Hello very helpful people,
I need help.
I started my Japanese class again last night and came away feeling like I hadn’t been studying for 2 years at all. I know there were a couple of other people in there who also were adjusting to returning after the summer, but I was utterly overwhelmed.
Let me explain what I think the issue is and hopefully someone or some-many can suggest a few ways to get me out of the mire and back on track.
So, I just started level 3, which is lower intermediate level. The classes are taught in at least 80% Japanese - all written material are in Japanese, questions from the tutor and answers form students should be in Japanese. English is only used to clarify new concepts and relate to grammar.
I can read/write in Hiragana and Katakana just fine and knowing ahead of time that this level introduces the N5 kanji, I started WaniKani at the start of this year to try and get ahead of the game.
Since I just started Level 12 (not the fastest, I know) I have learned over 1000 vocabulary words, plus we completed ‘Japanese for Busy People’ book 1 last course, which means I have learned around 500 vocabulary words from that.
The thing is, I can’t seem to remember any of it when I need to speak or write Japanese.
I know its going in my brain - when I read Japanese I can make sense of most of what I am reading (obviously a dictionary is not far away) and when I am doing WK reviews I mostly score higher than 80%.
I feel I have a good grasp of grammar for my expected level and know rules for particles etc.
BUT, compared to my recognition level when I see a word or kanji, my RECALL ability when asked a question in Japanese is almost non-existent.
So, this really long post (sorry) is really just me asking how to improve my ability to get the Japanese language to where my brain needs it for Listening, Speaking and writing under pressure (2 hours in a coffee shop with a dictionary makes homework easy, but “write about your summer holiday in 5 minutes” is impossible).
PS - I know a lot of people will say “speak more Japanese”, but I don’t know how to go about that really as the only Japanese person I know is my tutor who I share 2 hours a week with 15 other people.
PPS - I am going to Japan in 2 weeks and I was feeling pretty confident until last night. Now I have massive anxiety about talking to anyone or doing anything.