Hi everyone. I just quit my job because Covid-19 has affect my carreer greatly and I just don’t want to waste my time 9-10 hours a day, earn half of what I used to earn, and putting my self at risk of getting infected by the disease. I have quiet decent amount of saving in my bank account. So I decided to quit my jobs and study Japanese full-time.
My Japanese knowledge is about N3 I think. I tried N4 mock test a few times and I pass them with ease. So my goal is I want to pass N2 in this December. (Job seeking purpose)
I’ve planed to study Japanese 6 days a week 8-10 hours a day.
In the morning I will learn or revise grammar, kanji and vocab.
In the afternoon I’ll do reading, listening and grammar excercises.
I will consume only Japanese entertainment such as newspaper, manga, anime, drama, and video games. I will try to always think in Japanese.
I’ve booked classes with Japanese teacher on Italki twice a week to practice my speaking skill and ask any question regarding Japanese that I’m unsure about.
Any suggestion please? Feel free to criticize and tell me if I’m on drug and trying to do the impossible lol.
(I think I need to practice my English as well. My writing skill is horrible right now sigh.)
Howdy, firstly do you have your other qualifications for a job in order? N2 Japanese is important, but when career hunting make sure you have all the other qualifications for whatever job you want as well. I’d also recommend either volunteering online or doing something beyond just studying Japanese to at least pad out your resume a bit.
As for a full-time plan, I would suggest carefully planning out your day. Have you taken N3 or engaged with N3 material? Try to figure out what you know and don’t know more accurately.
Then, split your day up! Have a designated time for kanji, vocab, grammar, reading, and listening. Do them in the same order if you can. And have different platforms/textbooks/ways of studying each of them.
If it’s just the JLPT certification you need, there’s a ton of different textbooks completely meant for JLPT study. Pick a textbook series (TRY!, soumatoume, kanzen, etc) and go through them. Also take full JLPT practice tests.
Keep a study log and go over what you’ve learned, what works, and what didn’t work regarding study strategies every day. You’ll have to figure out what study schedule works best for you, but I highly suggest you treat studying Japanese like a full day of school and split it up into different “classes”, where you can take a small break after each section.
Anyway, good luck! Half of the difficulty in something like this is finding a schedule and routine that works for maintaining that level of Japanese concentration.
I think I have probably enough qualification for seeking a job (I have 4 years experience and 3 degrees). However I agree with you on seeking something above and beyond just study Japanese. I’m thinking about taking an online class in an university.
Yes, I battling on N3 material right now, like Tobira, N3 textbooks, Tae Kim grammar guide, Bunpro, and Youtube videos. For Kanji, I think I will stick with Wanikani, but I know many Kanji above my level from news articles I’ve read daily on Todai apps. I would be fine I guess. (The problem is I know those Kaji in their vocaburary form. I can’t mix and match those Kanji outside of their context because I don’t know their Kunyomi and Onyomi reading and possible meanings of the Kanji)
Yeah I think I will spend the next month of trial&error on optimizing my study routine to find what is work for me and what is not.
Thanks man I appreciate your respond. It does help me a lot.
You might consider starting a study thread on here! I know I would be curious to see how some progressed putting a real full-time effort into studying, plus it would probably provide some much needed motivation! Not to mention some valuable English practice as well.
Have you considered hiring a teacher or tutor? I have an Italki class twice a week and it’s fantastically helpful to have a native person to talk to for speaking practice and to talk about things that I just haven’t been able to grasp from reading (looking at you, とりあえず).
I’m planing on sharing my result and experience on this effort, whether it’s a successful one or not. I think it would be a helpful information for many people not only in Japanese learning.
Yes, I’ve booked Italki class twice a week with a Japanese teacher. It’s gonna be awesome.
I came across these videos recently on Youtube. Although he used this method for French and I haven’t tried it for myself, seems like it could be very effective with any language for full-time study.
KemushiChan has a video that might help:
A lot of her JLPT videos also contain pretty good resources.
My advice is very simple - if your goal is to pass the exam, than you should study for the exam - forget about manga and italki, you will just get distracted and burn out faster. N2 is not an easy walk, ESPECIALLY if you never took real JLPT before.
I think Nihongo So-Matome N2 books are perfect for your situation! I personally use them at the moment to get ready for N2 in July, they have everything you need in to order to pass, especially in terms of grammar. I am at 39 lvl WaniKani and feeling comfortable in terms of kanji, I guess around 45 lvl would be perfect, very achievable in your case. BunPro also helps a lot for reviewing grammar and reading practice.
Gotcha, and honestly I’ve heard with Covid that employers are more understanding of resume gaps so you’re probably good to go in that case! (I talk to a lot of people who think that they can get any job with enough Japanese lol)
And yeah no worries! I’m going to be in a similar situation very soon, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how to optimize my time to reach N2 from N3 in the next 6-8 months as well lol. Keep me updated with whatever tips you find and I’ll share what I figure out!
First of all, thanks man your suggestion means a lot to me.
I completely agree with you study to pass an exam and study to for practical use are two different things. I need to to know what is my goal and strategize toward that.
However, I think I still add manga to my schedule though but probably not included in my 8 hours count. It’s because I still need to entertain myself some how right? lol I will slowly try to use Japanese on everything in my daily life.
I will dedicate 8 hours to seriously studying Japanese with passing N2 in my mind.
I think everybody is different, and has different motivational structures, different brains, … Presently I spend 6 or 7 days a week, with 4-6 hours of study per day.
Here’s some things I notice about your structure:
- Why only 2 hours of iTalki per week? I learn a TON from iTalki, and it’s super, super motivating to me, to be actually talking with real life live Japanese people. If I were not studying Japanese part-time, I would do 2 hours of iTalki, per day. That’s about $20/day, or $500-600/month. That’s a lot of money, but I can’t think of anything more powerful for my language learning than iTalki.
- More focus on video games? Maybe it’s just the ADHD, but I’ve seriously found video games to be one of the most motivating ways to learn Japanese. It doesn’t feel “just passive” like reading 漫画, and the reading is motivated – there’s a reason I am reading, there’s something I need to know, and there’s a natural sense of time-urgency, because I want to get to the next thing, too – I want to keep active. I’ve found video games to be a great way of downloading good natural Japanese language, straight into my mind. So far, 聖剣伝説2 has been my best friend, because it’s reading level is kind of, – I’d guess it’s at a 4th-6th grade reading level. 聖剣伝説3 is a little too high for me. I first tried 聖剣伝説2 and it was gnarly hard for me, but then after a couple more months with WaniKani, and I was seeing a lot more – around level 25 it got much easier.
- Make sure you’re watching Japanese anime with subtitles. Sometimes watch slow and sometimes fast.
That’s my main thoughts, reading.
Honestly, your structure is what I really want to do. And I believe it’s the correct path to real Japanese fluency. However, my goal is I really really want to pass JLPT N2 in December. So I could use JLPT result for my job hunting.
I was in the same situation for English that I study so hard just to pass the IELT test 7.0+ for studying Master degree. So I decided to study solely for taking the exam. After I pass the test, I spend about 3 month abroad with something similar with your method to immerse myself with English to be able to use my English skill in daily life oversea.
What I am doing right now is taking notes for grammar/vocab I see/hear and write it in a notebook. This is something Japanese Ammo with Misa recommended:
I’m not doing it full-time but maybe it is something that works for you when you read/watch Japanese. In the video she also explains the best way to understand Japanese with english subtitles which helped me quite a lot.
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