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Achieving Your Japanese Goals – October 2020 — 10 Comments

  1. For quite a while now, I’ve felt like learning new cards hasn’t really added anything substantial my Japanese skill (I am 210 through JALUP Hero). So this month, I plan on slowing down on the amount of new cards that I learn. I think I’d like to keep my daily reviews within 30-40 since that seems to work well with my current schedule. I will instead be replacing my lack of new cards with higher amounts of immersion. Specifically, I want to go through JALUP Stories and understand those as well as possible. This will hopefully help me improve my ability to read fully descriptive texts rather than just manga. Furthermore, I think the audio included with JALUP stories should help me with my listening skills, which up till now, I have almost completely neglected.
    So thats it. This month doesn’t really have any solid goals. Just a change in my methods to get myself out of this plateau.

      • Oh yeah! Thats something I forgot to mention. I do plan on adding shadowing into my routine. Especially as I start learning the stories.

        • I’m in a similar place to you, I’m at 600 in Expert and doing 180-200 reviews a day.

          I recently decided similar approach, I’m stopping adding cards until I get reviews down to a more comfortable level.

          I’ve recently started using hellotalk more regularly (it helped I got a new phone lol) and I aim to write 6-8 sentences per diary post and post diaries 3-4 times a week as a goal. I’m really impressed with how quickly people correct your posts!

          …and funnily enough, I was going to ask Iaddr what the shadowing book they had used before, so the stars align :)

          Here’s to a productive October!

    • Ryan, those are some good ideas. Also think about adding in shadowing at any point now as well. You can shadow jalup stories or if you want something more structured try this series: https://www.amazon.com/Shadowing-Speak-Japanese-Beginner-Intermediate/dp/4874243541

      Also consider output soonish. I wish I had started shadowing and output a bit earlier than I did, around the Hero level sounds right. I enjoy doing daily dictated ‘diary’ style entries on Hello Talk. Natives then correct you all for free. And you can chat with them too.

      When I hit a plateau these are two of maybe three things I did that helped me move forward again.

  2. Mostly keeping with the plan this month. I am though noticing though just the slightest first indications of a feeling of slowdown. I have a lot of ideas to keep it going though and it may just be impatience. But I want to test some things this month:

    1) Keep up with reviews
    2) Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 40 min per day – continue intermediate
    3) Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
    4) Add new words from podcast, hello talk, shadowing etc to my self made deck
    5) Instead of a hard tv goal this month I am going with a soft goal. I want to see if I actually squeeze in more this month with a soft goal. When I have time I will watch Japanese TV of my choice.
    6) Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day and I want to get through unit 7 section 1 & probably start unit 2 section 2 (won’t finish).
    7) Experiment with semi-passive learning of additional podcasts. I am finding a lot more podcasts now of varying levels and enjoying it. I want to have it on more in the semi-background. It won’t be like Nihongo Con Teppei where it is 100% active and I am learning as many new words as possible. More for semi-active enjoyment knowing distraction will happen and that is ok. I don’t think I can add to my active study time right now, but I think I have a lot of minutes here and there where I can get in semi-active. Not passive but not hardcore concentrating either. I figure it can’t hurt, I will see how it goes.

    • Some months you feel down on your progress, other months you feel like you had a breakthrough. I don’t feel like I had a magical breakthrough in progress but I did have a breakthrough in methodology this month that should change my future goals for quite some time. More on that in #7:

      1) Keep up with reviews
      DONE – Averaging around 80 reviews a day now that I grade myself hard and keep making cards at a decent pace. This feels good.

      2) Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 40 min per day – continue intermediate
      DONE – Around ep 135 or so…

      3) Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
      DONE – Usually more like 3-5 convos a day plus diary post

      4) Add new words from podcast, hello talk, shadowing etc to my self made deck
      DONE

      5) Instead of a hard tv goal this month I am going with a soft goal. I want to see if I actually squeeze in more this month with a soft goal. When I have time I will watch Japanese TV of my choice.
      DONE – SEE BELOW AFTER #7

      6) Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day and I want to get through unit 7 section 1 & probably start unit 2 section 2 (won’t finish).
      DONE – Finished much of unit 2 section 2. and all of unit 7 section 1

      7) Experiment with semi-passive learning of additional podcasts. I am finding a lot more podcasts now of varying levels and enjoying it. I want to have it on more in the semi-background. It won’t be like Nihongo Con Teppei where it is 100% active and I am learning as many new words as possible. More for semi-active enjoyment knowing distraction will happen and that is ok. I don’t think I can add to my active study time right now, but I think I have a lot of minutes here and there where I can get in semi-active. Not passive but not hardcore concentrating either. I figure it can’t hurt, I will see how it goes.

      DONE – Okay area 5 & 7 is where the methodology breakthrough happened. Since the start these hard goals each month have really helped me. But with this test I am realizing that I was holding back my immersion with hard goals. I wouldn’t have recommended this early on because hitting card goals is so key. I am realizing my free time varies widely each day. Some days I just get in my hard goals, and other days I have 1-2 hours extra of free time I could study. By making the immersion a soft goal I did WAY more immersion this month without feeling stressed to do it. Both semi-passive but also way more passive anime. In the future I am going to make a “Business” hard goal category and a “Pleasure” soft goal category. I think this will serve me well for some time to come. As time goes on there will probably be less and less of Business and more of Pleasure.

  3. More of the same:

    1) Add at least 5 selfmade cards each day. Create about the amount of cards needed to have a 2-week buffer in the end (which is less than 5 cards day).

    2) Immersion. As much as feasible.

    3) Keep writing using HelloTalk. No specific goals because they kill my motivation

    4) Also, because its October: Create one ink painting following the rules of Inktober: https://inktober.com/rules . If they add a Japanese prompt list, use this one. The last years they did but so far they haven’t, let’s hope this changes in the next 24 hours :-D

    • More of the same:

      1) Did that. I almost managed not to make too many new cards but then I started playing OCTOPATH TRAVELER a couple of days ago and this generated way to many new interesting words. Oh well :)

      2) Yes.

      3) This is progressing well. I start to feel more and more confident with outputting Japanese. It still costs a lot of energy though.

      4) Did that mostly. Skipped two days because of all-day travelling. They did not do Japanese prompts this year. This year I did not get much enjoyment from doing this. Most of the time I questioned myself why I kept doing it. I still drew more or less daily and after following a Japanese learning schedule daily for more than one-and-a-half years doing a daily challenge for 31 days kind of felt silly. At least something learned.

      Month was ok overall. Slow-and-steady progress. Some good moments, some bad days. I wonder whether the time of big leaps is past myself, but future will tell.

  4. Based on last month I think I want to take a break from learning new cards. I’ve been getting really frustrated with reviews and midterms are just around the corner. My goals are to keep up with my daily reviews until midterms. After midterms I think I will try to finish Tae Kim and maybe Jalup Stories

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