up being exposed to all sorts of aspects of the language which are eventually assimilated with exposure.
Regarding ⑦, this is a most important point. Finding tutors/helpers who are comfortable with a pupil making mistakes is easier said than done. Children learn languages faster as they have very little inhibition and are therefore inclined to produce language.
Adolescents become more self-conscious as do adults. Developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with mistakes as being part of learning is no easy task for most people. The reason as to why that is likely complex and a mix of culture and psychology. This is something I'd like to explore further as it's fundamentally detrimental to both pupils and tutors for obvious reasons. Here's one such example of a fundamentally negative reaction which undermines the whole learning process as a whole:

This is just one sample of course as there are plenty to go around when it comes to comments which aim to belittle/disqualify/demotivate as opposed to help. I'm currently reading more research on the topic of pupil/teacher interaction to discover and understand what drives people to use a punitive approach in teaching.
As for ⑧, complex "metalinguistic" messages contain information which is presented in such a dense format or using such hermetic jargon that the content is ultimately lost to the reader. This can be expressed by the quote below:

Sometimes the content is lost in the form which is really a waste. Figuring out how to vulgarize in a way which conveys the right information without bastardizing it is no small feat and yet it is essential for would-be educators to have an impact on their pupils.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!


There are no comments to display.

Journal entry information

Read time
3 min read
Last update

More entries in Blogroll

More entries from Zizka

Top Bottom