Hello, my name is Alec and this is the story regarding the re-booting of my Japanese studies.
Prior to visiting Japan in 2014, I tried numerous “get fluent fast” techniques. I started with one on one Japanese lessons, but found them monotonous. I tried Genki but found it overwhelming. I tried Rosetta Stone but….well we all know what happens there. I then settled on the AJATT method and began immersing and wading through RTK. Then, I went to Japan for a month and funnily enough, that’s where my studying ground to a halt.
I returned home to a monstrous number of reviews staring back at me through my phone screen. This was my first hiatus from study.
Next, I returned to the internet in search of advice for a new, fresh study method. Here is where I found JALUP.
After reading the walkthrough, I started RTK fresh and began the beginner deck. I got about 1000 kanji in to RTK and completed the beginner deck before I took my next, longest break from learning. I went to New York for a month and once again found no time to do my reviews. The same white and blue monster was staring back at me upon my return, and feeling overwhelmed, I succumbed.
Now the good news.
Around six months ago, I became single. No really, that’s the good news. I now found a new freedom in my life, I could do anything and go anywhere. So I decided to not only to return to Japan, but to live there.
I managed to secure a one year, Working Holiday Visa and have a job waiting for my arrival. I am going to extend the visa to two years by enrolling in language school and then a further three years by returning to university. I leave in April next year.
With a new deadline to work towards, I have begun my study again with ferocity. I completed the beginner deck once more, regularly read native material and dip in to Tae Kim weekly to support the grammar learned from JALUP. I am currently attacking the intermediate deck (with some trouble I might add) and instead of trying RTK for a third time, am using WaniKani which although slower in progress I find more rewarding.
I am currently also using HelloTalk to converse with Japanese natives and am immersing at least 6-8 hours a day in Japanese media (thank you Japanese Netflix!). With around five months until I make a hopefully permanent move to Tokyo, I feel that with my new study schedule and tools, I will be ready to have basic to intermediate conversation and get by just fine.
If there was any purpose to this story it would be to set yourself real deadlines. Take a test, arrange a conversation for yourself more advanced than your current level, visit japan! But a real, unavoidable deadline is what made me progress as quickly as (I like to think) I currently am.
Thanks Adam, without your hard work I may well have never felt it possible to make this enormously life changing…change.
Next up, study more English.