A multi-pronged approach to bilingualism has been necessary in order to grow the children’s interest in English, improve their speaking ability and in turn grow their desire to read and write. I hoped to link all these aspects of language learning, by finding online YouTube videos to support the English material I was using with them at home.
Japanese characters: for the first ten months I lived in Japan, I didn’t know how to read any of them. I was illiterate. When I walked the streets, I would look up at the signs on buildings and have no idea what they said.
Just as how you use the words, “sushi”, “anime” or “manga” in your home country, the Japanese have also adopted a lot of English words which are commonly heard in daily conversations in Japan. This time though, with a twist!
Since its inception in the early 1980s, the JLPT has become the gold standard for employers and educational institutions in assessing applicants Japanese language abilities.
The Japanese language uses many characters for writing called kanji. There are more than 10,000, but only about 2,000 are used in daily life. Westerners may not be familiar with many of them so here are a few that you will serve you well when visiting Japan.
Learning bits and pieces of a language before you go abroad is a whole adventure in itself. A warm "thank you" or "hello" when in a shop or restaurant can do the world of good, and the locals will appreciate it. Many countries in Asia have different writing systems as well as spoken languages; Japanese has three alphabets, all of which are used daily in written Japanese.
Living in Japan is a wonderful and very exciting experience. Japan is such a different world and a bit of a culture shock for new arrivals, but its history, tradition, festivals and wonderful food will soon make you a very happy resident! However, what foreigners also quickly realize is that English is not a frequently spoken language in Japan, which means that you are likely to face a few obstacles if you do not speak any Japanese.