New Year’s Challenge: Progress Report #003

Hi, guys! Happy February, I guess!

So this progress report is a 20-day update because I was on holiday last week… which means as well that there’s going to be less done than maybe I should have managed. Oh well. We’re into a 6WC month, so I expect that’ll be fixed. 😉

Anyway, on with the post!

New Year's Challenge Progress #003

Time period covered: 21.01.2016-09.02.2016

Okay, here were my goals from the last update:

  • Do at least three more Easy Japanese lessons. – Done. I mean, realistically I should have set the target of six (because this is a double update); but also I only managed about three and a half, so this counts as a done goal. I’m finishing up lesson nine this evening and then I’m hoping I’ll get through one a day where possible. There’s really no excuse for not doing them – they’re so short – I just keep being a bit lazy about it. 
  • Write five sentences in Japanese and put them on lang-8 for correction. – Still not done. I really need to prioritise this goal, because I’m remembering some of what I learn, but not all of it – and I know that writing will help me.
  • Finish the IGLC for January. – I didn’t finish but I did do 18/28, which is not terrible. Since then, I’ve created a new language-specific Instagram account (you can find that here; or just search xuexisprachen on the app). I’ve not started the IGLC this month, but I think I’ll try it again in March.

Like I’ve already said, I’m hoping that the 6WC will prove a good opportunity to get on with some more learning and now that my holiday is done, I’m not off work again until mid-March for the Easter break. Being at work does always make me a little more productive, so with any luck that will all culminate with me studying a lot more.

Still, I’ve learnt a few things in the last 20 days, including numbers (and yay, all the kanji are the same as the Mandarin versions, so I only have to learn the pronunciation!), more particles (super confusing), and some things about te-form verbs that I’m really going to have to go over again. I’m also not sure how useful the Easy Japanese dialogues are proving to be right now, but I don’t think I’ve learnt enough to judge.

What is important is that I reinforce this information that I have been learning. I’m not a very good self-learner for the beginning stages to be honest, as I have a tendency to look at something and go ‘oh, yeah, I get that’ and then I kind of forget to go over it again and make sure it’s sticking. For some languages, this doesn’t matter so much because I’ve either already got this information drilled in in another form or I’m not such a beginner; but Japanese is proving to be very different to other languages I’ve already learnt or dabbled in (including Mandarin), so I need to try harder.

With that being said, I read this post on today about the importance of a “multi-track” approach. I highly recommend reading it, especially if you’re beginning a language and you’re already interested in using native materials, because what the author, iguanamon, says makes a lot of sense. Basically, the article recommends using more than one course concurrently to reinforce learning a little more naturally (hearing the same words in different contexts, etc.) and to spend a little time using native materials, even if you’re a beginner and feel like you won’t understand anything.

I really like this idea and though it’s something I would consider for a language that uses the Latin alphabet, it’s usually not what I’d think to do with a language like Japanese. However, it seems doable. Twitter and Instagram make it pretty easy to find short texts – and I already know there’s a lot of music out there that I could listen to and look at song lyrics.

So with that in mind, here’s my goals for the next ten days:

  • Finish five more Easy Japanese lessons.
  • Write five sentences in Japanese and put them on lang-8 for correction.
  • Find and follow five Twitter accounts that tweet in Japanese.
  • Find and follow five Instagram accounts that are about Japanese.
  • See if I can find an audio-based course to use as reinforcement.

And here’s the link for this post:

The “multi-track” approach to language learning (Guest Post by iguanamon)

How are things going for you guys? Are you into your routines for 2016, or are you still not feeling it? Let me know how things are going – and let me know if you have any suggestions for Twitter/Instagram accounts that I should follow!


  1. Here are some of my favourite Instagram accounts teaching Japanese:

    That’s four. You can also follow me @dedicated.polyglot, I post Japanese lessons too xD

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