A common theme among the language learning community is ‘find something you enjoy doing, and learn that way’. Well, it has been a long time coming, but it appears that Japan is slowly coming around to this idea too.
This is an article encouraging the learning of English through games, and discusses some of the odd ‘English’ in it.
For anyone that lives in Japan, or has Japanese friends, if you ask any of them if the Japanese people they know are learning English, almost all of them will say yes. But do any of them enjoy it? Unbelievably few. Japan is the victim of the TOEIC. A dated test that kills any love for language that someone may have, and replaces it with the fear of English.
Slowly but surely, as more tech savvy young Japanese people reach adulthood, they are starting to use games, comics, books, movies, and a whole plethora of other wonderful resources available for people that hate to study, but love to learn. This slow but sure shift in the dynamic of the Japanese approach to learning English (and of course other languages) is a huge step toward the relationship toward learning that is sorely needed in Japan. It’s the point where people have said that they are tired of banging their heads against the wall of mindless drills, and want to actually experience the language ‘while’ learning it.
I know most of us already do immerse in the language, but let’s take articles like this as a reminder of how important the enjoyment that accompanies study is (whether it be us learning Japanese, or Japanese people learning our respective languages). If you finish the day feeling defeated by Japanese, take a small step back, consume something at your level, and enjoy the fact that you’re understanding it. Your relationship with your learning will dictate your ability to progress.