One of the keys to learning a language is to actually use it. Sites like www.LiveMocha.com give you a great chance to do free language exchanges with real Japanese people i.e. you teach them a bit of English and they teach you a bit of Japanese.
But after the initial “Konnnichi wa, o genki desu ka?”s then it can get a bit awkward to think what to talk about!
We’ve been solving this problem using Video Letters. You simply video something, like your lunch, your room, your birthday present or whatever whilst describing it in Japanese. Then you send it to a partner you find on www.LiveMocha.com
The best bit is they then send you a video back – with real Japanese! How cool is that?
The thing is that technically it can be a real hassle trying to do this on a PC or Mac. But… if you have have the new iPhone 3GS it is so, so, so easy! Just check out this video. I made it for teachers wanting to do this with their students, but I think you’re going to love how easy it is as well – plus you get a free shot of my real Japanese ramen lunch!
P.S. If you’d like to video your lunch or breakfast to show our students in Japan, please do so, put it on Youtube and send me a link, they’d love to see it! Keep the English (or Japanese!) simple and tell us where you are!