Improving my immersion

I just can’t get over how awesome immersion is.  Srsly.

I spent yesterday in NYC, in my two favorite places there: BookOff and Kinokuniya. I spent several hours immersed in Japanese: reading signs, sifting through book and DVD titles, reading book summaries, scanning a few pages of books I might be interested in, searching for authors, using a computer to find out if specific books were in stock…

BookOff in NYC- a bastion of awesomeness

Seven hours of this and I left with my brain anticipating Japanese and thinking in Japanese.  (ie: When I heard something, my brain was listening for Japanese, when I read something, my brain was expecting it to be Japanese.)  Another thing I noticed was that I learned a ton!  Yes, new kanji and vocab, but more importantly, new skills for learning and getting the info I need without the help of English.  I was on Japanese-learning fire!  But why?

There were three elements of this that I don’t always have in my in-home immersion that I think contributed to better, faster learning…

1. No way out but Japanese.
All the things I set out to do, from finding the pet book and cookbook sections to the paperback  村上春樹, couldn’t be done in English.  No whipping out my jisho, no turning on Rikaichan.  Time to use real skills in the real world.

2. Through-the-roof excitement.
When I go to NYC for my book-movie-music hunting, I am giddy with excitement, just bursting to sift through and find as much as possible.  I love every author-hunting  moment, every”I can’t believe I just looked up and saw this book” instant, and every little victory I get to experience while I’m there (“I just read this summary and understood it!”, or “I just read a huge chunk of this page before I hit something I couldn’t read!”, or “I found the vegetable cookbooks!”.)

3. Lots of people I could look ridiculous in front of.
Nothing like a bit of social pressure to motivate you to do your best.  Not to say that I don’t regularly look ridiculous to strangers on a daily basis, but I felt extra pressure to really know what I was doing and understand what I was reading- or figure it out, lest I end up looking for ハリー・ポッター in the 日本者 section (Harry Potter in the Japanese authors section).  There was, admittedly, some “I can do this and I’ll prove it to you!” feeling in me too.

The NYC Kinokuniya- a more expensive but still awesome bastion of awesomeness

So now, I’ll work on incorporating these apsects in my at-home immersion.

Well, the first two anyways.  Time to figure out how to limit my English “outs” when I meet a challenge, and how to get more excitement out of my immersion!

What do you do to get yourself hyped for immersion?
Do you limit your English “outs” when you’re figuring out a kanji/word/sentence?
Leave a comment and tell us about it!

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 Responses to Improving my immersion

  1. Pingback: Improving my immersion (via Liz Learns Japanese) « Ta132's Blog

  2. Koyami says:

    That sounds awesome! I’ll have to check out that store when I go back home.

    I get myself hyped for immersion by just doing it 😉
    It just feels awesome to gradually notice more and more things you can actually understand over time.

    I try my best to limit my English outs, but it’s really hard to do so since I always have my iPhone with me. Good luck with your learning!

  3. Mattonese says:

    I really get the immersion idea. I think the main advantage is that it is massive input of language, like drinking from a Japanese firehose. According to ajatt.com and other credible sources, input comes first and output later. I’m currently trying to cram all of the kanji into my brain using RTK (Remembering the Kanji) as a start and surrounding myself with the language is a part of that. To keep motivated I started a blog and am scouring the internets for fellow students. Come commend or distract me from my studies at http://mattonese.tumblr.com!

  4. Pingback: Interactive Immersion « Mikoto's Adventures in Japanese

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: