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Nagano: What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?

by Rebecca Marck

Morimitsu Nakamura

Retired English teacher, 65
If I knew the best way, I’d be a fluent speaker! We should practice all four skills and keep a balance among them. When I was young, I did passive skills first, but now I know better.


Minori Morita
Student, 19 (Japanese)
In my opinion, the best way is to have a foreign friend. I have an e-mail pen friend. We often send e-mail in English to each other, so I can practice reading and writing at the same time.


David Hathaway
IT trainer, 34 (British)
Find an interactive audio course like Pimsleur and do a lesson every day, making sure to respond out loud. Your speaking and listening will improve quickly. I wish I’d done that when I started learning Japanese!


Mio Kobayashi
Student (Japanese)
For me it’s listening to Disney music. I sometimes sing along.
If I can’t catch the words, I listen while reading them. I love Disney, so it doesn’t make me tired, it makes me happy.


Nobuyuki Senso
Retired teacher, 70 (Japanese)
There’s a very popular Chinese man named Li Yang who teaches “Crazy English.” He says students must shout out in a big voice. And they must learn the sentences by heart. I think that’s a good idea.


Rovena Kvaraciejute
Postgraduate, 37 (Lithuanian)
Don’t worry about making mistakes. Even if you make mistakes, you have to use every opportunity to talk with native speakers because you can pick up useful expressions. Forget your anxiety!


Yuji Kobayashi
Shop owner, 62 (Japanese)
The best way to learn a foreign language is to have a girlfriend or boyfriend from another country. If you fall in love with him or her, you will try to learn intensively and seriously.

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