Which learning style do you have, and how should you study Japanese?
Not everyone learns the same. Some people learn best by listening to explanations, others need to read something to internalise it, while others are “doers”. With our different learning styles, it’s not a surprise that learning Japanese is also different for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to understand what your learning style is so that you can use effective study techniques.
What are the main learning styles?
Visual learners prefer to learn through visual aids such as charts, graphs, diagrams, and videos. They tend to grasp information better when it’s presented in a visual format.
Auditory learners learn best through listening and speaking. They benefit from lectures, discussions, and listening to recordings or podcasts.
Kinaesthetic learners are hands-on learners who thrive when they can physically interact with material. They prefer activities like experiments, simulations, and role-playing.
Reading/writing learners excel when they can read and write about the subject matter. They benefit from taking notes, reading textbooks, and writing essays or summaries.
Logical/mathematical learners are analytical and enjoy solving problems and working with patterns and logic. They thrive in subjects like mathematics, science, and programming.
Social learners learn best in group settings and through interaction with others. They benefit from discussions, group projects, and collaborative learning environments.
Solitary learners prefer to work independently and learn best when they can study or reflect on information alone. They often enjoy self-paced online courses or individual research.
Which learning style are you?
It’s normal to fit into more than one of these categories.
Here is a quiz where you can find out your learning style.
How to learn Japanese for each learning style
Use Kanji Flashcards:
Visual learners can create flashcards with Japanese kanji characters and their meanings or pronunciations. The visual representation of the characters can help in memorization. In TLS’s beginner classes, we can teach visual representations for each kanji which should help you remember them.
Watch Japanese Videos:
Visual learners can watch Japanese language videos, such as anime, movies, or YouTube channels, with subtitles or visual aids. This provides context and visual cues to aid in understanding and retention.
Listen to Japanese Podcasts:
Auditory learners can benefit from listening to Japanese language podcasts or audio lessons. This helps improve pronunciation, intonation, and comprehension through audio input.
Engage in conversations with native speakers or language exchange partners. Speaking and hearing the language spoken by others can be a highly effective way for auditory learners to grasp Japanese. For auditory learners, a semiprivate lesson where you get lots of talking time but have another student, along with a teacher, to practice speaking with, is probably ideal.
Write by Hand:
Kinaesthetic learners can practice writing Japanese characters by hand. This hands-on approach reinforces muscle memory and aids in character recognition.
Engage in role-playing scenarios where you practice real-life conversations in Japanese. This interactive approach allows kinaesthetic learners to apply language skills in a practical context. A group class where everyone is on your level is the perfect setting for fun role playing while feeling confident.
Keep a Language Journal:
Reading/writing learners can maintain a journal in Japanese. Writing about daily experiences or thoughts in Japanese helps improve writing skills and vocabulary. If you take private lessons, you can ask your teacher to give you feedback on your writing.
Read Japanese Literature:
Dive into Japanese books, manga, or newspapers to improve reading skills. Start with material suitable for your level and gradually progress to more complex texts.
Analyze Grammar Rules:
Logical learners can analyze Japanese grammar rules and sentence structures systematically. Understanding the logic behind the language can make it easier to apply. Instead of relying on people online to answer all of your many questions, a private teacher will be able to give you some insight much faster.
Treat learning Japanese as a problem-solving challenge. Set specific language goals, break them down into manageable parts, and work on them methodically.
Join Language Groups:
Social learners can join Japanese language study groups or online forums where they can engage in discussions, share knowledge, and learn from others.
Participate in Language Exchanges:
Connect with native Japanese speakers or language exchange partners. Regular conversations and interactions with others are highly beneficial for social learners. Check out the TLS website for our regular language exchange meetups!
Solitary learners can enroll in self-paced online Japanese courses or use language learning apps that allow them to progress at their own speed. If you really need to go at your own pace, a private teacher can still help you study by providing the much-needed explanations that you may desire.
Take time to reflect on what you’ve learned and set your own learning objectives. Self-assessment and introspection can be valuable for solitary learners.
Remember that individuals may have a combination of learning styles, so it’s often helpful to incorporate multiple strategies into your language learning routine to cater to different aspects of your learning preferences. Good luck with your Japanese learning!