Learning is a lifelong journey, even when you are tackling languages. Although goals are key to measuring progress, there is no end when it comes to fluency since there is always something new to learn. As such, even veteran Japanese language learners constantly seek ways to improve their skills and reflect on their past mistakes. This knowledge of what they could have done better not only helps them in their future studies but is also priceless to those attending their first Japanese lesson in Singapore. That said, not every student can easily reach out to such experienced people for advice, which is why this article collates some of their most valuable tips to help make your Japanese-learning journey so much easier!
1. Put more time and effort into your weak points
It is natural to avoid things we are not good at, but proactively working on these weak points separates those who excel from those who remain average. After all, Olympic gold medalists do the same and work on their areas for improvement too and not just ignore them. Facing these shortcomings is what makes everything so much better.
In studying Japanese, neglecting your weak points—be it learning kanji, applying grammar concepts, or speaking in Japanese—will only make them weaker and, most importantly, constantly hold you back. Thus, even if you do not find it enjoyable to work on something you are not good at, just persevere and you will get better over time. Your efforts now will inevitably make your studies progress more smoothly later down the line.
2. Start learning more kanji sooner than later
It is no secret that kanji is one of the few things that take forever to learn in Japanese. Going back to the previous tip, kanji affects many aspects of your studies more than anything else. In other words, kanji can help or set you back, and the former is always preferable. By learning more kanji, you can be more effective at every stage of your studies. It is as simple as that.
Since the topic of learning kanji is far too extensive to cover in this article, the key takeaway is that not learning as much kanji as you can now is a long-term mistake beginners should not make. Therefore, it is best to start finding the right approach to learning kanji that suits your learning style and make incremental progress as soon as possible.
3. Include SRS learning in your study regimen
The spaced repetition system (SRS) is a learning technique based on flashcards that lets you review what you already know. Getting a correct answer will extend the interval of the next review, while getting a wrong answer shortens it. This helps strengthen your memory every time you recall something right as you are about to forget it. SRS is a proven and more effective system compared to the traditional way of regular memorisation.
4. Strive to make more mistakes
One can gain a lot from making mistakes, but this rarely occurs since we are hardwired to avoid them, whether it is embarrassing, painful, or some other personal reason. Making mistakes is one of the quickest ways to learn due to several reasons, such as:
- Pushing your boundaries.
Avoiding mistakes means you are not pushing your boundaries, which slows your learning pace.
- Getting out of your comfort zone.
Being afraid of mistakes keeps you from learning new things and expanding your knowledge.
- Gain insights on how to improve.
A mistake presents an opportunity to learn what you did wrong and provide better insights into your studies.
- It means you are trying!
Mistakes mean that you are trying to become better and are making progress towards your goals. That said, learning from these mistakes is what matters most. Repeating the same mistake over and over again is just a waste of time and will not get you any closer to your desired fluency.
There is no right way to pick up Japanese since everyone has a unique learning style. That said, by learning from those who have come before you, you can better progress with your studies and reach your study goals sooner than later!
If you want to begin your Japanese learning journey, start on the right foot by signing up for a Japanese class in Singapore today! Japanese Explorer provides tailored courses taught by native Japanese instructors using proven teaching methodologies, which all come together to help you master the language in record time.
Get in touch with us today to learn more and get started with learning Japanese!