Thank you for your question!
My first language is English, but I also speak Japanese! I have been studying Japanese for more than 10 years. For me, these 3 tips have been very effective to help me learn Japanese. Maybe they can help you to study English!
1. Watch a TV drama with subtitles in your language. Write down new words or phrases you learn.
When I was a university student, I watched Hana Yori Dango and other Japanese dramas with subtitles in English. This helped my pronunciation, vocabulary, and listening skills! I learned new words that were not in my textbook such as, 「ありえないっつーの！」. For students, I think TV dramas are easier to understand than movies. In TV dramas, you can focus on language because you already know the names of the characters, their relationships, etc.
2. Write a journal every day.
Do you know “Mixi”? Mixi is an old Japanese blogging website. As a student, I used Mixi to write journals in Japanese. My Japanese friends often wrote comments on my blogs, which was very encouraging! By using Mixi, I could try to use new vocabulary that I learned in class.
I also improved my reading skills, because I wanted to read my friends’ journals. They were writing about our classes and our friends, so of course, I wanted to know their honest thoughts. It was very motivating for me to study harder!
3. Use new vocabulary/grammar right away.*
I often see Japanese people on the subway reading a 単語帳. I also use a Japanese 単語帳! I can study a word, and maybe I can understand that word if I hear it later. But, if I don’t hear it or use it right away, I will definitely forget it!
When you learn a new word, try to use it as soon as possible. For example, you can use it in your journal, or use it in conversation with a language partner, or ask your teacher for some example sentences. Ask your teacher or conversation partner, “When do you use this word?” When I use a new word quickly, it sticks in my memory better!
*”right away” = 即座に、早く、早速
Thank you for your question!
My short answer is: yes!
At KUIS, students have great access to teachers. Most classrooms on our campus only have 20 chairs! We like to have small classes so that students have more speaking time in class. Of course, teachers are in “teacher mode” in the classroom, but outside of classes, I often see friendly conversations between teachers and students. Some teachers also participate in student organizations, clubs, and circles.
You can also meet and talk to other teachers from our faculty! In the English Lounge, students can chat in English with teachers from 9:30am until 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. You can stay for 30 minutes, or, if you have free time, you can stay for the whole day! If you have a favorite teacher, you can come to talk just with them.
Thanks for reading! Please check the KUIS Style blog again for more “Ask Kelly!” updates.