Upon your character creation in Japanese Quest, you have 4 major attributes which all start at zero: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Every experience point you earn from day one will be distributed between them. However, as you progress, what started as even begins to diverge. You will start noticing with increasing frequency that your attributes are becoming unbalanced.
What should you do to solve this concern that troubles all Japanese learners?
If you are like most, your skills will fall under the following order of proficiency:
3. Writing (this refers to typing)
If this is what your skill ranking generally looks like, you have nothing to worry about. This is the setup that is most beneficial to you. There are two reasons why this trend occurs and why you shouldn’t mess with it:
1. The more proficient skills improve other skills in addition to themselves. They are doing extra work for you so you tend to go heavier on them.
– Reading: also improves speaking, writing, and listening.
– Listening: also improves speaking and writing.
– Writing: also improves speaking.
– Speaking: only improves itself.
To simplify this: passive skills improve their active counterpart.
2. It is easier to enjoyably improve the more proficient skills.
Reading and listening can be done almost anytime, anywhere with purpose and enjoyment. Writing usually requires some sort of purpose for it to be enjoyable. Speaking usually requires someone else to be enjoyable.
So go ahead and let your skills naturally progress unevenly.
*Note: The above ranking is just a generalization, so it may not 100% match you. This will be especially true if you are studying Japanese for a different reason besides achieving overall fluency, or you have a specific goal in mind you are trying to reach first. It is perfectly fine if your ranking is different.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.