Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to present at the National Symposium on Japanese Language Education, an event held in Australia every two years.
The symposium brings together Japanese language teachers from around the country to share ideas about how to best teach Japanese. It was a great event, and I came away with some interesting ideas that I hope to incorporate as I build on 80/20 Japanese.
For my presentation, I talked about Developing a Better Understanding of Japanese Sentence Structure.
Basically, I explained the big picture view I have of the Japanese language, and how I believe building a solid understanding of Japanese sentence structure can make it easier to learn Japanese.
After much time spent playing around with some new software, I have a couple of things I want to share with you:
- The video of my presentation
- My powerpoint slides (which include a bunch of useful diagrams of Japanese sentences)
To download the slides from this presentation, click here.
The full video is included below and goes for about 35 minutes. If you’re short on time, here are some clips of each of the major points I covered during the presentation:
- My journey from complete beginner to living and working in Japan, and how that led me to write 80/20 Japanese (4 minutes, 33 seconds)
- The major difficulty I faced learning Japanese (2:19)
- Why I wanted to write the book that became 80/20 Japanese (1:00)
- The basics of Japanese sentence structure, and how it compares to English (half the room pulled out their cameras during this part) (4:03)
- The basic word order/sentence structure model that applies to virtually every Japanese sentence (3:22)
- How to expand on that model to vary your expressions and add more detail (5:20)
One thing to keep in mind is that I was talking to a room full of Japanese teachers, so everyone in the audience understood Japanese and I presented accordingly. For the most part, though, this shouldn’t be a problem, even if you have no prior knowledge of Japanese. A couple of parts – particularly near the end – might be a bit harder to follow depending on your Japanese ability, but even so, the video should give you a good overview of how Japanese works.