JLPT BC 50 | Where do I go from here?

50th JLPT PodcastFirst off, I can’t believe this is my 50th episode! Thanks everyone for making the podcast a success and for supporting me and the site through this process. I hope to be delivering another 50 podcasts with better than ever quality of content.

Recent Studying

I’ve been talking about picking up a listening book because I scored lower than my expectations on the listening section on the N2 in July. I thought about picking up the 試験に出る聴解N1/N2 because I recently finished the 試験に出る読解N1/N2 and found it to be a good book that was really on target with how difficult the test was.

Well, I went to the bookstore and did some looking around at all the books available for listening practice at this level. There were basically only two available, the previously mentioned 試験に出る聴解N1/N2 and the 新完全マスター聴解N2 (New Kanzen Master). I took a look through both of these books and decided on the Kanzen Master book.

Why? Well, mostly because it looks like the Kanzen Master book has a lot more bang for your buck. It also goes over numerous listening strategies and general listening practice to help you really improve your listening, not just for the test but also in real life situations. Or at least that’s what it looks like right now. As always, after I’ve gone through the entire book, I’ll be sure to post up a video review going over what it is like.

50 Episodes, Where do I go from here?

I started this podcast about a year ago with the mission of helping others that are studying for the JLPT be more successful. I really want to create something that is useful and benefits the community. So, I need some help from you, the listener.

Right now, there is about 1000ish of you that listen to the podcast on a regular basis. Although, I’d like to have a community more like 10,000ish, this smaller size is a big advantage for you. Why? Because your voice will be heard more clearly.

So, I want to create a podcast that is more in tune with what you want to hear about. What is going to benefit you and help you study Japanese, pass the test, and be excited when the next podcast comes out. And in order to do that, I need just like 1 minute of your time.

Some Ideas for What to have on the Podcast

But, I’m not going to just leave it completely open-ended, I’m going to give you a little help with some ideas that I thought up. However, if you have any other ideas, no matter how crazy, I’d love to hear them.

Updates on what I’m doing to prepare – I’m essentially already trying to do this in the first 2 or 3 minutes of the podcast and I’ll probably continue to do that, but would you like to hear more?

Interviews with test takers – I’ve been trying to contact a few test takers for some interviews for the podcast. Would you like to hear what other test takers have to say? How they study? Does anybody want to volunteer for an interview?

Mnemonics for kanji/vocab/grammar – Mnemonics are incredibly useful for memorizing key grammar, vocab or kanji, but they are a bit of a pain to come up with. Would you appreciate some mnemonics to help with those troublesome points?

What’s it like to live/work/study in Japan – I’ve been in Japan for over 7 years now, so I know the place fairly well. Would you like some insights into life here? Are you interested in the job scene and what it is like?

Japanese culture – Although I think there are numerous blogs out there that cover this topic quite well, would you like to hear about some local culture? ‘behind the scenes’ culture that you can’t really see on the surface. I’ve been tempted to do a few myth busting episodes that bust typical myths about Japan.

Focus on the vocab/kanji/grammar for one level of the test – Until now I’ve shied away from focusing on one particular level because there are people of several levels listening to the podcast, but would you like it if I focused on one particular level every year and did a few podcasts on that? I would probably start with N5 (in 2012) and just move up from there. Hopefully by the time I get to N1 I’ll have passed the test!

Or is there something else I’m missing that you’d like to hear about? I’d love to hear any ideas you have. I like this community of listeners, and you’ve always been really helpful in providing suggestions and ideas, so thanks for that.

Make it Yours

Let me know what you think! Take the quick survey below or leave me a comment. I’d like to know what you think would be useful to you.

What Should the Podcast be About? (select up to 3)

  • What I am doing to study and prepare (25%, 76 Votes)
  • What's it like to live/work/study in Japan (18%, 55 Votes)
  • Focus on grammar/vocab/kanji for one level (per year) (18%, 54 Votes)
  • Interviews with test takers (15%, 47 Votes)
  • Mnemonics for Kanji/Vocab/Grammar (15%, 47 Votes)
  • Japanese Culture (9%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 165

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P.S. Do you want to be the first to know about new resources for the JLPT? You should join my newsletter!

P.S.S. Do you like helping people out? Then, you should leave me a comment on iTunes and leave me a review.  If you have comments or suggestions for the podcast, by all means let me know in the comments below or contact me and let me know what I can do to improve the show.  Thanks!

P.S.S.S. I just got a Facebook Page.  There you can get up to the date info about the site and join the conversation.  Hope to see you there!

Music by Kevin MacLeod Photo by Wilhei55

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Bob October 21, 2011, 1:45 am

    I have not listened to all the podcasts yet; but, here are a few ideas.

    Difference between JLPT language and casual language.
    Listening examples with native speakers.
    Continued resource review.

    • Mac October 21, 2011, 2:34 pm

      Those all great ideas. I’ve been thinking about how to utilize native speakers, I might be able to through in some example sentences here and there to help you get the idea.

  • Azanea October 21, 2011, 10:27 am

    Would definitely appreciate interviews with test takers and how they study. Would also like to see a couple of lines of Japanese life and culture.

    • Mac October 21, 2011, 2:35 pm

      I’m working on arranging some interviews right after I get caught up from my intensive teaching I did recently. Stay tuned.

  • Nick October 21, 2011, 11:00 am

    How about a helpful countdown? Like: “It’s just 44 days to the JLPT and if you’re taking N5 level, you should have by this time done the following:
    Thorough with your Kanji
    Know 80% of prescribed vocabulary
    Should be able to read basic sentences in hiragana quickly

    And then follow up with what you could do with the remaining time to improve upon difficult/left-over areas.
    Finally a week before the JLPT, any last minute advice on what to take and what NOT to take (cell phone, alarm watch, beeping devices and so forth).

    To make things interesting and also useful, if you have any partnership/understanding with JPod101, you could give away a month or two premium subscription to a few lucky folks to encourage more feedback and help them with their prep!

    Hope you like the ideas!

    • Mac October 21, 2011, 2:42 pm

      I definitely like the ideas. I’ll be factoring some of them in over the next few weeks.

      As for the free subscriptions, I could probably haggle something if more people signed up through my jpod101 affiliate link (hint hint), but for right now, I’m just a poor man with a blog, perhaps when I get rich and famous I can pay you all back with some mad Jpod101 bling, though.

  • Paul October 23, 2011, 9:51 pm

    Appreciate your hard work! Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together. All of us have busy schedules and a site like this REALLY helps with the finer points of language learning.

    • Mac October 25, 2011, 6:39 am

      Thanks Paul I’m going to try to keep up the great work! I hope I don’t let you down.

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