It is time to plan my studies for next year! (I know it’s a little early, but I cannot wait!)
More easy books, more difficult books.
I have greatly enjoyed 2018: finally, I was able to read a wider range of novels, mysteries and detective stories.
I could go on like that in 2019, but being able to read best-selling authors like Keigo HIGASHINO does not mean that I can read any literature in Japanese. There are so many books that are still out of reach, fiction as well as non fiction.
To progress, I will have to go out of my comfort zone and tackle books that are above my level. I think that reading books I can tackle easily helps me to progress, but only a little. I feel more and more at ease with Japanese sentences, I can read faster and faster and I learn some new vocabulary… But to really make significant progress, I know that I have to read a book that is a little too difficult to me and make the necessary effort to understand it.
But I still want to have fun and continue reading mystery and detective books that will not make me struggle too much.
In 2019, I think that I will try to widen even more the range of books I read:
- Light Novels: I want to read more light novels because they are a good way to chill out and have fun reading in Japanese
- Best-selling mystery/detective novels: I will go on reading authors like Keigo HIGASHINO or Kanae MINATO. I like mystery and detective novels, and I know I can read them without much struggle.
- Prize winners: I want to get more familiar with contemporary Japanese literature and looking at the winners of the Akutagawa Prize can be a good start (this will be a little challenging)
- Great authors of the 20th Century: I will pick one or two books I want to read before the end of 2019. They will serve as some kind of ultimate goal for the year.
I am very tempted by the JLPT N1. My last test was in 2017 and I have done nothing relative to the test in 2018. I like taking the test, I like to prepare for it, and I must admit that I miss the guided path of a textbook, the idea of studying with a deadline, and the feeling that I belong to the community of test takers.
But N1 is a little intimidating, I remember that making my way through the Shin Kanzen series for N2 was not always fun, and that my Anki had become a dreadful thing after all that.
On the other hand, if I decide to take the test, it will be for December. It gives me ample time to prepare slowly, gives me a goal for the year, and of course, it will help me to progress in reading and ultimately, it will maybe allow me to read these challenging books I have in mind.
Let’s draw the pros and cons:
|It will take me a lot of time, this certainly means less time to read books.||Of course, I will make progress!|
|It won’t be fun all the time, especially going through the Shin Kanzen series for N1…||It will go together with my reading goals for 2019, I am sure that the JLPT N1 will help me read challenging books.|
|It will spoil my Anki deck. I added so many words when I was studying N2 that studying Anki had become a nightmare.||Maybe I can use paper and pen to learn N1 vocabulary and kani and only add to Anki some carefully selected words.|
|It is the perfect excuse to buy tons of textbooks, and I will also have to choose a dedicated notebook!|
|I was looking for ways to use my fountain pens more, studying for the JLPT seems a perfect way to do it.|
|I always complain about my listening level. If I want to pass N1, I will have no choice but to practice listening seriously!|
|The test being in December, it gives me a nice straightforward goal for the whole year.|
|Taking the test is ultra motivating, in fact, the more I think about taking N1 in 2019, the more excited I feel!|
I am sure I could add more points in the “pros” column. So, it settles it I think! I will take the JLPT N1 in 2019! My aim is to pass in December, but I will certainly take the test in July too, as a warm-up.
I want to change a little the format of my blog in 2019. Until now, I was writing 3 times a week, following the pattern:
- Monday: About studying Japanese
- Wednesday: About Japanese books
- Friday: About non-bookish Japanese things (news, films, music)
I think that I will only write twice a week next year:
- Day 1: Some kind of “study journal” where I write about what I am doing for Japanese, the books I am reading at the moment, my reading progress, the books/film/drama I have heard about and want to read/watch, and so on
- Day 2: The reviews. Mainly book review of course, but also non bookish things (as I will not be able to read one Japanese book pro week).
But now that I want to take the JLPT, I think that I could add a “JLPT journal” section and post once a week in this category, to stay motivated.
I still have to think about it, and I will take some blog holiday at the end of the month (from the 20th)!
What are your plans for 2019? 🙂