3 Tools to Immerse On-the-Go

When you’re out and about, doing the bajillion errands life requires we do, your day can quickly become very 英語だらけ (full of English, in a bad way).

I’ve taken to carrying a few things with me at all times to help maximize my immersion, even in the Englishy-est of times. Here are a few suggestions of things to bring with you wherever you go, based on what I’ve been doing.  If you like ’em, give it a try!

Take your immersion to-go. Pack your bag with things to listen to, read, and write on.

1.  A book

Carry a book.  A good one.  Or two.  (I carry a novel and a manga at all times.)

Whip it out whenever you get the chance. Long line at the store?  Got business at the DMV?  Awkward silence in the Jiffy Lube waiting room?  Need to sit and take a break from your shopping spree?  Awesome, read!

2. Music + Podcasts

Get tunes.  Get Japanese podcasts.  Whatever floats your boat.  Don’t forget to keep it fresh.

Don your headphones and listen whenever you can: while you’re grocery shopping, at the mall, whenever you’ve got a minute and don’t want to read.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not actively listening the whole time.  When your brain wants to listen, it’s going to get Japanese.  (And I doubt you’ll miss the prime musical selections played by most stores….).

3. Paper + Pen

Pack some paper and something to write with.  Fun stationary, post-its, a plain ol’ notepad, whatever will work.

Simple, of course.  And you can just practice writing when you take a break or have a spare minute on your errands, but there are more creative and motivating ways to get writing practice, too.  My personal favorite: leaving guerrilla notes in Japanese for other people to find.

What does this entail?  Writing on a piece of paper and leaving it somewhere.  Yup, that’s it.  You could write some lyrics from a song,  a line or so from the book you’re reading, a favorite quote, a secret, something ridiculous you just thought up on the spot…  Write it down, fold it up, and leave it somewhere.  The public restroom, the coffee shop seat you were sitting on, tucked into a park bench, peeking out from a book at the bookstore, between the tissue boxes at Target…you get the idea.

Knowing someone will find it can help motivate you to write, to make sure it’s relatively correct, and to use your best handwriting. (Even if it’s someone who can’t read or understand it)

And that concludes the post! 
If you like the ideas, get packing!  Got more ideas?  Share them in the comments!

PS:  I’ll have a post on guerrilla art in Japanese in the future, because it’s  just that awesome and fun.

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2 Responses to 3 Tools to Immerse On-the-Go

  1. Tanna says:

    Yep, I do all those things too! (except for leaving the little notes behind, but I think I will start doing that now~)

    I also like carry my little black notebook and write down a list of unfamiliar words that I have encountered throughout the day. I try to think entirely in Japanese and if there are common items that I don’t know the Japanese for (say like, baking flour, the counter for a head of lettuce etc), I write it down and then look up the words/make flashcards for later review.

    I also bring along my electronic dictionary/or DS for quick reviews during the day too.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Theo says:

    nothing really new, but very motivating to see the pictures and your notes…. I carry a japanese bible, which is great because I already know -kinda- what it’s written there, a manga and my mp4…

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