I haven’t studied much Japanese since I passed the JLPT2 in July, quit my job, and went on my skate trip. An enormous amount of Anki reviews waited for me when I returned to Tokyo, and I decided to delete many of the decks, besides the grammar ones, and start all over. For the rest of this year and 2015, I’ll attempt to absorb the language through reading books and watching TV.
I’m 150 pages into the first book of Harry Potter. Looking up never-ending unknown words takes a while, but I can understand enough that it’s still enjoyable. My goal is to finish every book in the series before 2016. Doubt it will happen. Doubt I’ll even finish this one.
The girlfriend watches stupid drams when she gets home from work. I’ll try paying attention to one or two and see if there’s any I can bear watching.
To further mix up the monotony, I’m trying some new language learning techniques I read in a short book. How to Become Fluent in Spanish: Not for Beginners, Not Quick and Easy, but Really Effective. He has an interesting way to learn a foreign language. It’s nothing necessarily new, but still interesting and a way to mix it up. The one I like most, is memorizing short paragraphs.
But here’s what the author has to say:
Every day write down a list of 10 words to memorize and date the piece of paper. Make your master list on a word document. When making your list, put the words in context. Seeing them in context makes them easy to memorize. On a separate sheet of paper, by hand, write down each word 10 times and say them out loud, all while focusing on pronunciation and keeping the definition in mind.
Now you need to quiz yourself. Make two copies of the word list. One copy with only the definitions, the other with only the words. Print them out. On the paper with only the words try to fill in the definitions; on the paper with the definitions, fill in the words. You’re only finished when you pass the tests 100%. If you miss any word or definition, you have to write the word down another 10 times and repeat the test until you complete it perfectly.
Test yourself on the words daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly. The first day’s test is 10 words, the second day 20, third day 30, and so on until you have 70 words at the end of the week. When you start a new week, don’t test yourself on the previous week. At the end of the month test yourself on all 280 words.
Every day you should try to use your new 10 words in conversation. He says if you can’t talk to a real person, talk to your dog or your doorknob.
Read out loud to work on your accent and rhythm. Keep your eyes ahead of the word you’re reading so you understand in blocks of meaning. Speak slowly; speaking fast ruins your pronunciation. You should record yourself. You should address any sounds that you have trouble with right away. If you screw up a sentence, repeat it.
Memorize a new paragraph monthly
He recommends choosing a four to six sentence paragraph that is from a respected author. Write down each sentence 10 times. Record yourself reciting it. Think of yourself as a storyteller when you do it.
Conversing in the language is important. You should at least try to get 4 conversations in a week. Give yourself a grammar lesson once a week.
That’s the gist of the book. I need a long break from Anki cards so I’m going to give it a try.