Use LangCorrect to Practice Your Japanese (it’s effective!)

Writing is a great way to practice using a language that you are learning, such as Japanese. Writing alone is helpful, but it is exponentially more beneficial to your learning when you receive feedback on it from native speakers. LangCorrect is a great place to focus on your writing get this valuable feedback.

Learners who use LangCorrect to write journal entries in the language they are learning, such as Japanese, can improve not just their writing, but their overall ability to use their target language naturally because they receive corrections and direct feedback on their entries from native speakers.

LangCorrect is an online community writing practice platform where you can create journal entries in Japanese, or another language you are learning, and native speakers will make corrections and provide feedback! In exchange for receiving this valuable feedback, all you need to do is reciprocate and correct journal entries from learners of your native language.  

You have probably heard of comprehensible input, but comprehensible output is another key factor in language acquisition [1]. Writing is a form of output that forces you to focus on syntax, word choice, and correct use of grammar in order to create something that is comprehensible and meaningful to a native speaker of the language.

As a learner of Japanese, you are constantly making hypotheses about the structure of the language which you need to test in order to discover the structure. You don’t know what is a mistake or what sounds natural until you try it for yourself and receive feedback. By writing on LangCorrect you can test your hypotheses and get essential feedback on not just grammatical correctness but naturalness as well.

Once you have the feedback you can incorporate it into your repertoire to be able to produce correct and natural sounding future output. Receiving feedback and implementing it is key to developing your linguistic abilities. So now that we know the importance of creating output, let’s look at the great ways which make LangCorrect an ideal platform on which to practice.  

Why LangCorrect an ideal journaling platform for language practice:

  • Built for serious learners to focus on their writing with no unnecessary distractions
  • Well designed interface to receive and review corrections from native speakers
  • Ability to create longer journal entries to tell a whole story
  • Free to use (a premium paid option is also available)

It’s true, other language learning platforms can be like social media sites, with the goal of trying to keep you on the platform for longer, constantly prompting you to do other things on platform other than what you came there for, bombarding you with notifications… There are no distractions on LangCorrect, it is a straightforward interface where you can spend your time efficiently practicing.

LangCorrect’s Easy to Use Interface and Other Features

The interface where you create your journal entry is simple and uncluttered. When you are ready to post you will see how LangCorrect automatically breaks your entry up into individual sentences for native speakers to be able to easily correct. Once you receive corrections, it’s easy to review them line by line and compare what you wrote originally to the corrected form.

LangCorrect’s journal creation interface
An example of a LangCorrect journal entry with feedback. Corrections are not just given for grammar, but for style and naturalness as well.

LangCorrect is free to use for up to two languages that you are learning. As mentioned, all you need to do in return is to reciprocate and correct journals of other users learning your native language. There is also a premium option for $8 USD per month. With premium, you can add up to 10 learning languages, hide advertising, get your journals prioritized to the top of native speakers’ feeds for correction, and also get a Ratio Watch exemption.

Your Ratio Watch is the ratio calculated based on the corrections you have given vs. the corrections you have received. In general, you need to maintain a ratio of 0.5 or above to post a new journal entry, but if there are no journals in your native language available to correct, then you can automatically bypass the 0.5 ratio requirement.

It can be challenging to keep your ratio up. You could spend quite a while correcting one journal, maybe give 10 corrections, but if two or three other users correct a journal you wrote and provide 10 corrections each, then you have received 30 corrections. But receiving corrections from two or more users is actually a good thing.  

Even if the same correction is duplicated by two or more users, it helps confirm the error and the correction given. You may also get different corrections for the same sentence, which will help you see the variety of ways to formulate the same thought. But the best correction you can receive is one that makes your sentence sound natural in Japanese. This is what will really take your language to the next level!

LangCorrect menu bar

If you are feeling lost for words and don’t know what to write about, to get inspiration you can browse through journals from learners of your native language in the Teach tab, and also journals from users of the language you are learning via the Learn tab. Another thing you can do is respond to a prompt via the Prompt tab.

Prompts are usually open-ended questions posted by other users which you can respond to, such as, “do you believe in magic?” This is great because you may not have thought to write about the subject in the first place and it’s an opportunity to test your language skill in an unfamiliar area.

Implementing the Corrections you Receive on LangCorrect

The most important thing to do is to review your corrections so you can implement them in the future. As mentioned, if you receive a detailed correction that reformulates your sentence (perhaps with more appropriate grammar and word choice) to better express the thought in a more natural way, take special note of it. Memorize it.

It’s most effective to memorize whole sentences as language chunks rather that just memorizing individual words and grammar points alone. This is because those chunks provide the raw material for subsequent language development [2]. Add these sentences to your Anki flashcards (or similar) for review. You are likely to remember them because you wrote these sentences in the first place and had a very specific correction experience with them.

Also, if you wrote your journal on a familiar topic, you are likely to talk about the topic in daily life as well. Won’t it be great to be able to express your thoughts correctly and naturally in Japanese! Indeed, the journals you write on LangCorrect can help improve your speaking too. This is what makes LangCorrect so great, it’s a safe place to make mistakes and get corrections that you can then implement in other situations.

I am sure you will enjoy LangCorrect, please give it a try, here is a link to the site. In addition to writing practice, to really improve your Japanese you will want to practice speaking it to. The best place to practice speaking with a native speaking teacher and receive feedback is a platform called italki. I have written all about the benefits of using italki here. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. Happy practicing!

[1] Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. (Cited in Gass and Selinker 2008).
[2] Scott Thornbury (2019). Learning language in chunks. Part of the Cambridge Papers in ELT series. [pdf] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[3] Gass, Susan M., Selinker, Larry. (2008). Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course, Third Edition. Routledge.

Colten Dumonceau

My goal is to provide information that will help you learn Japanese as quickly and effectively as possible. I have spent more than ten years learning Japanese, mostly self-taught, from absolute beginner to an advanced level. I believe its possible to go much faster than I did. Please let me share with you the best learning strategies I have uncovered.

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