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Learning Japanese my own way? 2013/12/21 02:32
Hello there all.

I have been attempting to teach myself Japanese for the past few months and have been trying to find ways to boost my progress. (Not to be confused with speed up)

I would like to find some more engaging methods to help my mind learn and adapt to the language.

My Goal is to one day Live in Japan as a permanent resident so I am aware I have a way to go.

Thus far I have been looking at 2 major options.

1. Enroll for a semester at KCP International in Tokyo.


2. Rent a guest home for roughly 80 days and learn through more study while there, immersion and just hearing the language around me.

In both cases many of the points listed intersect, however option 2 is roughly 5000USD less expensive.

I feel it comes down to If I work better with the instructor/class room environment or disciplining myself and committing to self study even more so leading up to going to japan and while still there.

I feel both can work, but I am unsure as to which one might be the best, I know different things work for different people.

I would love some feedback from all of you on your honest opinions. All factors of both choices are being taken into account.

Thank you!
by DaveH90  

Re: Learning Japanese my own way? 2013/12/21 23:23
I wasted a lot of time trying to study on my own (with a private teacher even), before finally going to school, which worked much better for me. I think unless you're extremely disciplined, school is the way to go.
by Umami Dearest rate this post as useful

Re: Learning Japanese my own way? 2013/12/23 02:32
There are dozens of ways to learn Japanese on your own, and hundreds to thousands of ways of being distracted from doing that.

You can find online books, textbooks, and videos, of how to learn Japanese on your own. But, without a structured approach, or amazing self-discipline, you will probably not succeed.

If there is a community or junior college in your area which offers Japanese 101, then go for that. Then use the other stuff you found as a supplement. You really need something to kick start you into serious study. Doing it all on your own is somewhere between tough to impossible.
by Susan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Learning Japanese my own way? 2013/12/27 12:23
I learned Japanese via self-study even though I'm not "extremely discplined," and I do know other professionals who've gone the self-study route. It can be tough, though it's certainly not impossible. You might want a bit of class time (or other sort of chat with a native speaker) when it comes to pronunciation, though.

An important note, however: How far are you in your current studies? How many kanji, say, do you know; what grammar topics have you most recently covered? I ask because if you don't have a strong enough foundation in the basic language, option #2 might leave you a bit afloat. In a recent job, I ran across an internal paper from the English department of a Japanese university examining this very problem: the students they were sending abroad weren't advanced enough in their second language really to maximize the enrichment from their home-stay experience, and as a result, the trips ended up as mostly sightseeing and cultural-exchange experiences rather as language-learning opportunities. I'm not mentioning this to be a "you are NOT READY" uppity jerk; I'm saying that if you're still at an early-ish stage in your development, option #1, which would formalize your instruction and give you step-by-step learning goals, would be more efficient than just throwing yourself in the deep end of the pool and hoping for the best. (Again, you _can_ do structured, step-by-step self-study, but that doesn't seem to be present in the self-study option you're considering.)

Good luck!
by Blenheim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Learning Japanese my own way? 2013/12/27 12:24
"...option #2 might leave you a bit afloat."

Adrift! I meant "adrift," not "afloat." Back to English class for me!
by Blenheim (guest) rate this post as useful

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