That’s how my studio started off! You may be asking, WHAT THE CRAP IS STUDIO?! Read on my little minions!
Well, first, let me give you some background information! Mikoto-chan and I both have subscriptions to Rosetta Stone’s Totale system (mostly for experimental reasons). This is the mobile and online version of their language learning platform.
First you may say, Wow, Way to go panda, being a tool! Why would you spend money when the INTERWEBS IS SO FREE AND HAS SO MUCH ON IT!?
Well, crazy readers, that may very well be true. But, as a language learner blog author, I like to push the boundaries. I like to see whats out there! I like to spend my monies, learn the ups and downs, and report back to you so you can spend your monies! I mean, learn better! I did an introduction post to Rosetta Stone here.I plan on going back and going more in depth with the certain aspects of the program. Thanks to my lovely persuasive writing skills, Mikoto-chan decided to buy the program as well, and thus began the wonderful journey of “who’s doing better when!”
No seriously, nothing says I love you like cut throat competition!
As mikoto wrapped up her level 1, we decided to schedule a Studio lesson/session at the same time. This way, we can be supportive to each other and make each other feel less… stupid! Luckily this turned out well as it was just her and myself and of course the wonderful Mari-san (our coach).
To be honest, I was so scared. More than scared! I was crazy chicken scared. However, this morning (As it was a 5:30 am appointment) I WAS READY TO DO eeeeet! It’s ok to be scared. Don’t let that stop you.
15 minutes before the lesson/session opens, you can click the “Attend button” This allows the program to load and to work out any kinks. They have live help (and by live, I mean less than a 15 second wait for help) who can help you. It’s very general information such as, log in and out, clear cache, change browsers, but nonetheless, it was QUICK! I Can see this being helpful to the non-computer savvy people as they can quickly explain how to do such things. You may ask, panda, how do you know of this lovely service! Turns out, RS studio HATES chrome and Mikoto uses chrome. It’s a known issue and they will straight up tell you just to change the browser.
So, the session/lesson starts and The Ultimate Supreme Mari-san says hello, pronounces your name in Japanese (かわいいね) and gets to business! As mikoto wasn’t yet in the studio, she aｓｋｅｄ me all of the colors that I should know. Of course, and this goes without saying, NO ENGLISH! I did explain in English that mikoto was logging in and had difficulties as I had no idea how to say that in Japanese. No idea. I said sorry probably 8 times around saying it though. And she responded in Japanese of course.
Anyways, I regret not screen capping the crap out of this, but I was afraid of infringing on the instructor’s rights as she was on webcam. (I know my logic doesn’t make much sense, but I couldn’t very well ask in Japanese if she didn’t mind).
Anywho, anyways again, the layout is such,
The webcam with Mari-san and our names are on the left. On the right is the interactive graphics side. Mari uses a VERY over-sized mouse picture, shown below, to point at things. Sometimes she types in the box so you can see how to spell it.
As I was the first one listed, I was the guinea pig and was able to discover what she wanted to know first. This is a scary but fun position. She is so energetic and helpful, so don’t feel embarrassed. She whispers hints, types hints, and cheers you on. As soon as I started talking, I felt more confident and comfortable with her. It felt like I knew her for a very long time.
Sorry, I have to take a moment to laugh at my sketch of the studio session. It does not give the real thing justice.
So, the studio doesn’t follow the core lessons exactly, but it does cover information that you should have some grasp on at this moment. It combines information in such a way that it pulls from everything and pretty much combines it into one sentence. However, this studio focused on questions like:
これは何ですか？What is this?
これは何色ですか？What color is this?
これは何人のですか？(not sure if i wrote that right!) How many are there?
And of course, the students would respond in like. One time she asked what was it and I didn’t have a clue how to say it in Japanese, so I said it was black and she giggled and responded yes, but what is it? There was only one time I was completely lost, but she gave us a quick little grammar lesson and it fixed that!
Mikoto and I both agree that we enjoyed studio. This is because the answers are truly open ended. You can mess up, correct yourself, and still be ‘right’. We all have brain farts and we all stumble. She tends to not be hyper critical of you because you are a JAPANESE BABY. However, what we don’t like is she types in romaji. That’s probably because the program pretty much supports mostly romaji in the games and such. It’s unfortunate, but mikoto and I are planning on asking her to type in kana the next session we have.
If can’t tell by the tone of my writing, I am in a very good mood. This is because, as a beginner, I feel like I rocked it. Maybe it’s because I got all of my worrying out the night before, but mikoto-chan even commented that I sounded very confident. I would say, despite my pauses, I just ran with it. I messed up. I’M SURE I DID! I kept saying ですこ instead of ですか I totally discarded 彼は sometimes. Sometimes i just said あの, tsktsktsk (the sound). I tried very hard to replace all of my ums! and I say um a lot!.
That also being said, mikoto rocked it as well. She definitely picked up on stuff faster and her mistakes were milder and normally just a usage thing.
My advice? Do it. Of course, I mean if you have the program and am scared of doing the studio. It’s a wonderful experience to talk to a native speaker if you don’t have the chance to in every day life. Especially someone as kind and cool as Mari-san. It’s also an added bonus that she’s female and I can listen to the way she words and says things. Just as there are ‘manly’ things in America, there are ‘manly’ phrases in Japan.
But you can make Japanese friends and get this experience anyways, but this is a great way to speak with a native in a learning capacity about things you’re actively studying.
Overall experience, from adogidag to 13,049 (adogidag being the lowest) I would say I’m around a kgoudgu. I would be at 13049 if it was only in kana/kanji. Also, just throwing it out, Mari-san likes cats. I agreed because I couldn’t say dogs are better. but next time she says Cats are cute, I’m throwing that out there. Dogs. Are. Better!
ありがとうううううううううううううううううう(get it, like a howl?)