Effective Speaking Training: Speech Shadowing

What’s most unique practice way of my lesson is 'Speech shadowing’.

Shadowing is an advanced learning technique where you listen to a speech recording in Japanese, and then speak it aloud at the same time as the native speaker. I adopted the method one year ago and I have seen great improvement of speaking skill of my students in Intermediate and Advanced courses.

The ideal content is a short dialogue at natural speed, and it should be on engaging topics with no artificial pauses and absolutely no English. A great place to book to start with is the シャドーイング 日本語を話そう by Kuroshio Publishing (http://nihongo.9640.jp/books/Shadowing/books-shadowing.html).

How-to shadow

  • Listen to the text once and check new expressions with a dictionary or ask your teacher.

  • Listen to the text a few more times until you are sure that whatever you still don’t understand, you won’t be able to figure out from context even with subsequent hearings

  • Listen to the text while reading the transcript and look up any words you’re unsure

  • Listen to the text and repeat with a minimum delay—rinse and repeat until you can read it confidently at the same speed as the recording, then do it once more and move on to the next track

  • Practice with your classmate. At first you can refer to your textbook, then try to speak without textbook

Shadowing is very tiring but it’s very effective. Practise with your classmate or friend and keep encouraging each other.

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