Learning a second language in and of itself is difficult enough, and Japanese does not make things easier for many learners with its intimidating writing system, grammar concepts, formal, casual, and honorific speech, and more. As such, it is not uncommon for some students to take a short hiatus from their Japanese studies and eventually return feeling like they must go back to square one.
There are several reasons why picking up Japanese again can prove difficult:
1. You may have had little opportunity to put your learning to practice.
2. It is inherently different from your mother tongue.
3. Learning Japanese demands your full attention and is best learned through scheduled study or total immersion.
Hence, taking long pauses between study sessions will result in losing your momentum.
However, don’t fret if you lack continued practice since the good news is that you may well remember more Japanese than you expect. Here are some tips to reinvigorate your motivation for learning Japanese and refresh your learning so you can get right back on track!
1. Walk down memory lane
Take a walk down memory lane and remember what got you started with learning Japanese in the first place, be it a desire to travel or live in Japan, do business in the nation, or anything else in between. With this rekindled purpose, you will have an easier time resuming your progress and, hopefully, keep at it for good this time.
2. Review old study materials
The goal here is to retrace your steps and return to where you last left off. Reviewing past materials provides clues pivotal to refreshing your memory and recalling everything you have learned so far. Consider putting on a Japanese song playlist or podcast while reviewing to quickly get into your Japanese “study zone”. Besides providing you with a substantial refresher, reviewing also lets you see your progress and put into perspective how far you’ve come since then. This should help reinforce your motivation to push onward again with your studies.
3. Hone your basic skills
Despite already having a solid understanding of basic skills like writing kanji and kana, it is still recommended to practise from the beginning to shake off the rust from your muscle memory. If you could read well enough the last time you left off, try reading easier content first instead of immediately resuming to more difficult ones. In short, take baby steps and avoid jumping in all at once, even if you are confident, you can go right back to the swing of things.
4. Get organised
Stay organised and establish a routine with a breakdown of manageable goals for study sessions as you go along. If you think you can handle more, adjust your sessions but take note not to be too ambitious by trying to absorb many things in one sitting.
One big reason you may have dropped your studies for a while is because of the required time commitment. If you are studying alone, you don’t have to force yourself into cramming or overdoing it and thus avoid getting burned out again.
5. Don’t isolate yourself
Many activities are best done with others, studying included! As such, if you have been learning Japanese by yourself before, it may be time to get some study buddies. Studying with others serves as a reminder of why you’re learning Japanese and provides positive reinforcement to keep going, whether it’s connecting with a native Japanese and becoming language exchange partners or other Japanese learners like yourself online or through Japanese classes in Singapore.
Sometimes things get rough again, and you find yourself unwilling to study one day for whatever reason. To ensure history does not repeat itself, stick to the minimum of putting in 5-10 minutes of practice daily without question. Having a quick and simple minimum goal per day keeps you from breaking your study habit no matter what.
If you’re determined to avoid further hiccups in your Japanese learning journey, enrolling in Japanese lessons in Singapore can help you stick to your commitment! Get on the fast track to reaching your study goals at Japanese Explorer, where native Japanese instructors, effective and personalised teaching methodologies, and like-minded individuals all come together to help you master Japanese sooner than later. Don’t hesitate to contact us and get started with your classes today!