Saturday, October 27, 2007

Effortless Japanese Update

Some of our longtime members know that Tomoe and I have wanted to do Effortless Japanese lessons for a long time. In fact, Tomoe actually started working on lessons at one point.

But she stopped. She realized that most customers would be total beginners in Japanese. We talked a lot about the best way to teach total beginners and realized that beginning with TPR (Total Physical Response) would be best.

But there was a problem-- TPR requires video, not just audio. In TPR, the teacher gives commands, and the student responds with actions. For example, a super-simple lesson might start with "Stand Up". The students then stands up.

Of course, the commands get more and more complex as vocabulary and grammar builds... for example, "Walk slowly to the door, knock 4 times, turn around, then return quickly to your chair". The power of TPR is that you learn a lot of vocabulary VERY quickly. Even more powerful-- you learn the vocabulary without translation. Because of this, you learn it deeply, naturally, and understand it instantly.

Once past the complete beginner stage, Tomoe will use TPR-Storytelling-- just as we do in Effortless English.

The good news-- we bought a video camera and microphone! We are currently planning the set and lighting. Tomoe is planning the lessons. When we return from Central America, we will start shooting. Our plan is to shoot the lessons as quickly as possible,... then I will edit them later.

We'll offer the lessons as download videos (similar to the way Effortless English Lessons are sold). You'll watch them on your computer-- or iPod.

I'm very excited about these lessons because I know they will be the best Japanese lessons available anywhere in the world. I know a little Japanese-- very little ;) I tried textbooks, and found them difficult and boring. I tried Pimsleur tapes, liked them, but learned only a very small amount of vocabulary and phrases. I listened to Japanese podcasts-- but found they are mostly talking in English.

To say it simply-- the Japanese lessons currently available suck! They are terrible.

So I am doubly excited about Tomoe's Effortless Japanese lessons. I'm excited to help her with this new project. And I'm excited as a student, to finally learn with fun, powerful, effortless Japanese lessons!

Look for more updates in December about Effortless Japanese.

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.


Rookie said...

Hi AJ, I've been listening your podcasts for a short time. Now my next step is to buy your english lessons (I mean to be a member), but Is it possible to get a list of your lessons (just the titles) ? because in your podcasts you talk about listening to things that are more interesting to you, the idea is having fun when you are studying english.
Also, how do we practice our speaking english with non native speakers (I'm latino)? they can't correct our english mistakes. Any advice or tip ? I have no money to travel to the U.S. (just kidding)

hey, how was your hiking ?

Congratulations for your amazing learning system.


AJ Hoge said...

Hi. Good question about the lessons. I will be outlining many of the lesson topics here on the blog (see past posts on "Bad Choices" and "A Kiss"). This allows me to discuss them in more detail. So keep checking here :)

As for speaking practice... you definitely don't want people to correct your speaking. It doesn't help (there are countless research studies on this). Talking to non-natives is great because you practice producing English... without the stress of facing a native speaker.

If you are ready for a native speaking tutor, however, I recommend LingQ. You can join and talk to native speakers in individual and group discussions.

Finally, hiking was fun... but quite tough actually. But no worries, Tomoe and I are off on another adventure next month-- learning Spanish in Guatemala and diving in Honduras!

'kay said...

Where can I find Effortless Japanese lessons?