I admit I have not been very good at keeping goals and I have failed more than once to achieve my language goals. However, I have been in Japan for more than a quarter of a year now and I have already gotten the go-ahead to stay for more than a year, so it’s definitely now or never.
The goal is to finish N2 on December 2018. Get Kanji Kentei certified (as high as I can go) and to be fluent enough to conduct my business and read and talk in Japanese. The dream has never faded — only the motivation to do so does.
I have all the tools now. (I do think I have too many books). I am in the country of my dreams … and I am now embarking on this monstrous task of fulfilling my dreams within the time limit. Yep. The clock is ticking.
Right now, I can pretty much speak conversational Japanese. I can even speak it while drunk. I can express myself. I can explain some stuff in Japanese. I can understand generally what they are talking about and what I need to know. But I really want to fully understand them to speak and read like a native.
I am lucky because I am immersed in the language. I use it daily at work. However, it really takes effort to really learn. I can learn from listening, trying to read and writing my daily diary in Japanese. But I guess anyone who wants to learn a language can say that language learning is not just about words and phrases or grammar. It`s about learning a culture. It`s becoming the language or a person who uses the language.
I also know that my biggest weakness is reading. I love looking at kanji. LOOKING but I cant read all of them. I think my goal should beto be able to read and write and not to speak. So I need to focus on that part better.
So, this is how I plan to do it. I have been studying Japanese seriously for about a year or so without any method (or by experimenting with what works for me) halfway through, I have been losing both focus and motivation to do so.
So I figured, since I am all over the place, I need to streamline my studying to phases.
PHASE 1 : KANJI and VOCAB 3 months
PHASE 2: GRAMMAR/ READING 3months
Since I am in Japan and I am exposed, listening has become the easiest part to study.
PHASE 1: KANJI AND VOCAB
Time: 3 Months (May-August 2017)/ 2200 kanji in 3 months
Daily time allotment: at least 1-3 hours a day
Tools: Remembering the Kanji 1. Notebook. Kanji 1000. Kanji Dictionary. Vocab Lists for N4-N3. Kodansha Kanji Learning. Memrise/Anki. Daily Log.kindle
I use Heisig RTK system because I like how it is a complete system for at least REMEMBERING the Kanji and how to write it. I have to support it with the Kodansha system for the Japanese meanings (since you dont get to do the complete Japanese meanings until RTKII) . I also have several notebooks for drills and another one for RTK/ Kanji I learn daily.
THe goal is to learn at least 25 kanji a day. Meaning and all. I like how RTK has its own app for flashcards. I can at least review on the go. What I also do is that I try to read as much as I can in Japanese. Right now, I am reading 君の名は in novel form. I am slow, but its fun and I am getting there.
PHASE 2: GRAMMAR AND READING
Time: 3 Months (Sept-Dec)
Daily time allotment: at least 1-4 hours a day
Tools: Genki, Sou Matome Books, etc.
I am not there yet, but I am planning that once I learn kanji, i should be able to go through this. Since I know how to speak and listen, I will seriously sit down with the grammar once there.
For now, I am working on PHASE 1 and will update as soon as I can.