All posts filed under: motivation / daily study

My new study method: the One-week challenge/immersion!

I think I got it at last! The method that suits me best to learn a language. Learning Japanese on my own has been a mess of trials and errors, of abandoned study plans and seemingly revolutionary but unrealistic study methods. But somehow, it has been fun trying different things, and designing study plans is definitely one of the reasons why I love learning things on my own. But at last, I think that I have found a method that I can stick to, and that will help me improve my Japanese while being entertaining enough to not feel like hardcore study. One-week challenge/immersion study method My problem is that I regularly come up with things that I want to do on a daily basis, and of course, if these daily tasks pile up, it becomes impossible to do them all every day, and I end up dropping some of them. As a result, I am always a little anxious because I feel that I am not doing what I should be doing. If I …

Read the news in Japanese: one-week reading challenge!

I have decided to try something new this week and start a “reading the news in Japanese” challenge. I will read and translate one news article per day this week, starting today and ending on Sunday. I think that the more often you read the news, the easier it gets. Not only because you improve your reading skills in general, but because you get familiar with a certain vocabulary and know what the main topics of the moment are. Which articles? I like reading the site Mainichi.jp, so this is the news website I will choose. To avoid losing time every day in looking for articles worth studying and to be sure to pick a topical issue, I will choose mainly the editorials. As you can see on their website, they usually write two editorials per day so I can choose the topic that interests me the most (or even study both if I am motivated). I also like the editorials because I find that they are the most interesting articles. The others tend to …

September, at last!

September is here at last! (I don’t like Summer in Korea because it is too hot and the air conditioner everywhere makes me sick.) Only four months to go before the end of the year…! It’s time to look at the goals we set for ourselves in January and make some last adjustments to be able to end the year with a feeling of accomplishment. I always feel a new energy in September: I want to set new goals, and I am sure that I can achieve more during these remaining four months than I did until now. But let’s be honest with ourselves: if we could not perform well on a certain objective during the past 8 months, we probably won’t be able to achieve it until December. I think that a good way to define realistic and doable goals is to draw a third column table: In the first column: Write the goals you want to achieve, ideally. In the second column: Narrow it to something realistic. In the third column: Transform the …

Monthly Review: August 2018

August, or summer in general, is not a good time to study… at least to me. I have struggled with books and haven’t read as much as I should have. I blame my lack of productivity on Korean summer heat and hope that writing this monthly review will put an end to this Summer curse, chase away my laziness and put me back to study! Books Do you sometimes have moments when you don’t feel like reading at all or start several books and feel unsatisfied with them and unable to go beyond the first 20 pages? August has been this kind of month to me. First, I started 『往復書簡』by 湊かなえ (みなと・かなえ)and loved it but was disappointed to find out that it was a collection of short stories. I stopped after the first story and decided to start another book instead, one from my reading challenge list. I picked up 『悪と仮面のルール』by 中村文則(なかむら・ふみのり). I haven’t even talked about it on my blog because I only read around 20 pages before deciding that this book was not …

Back to study mode!

I am back, after a two-week break from writing my blog. Even though I promised myself that I would continue learning Japanese, I almost did nothing to learn or be immersed in Japanese during these two weeks… Some say that taking a break from time to time is not a bad thing and some say that you should not take a complete break and continue to be in contact with your target language. I tend to think that a complete break is not the end of the world in itself and can even have positive effects. However, because it is hard to get started again, it is maybe best to avoid such complete breaks, just to be on the safe side. But as I did a two-week break anyway, I don’t have another choice than to get started again. I gathered some tips that help me get back on track: Look for emulation First of all, I read blogs or watch YouTube videos by people who write/talk about language learning and how to stay motivated …

Monthly review: July 2018

I haven’t been productive this month, I was mainly fighting the heat, sleeping badly because the temperature would hardly go down during the night. That’s okay, because I know I will be filled with new energy in September! Japanese I haven’t done much apart from reading, studying Anki and making one type of exercise per day. I like my new schedule, it allows me to regularly write, listen, read the news, study grammar… without feeling overwhelmed. This being said, I miss studying Japanese like I was doing last year to prepare for the JLPT. I long for a new textbook that I could follow blindly, but I am not ready to start preparing for N1 yet, and I don’t know any advanced textbook that is not JLPT oriented. Stationery and Fountain pens My passion for stationery has led me to the dangerous territory of the fountain pens. I say dangerous because it seems endless and each step can cost you much more than notebooks, colour pencils and stickers together. I didn’t know that the world …

Organising my studies

For some time now, I come up with things that I want to do every day. I want to write in Japanese every day, I want to do listening exercise every day, write lines of kanji, read the news and take notes, read my book on Japanese history, revise N3 grammar, study Anki, and so on… While all these things could be done every day taken separately, it is overwhelming and almost impossible to do them all on a daily basis. Not that it takes too much time though, some of these tasks only require 10 minutes. I have reflected upon what makes it difficult to do several different tasks a day if it is not a problem of time. I think that I am the kind of person who needs a lot of willpower to get started. Once I am doing an activity, I can sit for a long time at my desk or wherever and go on studying. But starting is difficult. It is easier for me to work for one hour on …

New Anki deck, old goals

I have started a new Anki deck… and I am not using anymore the one I started on the very first day of my learning Japanese. I have realised that my Anki deck was not fitting my goals anymore. When I created my deck, I had in mind a strategy to learn vocabulary as thoroughly as possible. As a result, each note was attached to three types of cards which were supposed to reflect all the way you handle vocabulary in real life: (in Anki, a note is where you enter the information you want to learn, a card is how you want Anki to test you using this information) Either you want to use this word yourself: Show English, Answer Japanese Or you read this word: Show Japanese, Answer pronunciation and English Or you hear this word: Play audio through the plugin “Awesome TTS”, answer English. I thought that this was the best way to learn vocabulary through Anki. In any case, it is a very thorough way, and I don’t regret having used …