In regards to the possible continuation of the Jalup Anki deck series past 3000, I received a concern by email about using pre-made Anki decks for an extended length of time, and whether it’s a bad idea to continue relying on them.
“I wonder if there is a danger in keeping people using training wheels for too long. There is surely merit in making people do their own thing. I don’t mean in terms of ‘character building’. But the level of confidence and facility with Japanese may get a boost from doing something entirely on their own. They say the last duty of a good mother is to let her children go.”
Let me start by saying that I originally was in the mindset that everything had to be on your own. There used to be a post on this site (for those that remember it) that said you should be creating everything 100% from RTK to J-E to J-J.
But even then, the idea was for the 3000 cards to give you enough power to go off on your own (possibly by using The One deck as a nice start). So why have I changed to thinking that Jalup Expert taking you to near fluency (lvl 65) as opposed to just Jalup Advanced (lvl 40) is a good idea?
I think of it as an MMORPG analogy
To gain experience and level up, you can pretty much train anywhere in the game. There is a feeling of a near infinite amount of possibilities all across the wide landscape of the world map. The player is given the full choice of how he will become stronger.
Guilds in these games usually have their own leveling grounds that they either recommend (and help out with) or control exclusively (in the case of open Player Killer servers).
Rather than their newbie guild members just randomly running off, being confused and inefficient, they highly encourage using their training grounds, as they have been around for a while, know what works, know what is efficient and can give full guidance with them. But guild training grounds don’t just stop at newbies. There’s a leveling grounds for levels 20-40, 40-60, 60-80, and so on. A guild strengthens itself by strengthening its individual players.
You gain levels. Gain confidence. Gain comrades. And have a nice smooth path.
It’s true that because of this you aren’t exploring the full spectrum of possibilities to level up. You aren’t testing out new waters and the unknown. You may be missing out on the chance to find secret dungeons and develop a broader knowledge than other guild members.
But what it really comes down to me, and why people are happy to use guild training grounds is this:
You are leveling to enjoy the game, not just to level. Leveling is only a means to that enjoyment.
You grind because that grinding allows you to go on new and harder quests, experience new areas, create new friendships, and have grand adventures.
While everyone in a guild may use the same leveling grounds, every member comes out differently. Even from the actual leveling grounds itself, everyone approaches their use of it in their own way. Each member then takes his experience and decides what skills to learn and progress. Everyone acquires different equipment and weapons, spells and techniques. Leveling grounds are just a base for your unique growth.
I think Japanese it is the same.
No one studies just to get good at Japanese.
You study because you like Japanese TV and movies. You like books and music. You want to visit or live in Japan. You want to make Japanese friends. You want to experience the culture. Studying just allows you to get there.
From all the experience gained through your pre-made Anki decks (“guild leveling grounds”), which are used in a way that matches your study style, you then decide what you are going to engage in and enjoy, what you are going to pursue and accomplish, and what you are going to be an expert in.
Yes. I believe in them. But how about everyone out there? Regardless of whether you use this sites’ decks or any others, are you feeling the analogy? Even a little?