The key to learning a new language is to study through a combination of active and passive activities. Passive learning is often linked to listening to recorded conversations, audio lessons, or even to your voice. This can be done almost everywhere, and at any moment you wish to dedicate to learning your target language.
Technology and our smart devices have become the perfect portal to access a wide range of information with minimal effort. This can come in handy, especially when you wish to learn a foreign language. On the other hand, students have been listening to tapes while sleeping on the night before an exam since the advent of the first voice records. Besides, science has confirmed that passive learning can be useful in the study of a foreign language. Why don't we just combine the two things to learn Japanese?
How to Study Japanese If I Do Not Have Enough Time
You don't need to buy new textbooks or particular devices to learn Japanese while driving. All you need is free time. Often, we give up learning Japanese because we believe we do not have enough time to dedicate to this task. Our job, our homework, our social life and our hobbies seem always to get in the way of our aim to learn a new language.
However, you have enough unexploited time to finally learn Japanese. Just think about it: every day you invest a significant amount of your time driving your car.
Based on a study done by the Harvard Health Watch, an average American spends up to 101 minutes per day driving. This means that you have more than 20 hours per week that you can spend improving your Japanese listening and speaking skills!
How to Learn Japanese While Driving
Transforming your driving time into the perfect opportunity to learn Japanese can be easier than you think.
How much time do you spend every day driving? Half an hour? More than an hour? Most importantly, how are you actually investing this time?
Why don't you put this massive amount of time to good use instead of listening to the radio or thinking about all the things you have to do once you arrive at your workplace?
Listening is the only learning medium that lets you drive and make good use of your commuting at the same time. There are five easy methods for learning Japanese while driving, and you can try them and start studying your new target language immediately.
1. Listen to Audio Lessons
Listening to audio lessons while in your car allows you to focus on the road as your brain absorbs new Japanese vocabulary. It is surprising to see how many words and information your mind can learn even with a brief 15-minute lesson. Besides, you don't have to put in any real effort: all you have to do is listen to each lesson every day.
In other words, listening to audio lessons is one of the best ways to learn new phrases that you can put to use in your everyday conversations.
2. Give Audiobooks a Try
When you feel confident enough with your Japanese listening ability, you can give audiobooks a try. The best way to immerse yourself in Japanese literature is by listening to children's books. Although the stories may not be particularly interesting, these audiobooks represent an approachable and even fun way to learn Japanese while you drive.
You will soon be able to move beyond children's stories, and finally, discover the world of Japanese novels for adults and young adults.
By listening to audiobooks, you will be able to learn useful vocabulary, as well as thrilling slang words. This is definitely funnier and quicker than just studying with a textbook, since your brain will learn new phrases while memorising their context and their correct pronunciation.
3. Listen to the Radio
Studying Japanese while listening to the radio is the best way to learn new vocabulary and conversation phrases without changing your daily schedule.
On the other hand, you will not need to interrupt your focus on driving. You can just use your car's Bluetooth or USB connection, and stream your favourite Japanese radio stations from whenever you are. You can listen to and speak Japanese while keeping your hands on the wheel, without even reaching for your smartphone or device.
4. Have Fun With Podcasts
Podcasts offer a variety of resources for learning foreign languages, and they are one of the first places you should turn when you start studying Japanese.
Just like audio lessons, podcasts let you listen to your target language being spoken fluently and with native pronunciation. However, they also open a valuable window on the cultural aspects of the idiom that you want to learn.
Another plus point for learning Japanese through podcasts is that, in the majority of cases, you do not need to buy a whole package of lessons. You can cherry-pick the episodes you find most interesting or useful for learning Japanese, which often are even available for free on Spotify.
5. Repeat out Loud
When learning a new language, you want to improve your speaking skill as well as your listening and writing abilities. However, some pupils tend to be shy, especially when they first start with their first lessons. You may be afraid of making mistakes, or you may just need some time to think of the right words to use.
The trick is to listen and repeat each lesson aloud. This will not only help you memorise new phrases but also make you more aware of any pronunciation mistakes and more confident about your skills.
Why Should I Study Japanese While Driving?
Learning Japanese while driving doesn't have to be a big commitment. You are not signing up for a language course, and you do not have to follow someone else's schedule. You can take your time, listen to and repeat each lesson until you feel confident.
The majority of audio lessons and podcasts are structured to guide you on a journey in learning Japanese. Whether you are a Japanese beginner or you just want to enhance your communication skills, you will be able to learn new things day after day.
This daily activity should be fun and easy. Most importantly, with the exposure you get while driving, you will be soon able to speak and understand real-life language.
You can finally learn Japanese without changing your schedule or feel guilty for having little time to dedicate to your study.