Ah shoot I’m late!
Okay, honestly I have no excuse for what I’m about to say. This week I was actually snowed in and had EXTRA time to study Japanese. Instead, I spent much of my time contemplating life. That’s not to say that I didn’t study, but I did not learn my vocabulary as well as I did last week. This week, I will refresh myself on the words that I’ve already learned and my new 50 words will come from a pre-made JLPT N3 deck on quizlet.
I’m coming to the end of my first week of learning 200 new words in one month. So far, it’s coming along pretty great! I’m finding that I don’t actually need to study for very long to learn 50 words in week, which is good news for me. At the beginning of the week, I was just trying to get the words in my head, but I found that by now I am questioning the proper use of words and even searching for images on google to help me to visualize the difference between some and others. I am also starting to naturally relate some words to their kanji and that helps me to remember their meaning. With results like this, I feel very motivated and excited about learning these new words this month. I am also hoping to slowly integrate some grammar into my studies this month, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. Fingers crossed!
So I spent about 3 weeks contemplating how I was going to approach my studies for the JLPT N2 and I only ended up tiring myself out so bad that I couldn’t actually get anything done. I tried again and again to just open my grammar book and just learn something, but I would get intimidated. I would read an article on NHK and feel like I wasted time and contemplate if I should study the new vocabulary. I would look at my kanji workbook and just say no. I was going in a circle that was leading nowhere. So I decided to shift my focus to my weak and strong points. I ranked grammar, kanji, vocabulary, and reading from weakest to strongest and I was able to isolate my common denominator. It’s vocabulary! I tend to be able to figure out most other things in Japanese by context and I remember kanji more often when I know the meaning. So there it was, a starting point. I texted a friend of mine and asked her if she would join me in a challenge to kickstart my upcoming progress and she agreed! So, the challenge is to simply learn 200 new vocabulary this month. My words are coming from nihongo sou matome n2 kanji and n3 vocabulary book. Each week, I will chose 25 or 26 words from each book and I will make an effort to learn (not memorize) the new words.
Today was day one and so far I think my strategy will be something like this every week for 4 weeks:
Monday – Write down the first 25 or 26 words (Kanji – Hiragana – English) and create a quizlet deck. The set up of each card is Kanji and Hiragana on one side and English on the other. Because the focus of this session is to learn words and not necessarily memorize Kanji readings.
Tuesday – Repeat with second set of 25 or 26
Wednesday – Play quizlet games for about 25 minutes to review, then test my knowledge by using the flashcard feature and marking the cards I have the hardest time memorizing
Thursday – I’m not exactly sure of what I want to do yet. I may just write all 50 words or play quizlet games
Friday – Use the test feature on quizlet to study all 50 words, then review the words I am still struggling to memorize
Saturday – Play quizlet games for 30 minutes
Sunday – Take a final quizlet test and mark the words I still can not remember. Write example sentences that use the words that are hard for me to remember and look for a creative memorization technique. Write a short progress report for myself.
At the end of the 4 weeks, I may take a quizlet test on all 200 words, but I’m not sure. I am also not sure yet if I will put all 200 into one deck or if I will only make decks of 50. I’m winging it here. I have some other goals but I think I should start off slow and integrate my other goals in as I learn to juggle them all.
So, this will officially be my first post about a new beast that I have decided to take down. For over a month now, I have been searching the internet, gathering information to create a plan for this exam. I need to pass the level 1 exam to enter the university that I am currently set on getting into. More importantly, I need to increase my Japanese to N1 level because it’s time that I do. I use Japanese in my daily life, from my thoughts, to my conversations with friends. I am tired of the way my Japanese sounds right now and I am determined to improve it.
At the current moment, I’m a bit stuck. I’m in a strange place, between being overloaded with information and deprived from good sources. I guess my issue is that I am looking for a specific plan. Study this, this, and that. Use this, this, and that. Oh, and here’s a schedule. Unfortunately, I have not quite come across that yet and I don’t plan on cramming for the exam 3 months from the time to take it.
I don’t really know what to do. I’ve come up with some concepts, purchased and downloaded plenty of textbooks and drill books. I don’t know if I should take it one book at a time, focus on one more than the other, but more than one at a time… I don’t know. And people keep mentioning that I need to begin reading more. Reading in Japanese is so hard for me because it takes so long… which is exactly why I need to do it. I know many people seem to suggest that I try reading things that interest me. Perhaps I just need to actually start and then once the ball is rolling, I can really dig into this preparation.