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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Japanese quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Japanese tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. JapanesePod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Japanese teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by JapanesePod101.com in Feature Spotlight, Japanese Language, Japanese Online, Learn Japanese, Learn Japanese, Site Features, Speak Japanese, Team JapanesePod101, Team JapanesePod101

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Click Here to Get Your All Access Pass at JapanesePod101

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study Japanese. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn Japanese on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All JapanesePod101 Subscriptions!

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

(example taken from JapanesePod101.com)

There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your Japanese goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete Japanese learning program – 430+ hours of audio/video courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

Click Here to Get 25% OFF All Plans until March 31st, 2017.

To your fluency,

Team JapanesePod101

P.S. Get 25% OFF ANY Plan! Master Japanese with YOUR All-Access Pass!

Want to learn Japanese fast with an ALL-ACCESS PASS to our entire learning system? Get 25% OFF Basic, Premium and Premium PLUS and unlock ALL audio/video lessons, study tools and exclusive apps that you’ll ever need. And with Premium PLUS, you get your own teacher! Just $3 a month & up to $137 in savings. Ends March 31st, 2017.

Get Your Japanese All-Access Pass! Click here to get 25% OFF ALL Plans!

Do You Know The Japanese Word For “Color?”

What is your favorite color

色 (iro): color

This is the Japanese word for “color.” What is your favorite color?

Here are some answers from our users.

  1. オレンジ色 (orange color)
  2. ピンク (pink)
  3. 青い (blue)

What’s your favorite color and why?
Click here to share your favorite color!

P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Japanese with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
The Daily Dose of Japanese is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Japanese over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Japanese Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Japanese Calendar.

New Feature! Stay Motivated With Personal Study Stats from My Report

Hello Listeners,

There’s a brand new feature out! But first, here’s a question…

How long have you been actively studying Japanese?

Why do we ask? Well, Einstein once said… “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

While most people quit, the smarter ones (or the stubborn ones) stick with Japanese long enough to break through and see progress.

And if you think about it, time and effort are the two things that’ll ultimately dictate how far your Japanese will go. Look at it like this…

  • Anyone with bigger muscles – they’ve spent more time at the gym than most.
  • Anyone that’s a great artist – they’ve spent more time on their craft.
  • Anyone that knows a ton of Japanese words – they’ve spent more time on picking up new vocabulary.
  • And anyone that’s a great Japanese speaker – they’ve spent more time speaking Japanese.

It’s all about time and effort.

And that’s why you can now track your time and effort at JapanesePod101 with a brand new feature, My Report. You can find it in “My Account” in the upper right corner of the JapanesePod101 site. Or, just click here to log in and access it!

Click here to access My Report!

Here’s what you need to know: My Report tracks your personal study stats, like…

  • Total Time Studied
  • Flashcards Studied
  • Lessons Completed

…and gives you the overall totals and breakdowns on a monthly and daily basis. That way, you’ll know exactly how much time and effort you need to put in.

Here are some cool things you can do with this:

1. Set small, achievable goals! Why? They’re easy! Achieving goals is motivating. And once you knock one out, just set a new one and start building progress over time!

  • Study 10 flashcards and 10 lessons a day.
  • Study for 30 minutes a day.
  • 30 hours of time spent on lessons as a monthly goal.
  • 50 lessons completed as a monthly goal.
  • 200 flashcards studied as a monthly goal.

2. Get an overview of your effort. Sometimes, you just need to step back and see the big picture for a motivation boost. How long have you been been studying Japanese? And how much effort have you put in?

3. Adjust your learning routines. Feel like you’re not making enough progress? Take a look at how much time you’ve spent! If your current routine isn’t working out for you, spend more time and study more lessons.

And most importantly, use it to track your time and effort. These are the 2 things that’ll dictate your Japanese learning success. As Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Let us know what you think of this new feature! You can find My Report in “My Account” in the upper right corner of JapanesePod101, or just click the link below.

Click here to access My Report!

Thanks for reading!
Team JapanesePod101

P.S. Extended for Golden Week! Get 28% OFF All Basic & Premium Plans!
It’s the Ready, Set, Speak Sale! Start mastering Japanese with effective Japanese lessons from real teachers. Get 28% OFF Basic or Premium and unlock 370+ hours of Japanese audio and video lessons, study tools, apps and more! That’s as low as $2.88/month to learn Japanese. But you must hurry! This extension expires May 4th, 2015.

Ends May 4th! Click here to learn Japanese with BIG 28% OFF discount!

Ends May 4th! Click here to learn Japanese with BIG 28% OFF discount!

Introducing the New JapanesePod101.com Dashboard!

Greetings from Team JapanesePod101!

We’re stopping by the blog today to tell you about an exciting new feature we’re slowly rolling out on the website. A few select users have been chosen to test drive the new Dashboard feature.

Log in to your account today to see if you’re one of them!

The new Dashboard aims to help you track your Japanese learning quickly and easily. We’ve produced a lot of lessons in our lifetime and while we pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of lessons to our users, we realized that it can been pretty overwhelming for some.

Where do I start? What level is best for me? What series do I move on to now?

These were common questions coming in from avid users like you, so we set out to solve these commonly asked questions, and the Dashboard was born!

We’ll of course continue to listen to our fans and tweak the Dashboard to provide the very best experience for everyone. If you have questions or feedback for us, send us an email here.

To help you get started, here are a few of the big changes:

  • Dashboard Home: The dashboard is now your homebase at JapanesePod101. Anything you need to know about your account and learning progress can be found right here. You’ll see:
    • Your learning progress
    • Recommended lesson alert
    • Your learning profile
    • Account information
    • Quick links to useful tools
  • My Courses: For any series, when you check a lesson complete, your progress will be updated on the Dashboard.
  • New Lesson Recommendation: To help new members get started quicker, we’ve created a recommended learning curriculum based on your level. These series were chosen by our teachers as the the best way to start with JapanesePod101.com.
  • JapanesePod101.com News: Be sure to check the news each time you log in for feature updates, amazing deals and more!
  • Quick Links: Of course, there’s more to our website than just the Dashboard. We’ve compiled a list of quick links to help you get to helpful site tools like Flashcards, My Word Bank and the Browse Lessons list.
  • Footer: Finally, we gave a facelift to our site footer because…well, we just felt like it! Just like before, you can learn all about JapanesePod101.com and parent company InnovativeLanguage.com from the links in our footer.
  • We hope you enjoy the brand new Dashboard! Stay tuned for more tweaks and updates to the site and head over to JapanesePod101.com to test out the new Dashboard beta.

    Learn Japanese with the New My Flashcards System (beta)

    Premium Members, your Premium Account just got a whole lot more powerful! My Flashcards now allows you to study the Japanese words you want by importing lists from audio and video lessons, your My WordBank and the Japanese Core Word Lists 2000. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features:

    My Flashcards Dashboard: My Flashcards have a brand new interface. Import words from any audio and video lesson, My WordBank and the Core Word Lists. Create, edit and delete as many decks as you want!

    dashboard.png

    Create a New Deck: How you want to study is completely up to you! You control what displays on the front and back of cards. Create new decks out of the existing words in My Flashcards. Simple pick the words, name your deck and you’re ready to study.

    create_a_new_deck_.png

    Front of Card Display: The new My Flashcards load fast and are easy to use. Test yourself with native audio recordings. When you’re ready for the answer, simply click on the card to flip it over.
    flaschard_1.png

    Back of Card Display: Learning sometimes isn’t as simple as just Right or Wrong. Our smart spaced repetition system will evaluate your progress from the three answer choices so you test more of what you need. Get extra review with sample sentences and audio.

    sample_setences_and_back_of_card.png

    My Stats: We track your progress in My Stats. Don’t just learn new words – master them! This chart will keep you motivated to master all the words in your deck!

    my_stats.png

    My Flashcards is still in beta mode, which means, we’re still working out some kinks. If you’re a Premium Member, head over to My Flashcards under My Tools to try them out. These flashcards are part of your Premium Subscription. Something not working? Send us a message at contactus@japanesepod101.com .

    Not a Premium Member? For a limited time only, get 1-Month of Premium Access to JapanesePod101.com for only $5 – that’s even cheaper than our regular priced Basic 1-Month Plan! Use coupon code FLASHCARDS at checkout to get Premium for $5.00. Hurry! This offer ends on June 30th, 2011!

    Rōmaji Support for Lesson Specific Questions

    Hi Everyone,

    We just rolled out optional rōmaji support for our Premium lesson specific grammar, content, and vocabulary questions. Premium members can now choose to have rōmaji displayed from the My Settings page. Here’s a quick video tutorial showing this new feature in action:

    Romaji support in questions

    We hope you enjoy this new feature! Send your feedback and comments to contactus@japanesepod101.com. We want to hear from you!

    Team JapanesePod101.com

    The Secret Behind Successfully Learning Japanese Effortlessly

    How to Really Learn Japanese in Just Minutes a Day and Stick with it

    Get an Instant 10% OFF with coupon code FF2009 for a limited time.

    The Myth

    What if I told you mastering Japanese wasn’t that hard. That actually learning the language itself is not nearly as difficult as you may have heard. And that the problem to progressing is an age old one…failure to execute.

    The Real Issue

    Said another way, “People don’t progress ’cause they don’t do! If you don’t do the work, you won’t reach your goals.” Read the rest of this post »

    My Feed – Learn Japanese the Way You Want!

    Welcome to the JapanesePod101.com blog, Feature Spotlight. Here we would like to periodically introduce some well known features as well as some not so well known features here at JapanesePod101.com. We want to make sure everyone knows about all the great features that you can use to master Japanese in just minutes a day.

    Today we would like to introduce My Feed. This is a fully customizable RSS feed. What’s that mean? Well, for those that haven’t studied up on the latest Web 2.0 technology, that basically allows Premium members to decide exactly what lesson content they want on their Premium feed.

    Here’s 3 simple steps on how you can use My Feed to really master Japanese:

    1. You decide exactly what you want.
    2. You download what you want with a single click of a button.
    3. You master Japanese in minutes a day – in your own way.

    It’s really that simple.

    To learn more about My Feed check out the video below or if you’re a Premium member, click here to get started now.

    (Sorry, the video’s a little outdated, but it still works perfectly for JapanesePod101.com!)

    MyFeed Demo