Power Labeling

Some recent research in how we learn languages has uncovered that there is no ‘language’ module in our brain exactly. We actually use our whole brain to learn words and use language. So, for example, if I told you I saw a flying pig, you probably wouldn’t believe me, but you could easily imagine what [...]

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Teach Yourself Grammar

One of the best ways to learn something well is to teach it to someone else. If you have to explain something several times over and over again to someone, it becomes an easy way to learn the thing yourself. So, naturally, the best way to learn a new language is to teach others what [...]

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Flashcards

Remember flashcards? I remember I used to make tons of flashcards for my high school Spanish class and then try to look through them whenever I could. They still never seemed to stick though. The vocabulary always kept falling out of my head. From that experience, I developed a distrust in flashcards. They just never [...]

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Vocabulary Mind Mapping

New vocabulary is like a plant. It needs to put its roots down into fertile soul or else it might get washed away the next time it rains. Mind maps are a way of concretely and visually mapping out the roots to your vocabulary. The more roots or connections you can make with what you [...]

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Personal Phrasebook

Keeping a vocabulary notebook has been found to be extremely useful in a variety of studies. Students say that they were able to remember vocabulary more easily and use it more confidently. In my opinion, when you are doing all this extra work with a word you can just ‘root’ it in your head a [...]

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Kanji Writing Drills

Kanji always inspire mixed feelings in people. Some people are huge fans, others can’t be bothered, but they are an essential part of Japanese, and in fact Japanese is a little hard to read without them. And of course knowing kanji well will help you not only in the kanji section of the test, but [...]

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The ‘if’ game

The final game that I sometimes play is the ‘if’ game. This is a little bit more advanced than the last two and might be a bit slower because it takes a little bit more thinking, but that just means you’re learning a lot more in the process. This game also really helps with conjugation [...]

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I bought …

This game goes by many names, including the alphabet naming game and the basket game, but no matter what you call it, it is a simple game that you can play while waiting in line. It doesn’t require any writing or board of any kind. You’ve probably played this game in English at some point, [...]

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Shiritori

Shiritori is a great game that you can play with other speakers of Japanese whether they are native or not so native. It’s often played in grade school in Japan, so most native Japanese speakers will know how to play it right off the bat. Another good thing is that it doesn’t actually require you [...]

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Accelerated Reading

Reading is one of the toughest sections of the test, and probably the most common complaint about it is not being able to finish in time. A lot of times you can answer the questions correctly if you just had more time, but the clock stops and you are scrambling to fill in the answers. [...]

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