I’d mentioned earlier that I’m hoping to learn Japanese this year. I’m going to be doing periodic updates on my progress; mostly to keep me motivated but also, some of you might be interested… (If you’re not, just ignore me.)
So, January hasn’t been as productive as I had originally hoped. I was originally planning to have started into the Leitner Box method, with daily vocabulary review. I was also planning to have finished reviewing my first intro level text book. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had time to do what I’d planned.
But, I did do a few things:
First. I have FINALLY begun scripting my “essay” for Japanese school. Our “final project” assignment is to write a short essay about any topic and present it to the class. It’s of course best to use the grammar we’ve been learning all along. I’m struggling to fit some of these grammar points into my essay. But, maybe we haven’t learned enough grammar yet? I’m also not decided on my topic. I’d like to talk about manga, because I have no lack of words when I talk about manga. But I’m still wondering how “nerdy” I should make it. Unlike just about anywhere else, I feel weird talking about how much I like manga at Japanese school…
Second. I have begun going through my N4/N5 Japanese vocabulary book. I’m mostly transcribing the vocabulary and some phrases into my note book. I’m not using any English at this point in my notebook; I’m not sure how long I will be able to manage doing this. At this moment, I’m hoping to avoid English as much as possible. I’ll be using these same words when I finally get into constructing my Leitner Box – anything I can’t recall when I review will go on a flashcard.
Besides being busy, the reason I haven’t started my flash card/Leitner box plan is that I wasn’t able to buy the word cards or flash cards I was interested in. I think I’m going to have to place an order on Rakuten – since Amazon.jp wasn’t letting me buy from them. I have a bit leftover of my old stock, but I’ll need to buy more soon if I don’t want to run out.
Speaking of Amazon.jp, I did pick up some other new things. Mostly new study materials. Or, what I am hoping will be study materials. Because buying study materials is always a good idea… especially when you’re not actually studying… [this is me being sarcastic].
I ended up picking up two new N5 study guides:
They’re not the prettiest, but they both look really useful. They seem to be mostly JLPT practice tests and study techniques. The first one (日本語能力試験 完全模試N5) on the left concentrates a lot on listening skills since that is a big part of the exam, and comes with 3 CDs. The second book (合格できる日本語能力試験N4・N5) is primarily practice and review problems, and includes notes like “study these phrases” and “know this verb conjugation” etc. I think they’ll both be really good.
I also experimented by buying a few “cute” looking study books. Or…maybe not so “study” and more so “just for fun”, but I wanted to give them a try:
The first two are activity books – mostly word games. I had thought they were going to be all crosswords, but there are lots of different kinds of activities in them. I’m not sure they’re entirely intuitive to a non-Japanese person, so this will be interesting trying to figure them out. The last book on the right is entirely crossword (or similar) games focusing on grades 1-3 kanji. It is divided by grade level. By July, I have grand ambitions to be at least able to read grade 3 kanji, so I’m hoping that a few activities like these will help. I was trying to complete the first grade 1 crossword in the kanji book, and I was able to get a few of the answers before even studying (or looking anything up in a dictionary), so I’m super happy about that!! These are going to make studying so much more fun!
The last thing I bought was a grade-school level kanji study “book”. I’ve since discovered that it is actually a book of flashcards that you rip-out. It comes complete with key rings. The flashcards seem to be really instructive in how to remember how to write the different kanji. I actually think this will be really invaluable to me. I’ve been wondering how I was going to study kanji.
I’ve got a handful more books and activities on their way. But, at this point, I really just need to clear a space on my desk for “studying” and get down to work!