Studying Japanese is something expected of you if you are with JET. In some schools it is acceptable to study during downtime. There are numerous approaches to language learning, but before you choose an approach, you need to know what you want to achieve. How much and what part of the language do you want to learn?
- Getting by - enough to get you through most situations.
- Conversation - able to hold a decent conversation
A word of warningEdit
Don't think that living in Japan will make you fluent, or even give you conversation level Japanese. Living in Japan (especially working with JET) does not force you to speak much Japanese. The Japanese that it does force you to speak is not necessarily correct Japanese.
- Antimoon myths - an article on the 'myth': "The best way to learn a foreign language is to go to a foreign country"
- All Japanese All The Time blog on mistakes
Become involved in learningEdit
Researching different methods, reading blogs of language learners, talking to other language learners will help improve your language learning.
Methods and techniquesEdit
Kanji is an essential part of Japanese. The Korean language was able to move away from Chinese characters, but because of it's properties, this is not possible for Japanese. Kanji is also considered to be one of the hardest parts of the language. With it's difficulty and how useful it is to know, it is beneficial to learn as much Kanji as you can as quickly as you can.
Remembering the Kanji is a book to learn how to write all the kanji you need for JLPT1 as well as one English meaning for each kanji. Studying full time, it can take two to three months (double the time for part-time study).
- All Japanese All the Time Blog - very full on, but very thorough description of one way to learn Japanese.
- Reviewing the Kanji - a free website, flashcard program and forum to help you study the book, Remembering the Kanji
- Companion forum,
- anki - a flashcard program that will help you studying the kanji.
Input Before OutputEdit
"It is OK to make mistakes, just try." - yes, but no. Making mistakes enforces bad behavior. Why do you need to try? Instead, just read and listen first and only write and say what you know is correct (enforcing good behavior).
- Antimoon website - actually for English, but some very good articles that can be used to learn any language.
- 10,000 sentences article from All Japanese All the Time - Japanese specific article on the input first approach.
- antimoon article - on how to avoid mistakes and avoid reinforcing them.
Finding your own wayEdit
Listed below are a selection of blogs and websites that offer a wide range of approaches and advice on learning Japanese.
- http://www.antimoon.com/ - about English, but can be applied to any language.
- http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com - A large amount of information on learning Japanese, first through the kanji and then through 'input first'.
- http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar - A very complete (and free) grammar guide for Japanese. Includes some advice on how to study.
See more information about how to get started at the Central Wikia tutorial.