Posted by: Jason | May 29, 2011

May is Coming to a Close – Some Odds and Ends

Well, I’m looking out the window right now and it’s raining very hard. A real shame. My older daughter’s school festival was today, but, it got postponed because of the rain. Hopefully tomorrow will be nicer. My younger daughter’s birthday was this weekend as well, so, it was a weekend of cake and parties. Lots of fun. She loves being the little princess for the weekend.

Something that has come up a couple of times recently is using technology to learn English. There are many, many things you can do with a computer to help you learn English. Probably one of the easiest things to do is listen to a song or someone speaking through a sound file. The nice thing is, using your computer, you have a great deal of control over the playback. Much more than you usually do with a CD player or VCR if you’re watching a video. If you use Window’s Media Player (WMP), or, really, most players for a computer (I use VLC myself) you have many controls that can help you listen. If you search through the playback menu, you will find a button for slowing down or speeding up playback. In WMP, you can slow down playback by up to 50 per cent. You can access the speed controls by right clicking the title of the track that is currently playing.

Since I have a great deal of difficulty reading Japanese, I can’t really help you too much more than that. But, the controls are there. You just have to find them.

Also, I’ve been hunting around a bit for different Ipod apps that might help. I found a few. You could try Conversation English by Red River Press (search Itunes under The English App). It goes for 350 Yen and seems quite well recommended. You could also give Vocab Wiz a try (search for Vocab Wiz in Itunes). It comes with a nice free version that you can test out to see if you like it. It’s a vocabulary builder with lots of tests. The full version is 600 yen, so, again, it’s very affordable. A third application I came across was eTest (search Itunes for eTest). eTest comes with 12000 (yes, that’s twelve THOUSAND) multiple choice vocabulary questions. You have to fill in the blank with the right word chosen from four choices. For 350 yen, this is a very good buy.

That’s all from me for now. Have a great week and I’ll see you next time.

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