Language

Learn spoken Japanese through manga

Manga are great reading material for Japanese learners. For a start, the illustrations aid comprehension. Often you can roughly infer what is being said just by looking at the illustrations, and you can glean the […]

Language

Bumping into tomodachi

I‌t’s the little words that are surprising. The ones with very short dictionary entries that pop up casually in daily life. The simple nouns that seem so concrete and guileless. Those are the words that […]

Language

The early stages of language acquisition

Each stage of language and culture acquisition has its own challenges. Probably the greatest battle in the early stages is against the feeling of being overwhelmed and discouraged. The goal of fluency can seem very […]

Language

Lessons in time

The spark that started a fire in my heart for Japan and her people was a three-week visit to Japan in 2007 in my mid-fifties. This included a week in Sapporo with my Franco-German choir, […]

Language

Gospel-inspired language learning

When we consider the relationship between learning Japanese and the gospel, we tend to think that language learning is merely a necessary step for sharing the gospel with people in their heart language. But the […]

Language

Karuizawa: the end of an era

In August 2016, Karuizawa’s missionary language school officially closed, signaling the conclusion of a colorful chapter in Japan’s missionary history. In the summer of 1886, Canadian missionary Alexander Shaw climbed up the 1,200 meter Usui […]

Language

Find your sustainable practice

“Clark-san, how come you speak some Japanese but don’t know any kanji?” I remember well my Japanese teacher’s question in 2001. And her tone! It was a whole lot closer to “What’s wrong with you?” […]

Language

Experimenting with tadoku

As its name suggests, tadoku (多読) is a reading strategy that encourages reading lots of material. It has three simple rules: 1. Choose books you find easy to read. 2. Don’t look up words in […]

Language

The little engine that could

Do you remember the children’s story about the Little Engine that had to fill in for the broken-down Big Engine? The train was full of Christmas toys for children on the other side of the […]