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Do Classes Make you Study Japanese More or Less? — 5 Comments

  1. I did 4 years at Uni and studied pretty hard, but focussing on the text book and what I needed to pass the course. Uni goes for about 20 weeks a year, so there were 30 weeks I wasn’t studying at all. Once the uni course stopped, suddenly the scope of studying became the entire Japanese language and I spent way too much time studying. I have had to ration my study time. .^_^. So classes made me study less, but I may have been actually learning more because I was focussed on the small part covered in the course and learnt that well.

    My daughter was learning Japanese at a government school called the “School of Languages” which holds classes after normal school hours. Unfortunately, last year she had a teacher whose idea of a class was to hand out worksheets and let everyone get on with it. After a year of that my daughter came home and announced that she could work through the text book just as effectively at home without the overhead of the commute. So the class time became her self study time and we employed a skype tutor. She studies a little more than she did when she had classes, and keeps it up through the holidays as well, and her study is much more effective. Its been great to hear her online lessons go from disconnected nouns to simple conversations.

    So there we are. Two cases studies. Classes made us both study less.

    • Thanks for both case studies :)

      That’s a great point I didn’t think of. Even if you study intensively in classes, you follow their vacation schedule, and it can feel like you only need to/should study while class is in session. I found that with my class as well.

      And that’s unfortunate about your daughter’s program. Japanese teachers can provide real value if they teach right. Luckily it didn’t discourage her and she was able to find a different way to success.

  2. I took classes early in my study of Japanese, and loved them! I only stopped when they ran out of classes at my level. For me I think it helped that I never stoped my previously established habits of self study- largely flash cards. The class really helped my work on pronounciation and let me ask lots of questions. It also helped me build a strong routine early and I continue to stick with it.

    I took uncredited night courses, with very small class sizes, so the pace was pretty nice! I was also lucky to have some great teachers.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience.

      It makes me think that people who self-study first, developing specific and strong study habits, get a bigger boost from classes than those who just go in with no previous Japanese experience.

  3. Don’t forget that there are several different teaching methods/strategies that could be used in the classroom, and that can impact how well classes synergize with your self study. Before signing up, I would ask one of the teachers which methods are used in the class. Your experience may vary.

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