The other day Christmas came early when I bought Study Hacks by Ryuusuke Koyama. (in Japanese) This book fits the bill of one of the main missions of samuraimindonline.com to bring you “books that explore study methods and how to better optimize learning and growth.” (Plus, I got double stamps for buying $10 or more on day with a “three” in it. 🙂
楽しいながら成果が上がるスキルアップのコツと習慣： Improve Your Skills While Having Fun
Study Hacks begins with three glossy pages with photographs of the essential goods you can use to improve the effectiveness of your studying and introduces three key points:
- Get goods that will help you concentrate wherever you are.
- Use your ears to study. [ラク耳勉強法」Shut out distracting background noise.
- Get the “goods” that will help you multiply your study results and passions.
Top Study Hacks! Recommended Goods
- Noise cancelling headphones: Koyama displays the same model of earphones I own, good for increasing concentration and “ear study”
- IC Recorder: hey, it’s a voice recorder. Keep your learning on an audio loop
- iPod: listen to podcasts in your target language or for your target interest.
- Massage oil aroma oil: use aromatherapy when you are tired and concentrate–news to me!
- Herb tea: herb tea? chamomile, vile weed! I’ll have to get back to you when I get later into the book.
- Shadowing materials: Koyama suggests CNN English Express for Japanese speakers to mimic the sounds of English through “shadowing” . . . if you are learning a foreign language find podcasts, youtube materials of things that you would normally be interested in and just mumble through it . . .
- “Evernote: make your own dictionary” . . . .Take advantage of the little chunks of time and use this “remember everything” platform to make your own personal learning dictionary
I have to admit, I don’t get out much. Last week I heard about Evernote from a dad I met in the playroom who said he remembered all our names because he had put th
m into his Evernote program. However, it took reading it in a Japanese book before I actually looked up the program and began playing with it!
So far so good! I’ve been using it to capture my notes from the Jamplay website to remember things like scale patterns and the Circle of Fifths. I’ve also recorded a few of my “jams” (so not ready for public consumption) since I read in the Advancing Guitarist that it is good to record yourself and periodically listen. Evernote makes it easier to keep track of it all.
I’ve also taken pictures of Study Hacks at junctures where I think there are really interesting ideas. What’s really been fun is that I’ve been able to clip dictionary definitions from Midori into my notes for each image. I’ve also started reading the passages outloud with the voice recording tool. (So far I’ve learned that I need to work on the tonality of my voice. 🙂 )
So far, I’ve gotten a lot out of my $14 besides the extra stamps. Yes, I have read tons of study and brain books and some of this book is repetitive. However, it is interesting to me and motivates me to find new vocabulary and incidentally introduces me to new uses of kanji. It’s not boring. When it gets boring I stop. Boredom kills.
I could read Murakami in Japanese but I am not interested in it right now. I’m learning about learning to learn more Japanese and to help others learn more. Quadruple stamps!
I enjoyed this post. And just to add one thing: I've found that listening to a podcast with my eyes closed works as good as reading with my ears closed–that is with noise-cancelling headphones.
Neither are huge things, but they reduce the mental equivalent of RAM and direct what's available to the place I want my mental energy to go.
Great idea. I would need to make sure that I am in an upright position so that I don't fall asleep. 🙂
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