Recently a lot of students have been asking me how to improve your conversation skills, so i thought of writing this post to share my thoughts about how you can improve your conversation skills.
These methods have been tested, proven to be effective. However, as the “growth” is very slow, you might not be able to see the effects of the training immediately.
1) Sing karaoke (once every week (3 hours) for 1 year)
This was one of the ways that helped me to be able to speak effectively. When you sing, unknown to a lot of people, you are actually conversing. When you sing, you are actually “reading” a conversation. Believe me on this. In Singapore, you can find Japanese Karaoke at Cash Studio in Cuppage/Ming Arcade. For those that are in countries that cannot find Japanese karaoke, you can consider singing while listening to the song on Youtube/in the bathroom. =)
2) Substitution Drill (2 hours per week for 1 year)
When you were doing your beginner studies in your school, your sensei must have told you to try to substitute the words in the sentences. To add on, you need to substitute the words and try to read it faster. See the following sentences.
1) わたしは ケーキをたべます。
2) わたしは パンをたべました。
3) あなたは ごはんをたべますか。
4) 木村さんは ひるごはんを たべています。
In class, as time is limited, it’s very hard for your sensei to do a lot of substitution drills. So try your best to do it at home. Do it for all the text in your Minna no Nihongo or other textbooks that you use.
3) Watch Drama (2.5 hours per week for 2 years)
As the conversations in the textbooks are limited, apart from doing the substitution drills, you also need to watch dramas to get the 生日本語 (real-Japanese) that the Japanese speak. Yes, they may speak too fast. However, you can start off by going for the dramas for children like Kamen Rider/Sentai. Try to mimic what the characters say, if you can and do it fast. =)
Recently they are some good dramas as well like 医師たちの恋愛事情, which are not bad.
To end off this post, i’ll like to show the episode 1 for this show. Hope Youtube doesn’t take it off so fast.