I feel that with all language learning, our individual study process is likely to change and evolve over time as your competency grows or we find weak areas to improve on. This has certainly been the case for me, and it looks like I tend to review and change things every 2-3 months roughly.
Partly to avoid boredom I think, and also as I discover techniques that make concepts more ‘sticky’ in my mind.
Overall I think its important to have your objective clearly defined in your mind – or better yet, written down and stuck up on your wall. (Or inside your cupboard door if you want it more private). That way you are reminded of what you aiming for and avoid distractions that pull you off course.
Overall I think its important to have your objective clearly defined in your mind – or better yet, written down and stuck up on your wall. (Or inside your cupboard door if you want it more private). That way you are reminded of what you aiming for and avoid distractions that may pull you off course. For me, I’d like to have the ability to speak conversational Japanese and cover topics at a moderate depth, which would be roughly B1 level.
Daily / Weekly Routine
The right balance of input and output is well documented, but its something I’m only realizing the power of lately. Partly that because earlier on in the language learning cycle a person is still grappling with things like the right text book, basic pronunciation and just building a routine!
Currently I aim for:
- Output – Writing in Japanese about my previous day. Usually a few sentences only, and I use past tense because we mostly interact with people by telling stories. So this feels like good place to start until I feel comfortable.
- Input – Reading short passages alongside spoken word. This helps getting the flow and pronunciation right, and also helps with understanding grammar outside of the clinical text-book environment. Some fantastic resouces available on this front – I’m particularly fond of Nihongoswitch and Iku does awesome job on the podcasts to make them accessible.
- Input – I try to use memory palace techniques to memorize between 3-5 new words a day. Honestly I don’t always get them all done – but its a goal.
- Input/Output – I do my daily WaniKani still to learn (and write) kanji and learn some additional vocabulary.
Input & Output – Anything between 45min ~ 90min of 1:1 Japanese language discussion with native speaker via iTalki. (This is used to put the vocab and grammar into practice, gain confidence and clear up any mistakes.)
Likely the iTalki is THE most valuable part of all this, but also requires you to commit to the other work to make it effective.