Japanese language learning through commercials:ルル・アンド・むじんくん

In putting together this post, I was once again struck by the amazing array of tools that language learners have at their disposal nowadays.  Relatively speaking, I had an easy time finding copies of old commercials, manipulating media, mixing it together with my whiteboard doodles, and then sharing it back here.  Exciting!

As you’ll hear in the video that I put together, I’ve been hit with a bit of a cold this week— I was thinking of buying some medicine (we seem to be out) and a memory of some Japanese cold medicine came to mind.   As it happens, this commercial was how I learned the word “効く”, and the tune has always stayed with me.

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My first Japanese textbook from way back when…

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I was wondering where to start with getting back on track with Japanese; instead of being a hero and starting with challenging texts, I thought it might be fun *and useful* to skim through some of the things I remember studying to get back in the swing of things.

I actually have a very clear memory of the very first thing that my teacher said to us: “Learning Japanese is not difficult; it will just be a little challenging for your spirit, and you’ll need to work hard!”.

True to her promise she didn’t let us off easy– it was a challenging but fun class.  I was in the intensive version of this class, so it was the equivalent of doing a year-long 6 unit course in a single semester: we had 10 hours of class time every week, mandated practice time in the language lab (they gave us a *punch card* so we could punch in and out of the lab), as well as in-person lab time with a TA.   The pace of quizzes, vocabulary tests and unit tests was relentless and kept us on our toes!  The next course followed the same pattern so we essentially finished all four volumes of this series over an academic year.  Class was 8-10am, Monday to Friday.

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