All right, so the December 2012 test is over and done with. That was a bit of a big weight on my shoulder. I was trying to not put so much pressure on myself to study and pass this year because, well, I’ve got so much stuff going on, like say running a site and taking care of the little one, that attempting to pass N1 with just one year of study was going to be pretty tricky.
And although the results haven’t come back yet. I’m pretty borderline for passing, so I am not going to completely drop studying for the N1. It is going to take a back seat though, to some of the other things I’ll be doing to study. Also, I’m just kind of sick of going through JLPT questions all the time. I want to, you know, practice using the language.
So, I’m switching my study plan to focus more on fun, non-JLPT stuff. And although there is less ‘bang for your buck’ with some of these other methods of studying, I feel like you do need to step away from drill books and JLPT-specific books in general to really be able to easily pass the test and to use the language in general.
I also have a lot of ideas for the main JLPT Boot Camp site and for the premium site as well that I just haven’t had the time to implement, so I’m looking forward to working on that as well. And, I want to continue making awesome courses over at memrise, like the introductory course I’m still working on.
Since I’ve had my nose buried in drill books over the last 5 months or so, I really haven’t done that much speaking practice except for occasionally during the day at work and running errands. I want to get more comfortable having general conversation. I’ve also noticed I started to lose my ear for Japanese. I need to warm up a little before I can understand what is being said to me.
I’m going to return back to doing some work with JapanesePod101 to practice speaking a little more naturally. I feel like they have pretty conversational dialogs, as opposed to dialogs you see in textbooks that are a little too sterile sometimes. Also, Jpod101 has a massive library, so if I don’t like something I can just practice something else.
I would like to start up another exchange with some natives to practice general conversation skills, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find the time with my completely unpredictable schedule. In my opinion, if you study the grammar hard and are good at conversation, just having a conversation partner is all you need to learn a language.
I kind of want to try writing in Japanese as well, but that might be a tricky habit to start as well. I think that will have to be something I try to sandwich in somewhere 🙂
Fun Reading Practice
Yes! Believe or not reading can actually be fun, it doesn’t have to be a dull experience. I really enjoyed pushing my way through the first book of Harry Potter. It actually had a lot of good vocabulary in addition to the crazy magic words I had to learn.
The next book I’m going to attempt is a house-buying book. I’m seriously considering buying a house here in Japan sometime next year, and so I want to get the scoop on how to get a good deal on a house. Especially since houses here in Japan are quite different than they are in a lot of other countries.
I’ll also be continuing my constant daily review of vocabulary. I think it is really hard to walk away from studying vocabulary, especially at a higher level. It is also a great place to see smooth and measurable progress, so it is easy to stay motivated.
Those are my thoughts about my future plans for Japanese. How about you? Are you going to switch it up? Let me know in the comments.