So you’ve decided to take Japanese classes. But you’ve also decided that you would never let the painfully sluggish pace slow you down, and would continue self-studying like a Japanese language rock star.
Then comes a super annoying issue.
One Jalup reader in this situation worried about the following:
“My university only offers three semesters of Japanese through Genki 1 (yes, one and a half years to complete Genki 1!!!), and I hate how–despite the fact that I can use grammar and read and write many kanji we will never learn in our Japanese careers–my teacher looks at me like I have three heads because I don’t know the word for “_______.”
My output is still awful: I can read far more kanji than I can write, and understand far more than I can speak, but my teacher never gives me the opportunity to demonstrate that.
What should I do?”
A year and a half for Genki 1 is insane. But surprisingly typical for universities.
School Japanese can be weird, as it focuses too much on short term (and instant gratification) and not enough on long term. But class is class, and to get a good grade you have to be able to do what they want. You need to be able to know exactly what they teach you, and be able to reproduce it in the way they want.
So two tips to overcome this Japanese divide:
1. In Anki, add in the vocabulary from the textbook vocabulary lists. Either use your existing sentences and exchange vocabulary words to create new sentences, or use the textbook sample sentences filling in those vocabulary words. This will reinforce your grammar and teach you a new word every new sentence you add.
Since quizzes, tests, and your judged ability will depend on those vocabulary you are supposed to know, you will need to learn them now.
2. Read out loud and write sentences (by hand) whenever you do Anki reviews. This increases your output to match the pace of the class.
Once you do this little bit of catch-up to match the class needs, you will easily blow away your teacher and everyone else in the class.
Anyone want to add any other advice how you coped with matching class needs with your self-learning?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.