Laddr's Study Log

This marks the start of my Study Log. I have been keeping one for myself and posting it publicly on Jalup. However Jalup stopped the monthly goal posts and I like the idea of public goals. So to kick it off here is a starter post on where I am in my journey so far summarized.

I am 3 years into studying as of 2021. It has been very consistent 2-4 hours a day everyday for the last three years. I made a major breakthrough in January where I can finally listen to podcasts and such and keep up and enjoy them.

Year 1:
Started with RTK for Katakana/Hiragana
Then RTK for Kanji
Listened to a bunch of stuff in the car from Pimseular and Michele Thomas Method
Started Jalup flashcard system and made it through almost 3000 cards.
Watched anime & Terrace house

Year 2:
Tons of Jalup through part of Jalup Master
Tons of Terrace House
Read a little manga
Read Grammar the Manga Way Textbook

Year 3:
Finished all 7000 Jalup cards and started my own deck
Started Shadowing with the book Let’s Speak Japanese, finished beginner and started intermediate/advanced
Started using Hello Talk daily to work on output
Finished Terrace House, watched random shows and anime
Read a little manga
Started heavy into listening with listening to podcasts and Nihongo Con Teppei

Year 4:
This is just starting, about 60 days in. The biggest change recently is I started with italki this year and am doing at least 1 hour a week of speaking in Japanese with a Tutor. Going very well so far.
I finally feel like I understand my level in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking and where I need to work. I also finally feel like I made a breakthrough on thinking, listening, and speaking Japanese without the need to translate and I can do it pretty real time. Obviously have a lot of work to do still to get up my level but I have confidence in what to do…

I always welcome thoughts and feedback!!!

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March 2021

This month I am going to try my first light novel きまぐれロボット it was a recommendation. I am expecting it to be hard because it is my first time. Generally right now I am very focused on listening and speaking but it shouldn’t hurt to do some reading and try a novel.

I like dividing my goals into business and pleasure. It keep me focused on the important goals while also using my free time to cram in more ‘fun’ stuff.

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews
  2. Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 45 min a day (usually 3-4 eps)
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each)
  7. Get through half of きまぐれロボット

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can

As always love feedback/questions.

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March Results

The month went well, I got a chance to get vaccinated and then take a trip so I took it, long overdue. That slowed me down a bit but I kept on pace. In detail:

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews - DONE
  2. Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 45 min a day (usually 3-4 eps) - DONE, this is probably the goal right now that is helping me progress the most
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day - DONE
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck - DONE This was actually tricky. Now that I started a novel I am getting more than 12 new cards a day and I don’t like adding more than that in a day to prevent reviews from stacking up, going to adjust next month
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day - DONE - but it was a slog. Finished book 2 lesson 7. This feels the least effective method right now. Going to adjust for next month
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each)- DONE - actually did a number of 1 hour sessions as well. This is super fun and I gain a lot of confidence.
  7. Get through half of きまぐれロボット - Great, I realized I could have done it all in one month but I was getting too many new words, slowed down and did half of it. But being my first novel I was expecting a ton of trouble. There was some but went way smoother than I thought. This was awesome and another confidence booster.

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can This was minimal this month I was too busy
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can This was moderate to minimal as I was busy
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April 2021

I am going to adjust something this month. I find myself barely paying attention with shadowing lately. I am almost finished the two part Shadowing book series (Shadowing Let’s Speak Japanese) but I want to take a break this month. Instead of shadowing from my book I will shadow from podcasts instead to try that out. I will likely resume next month and try to finish off the shadowing books. It will be a good test anyways since I am almost finished with the intermediate book.

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews
  2. Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 45 min a day (usually 3-4 eps)
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day, try using podcasts.
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each)
  7. Finish second half of きまぐれロボット

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can

As always love feedback/questions.

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Good work, keep it up!

  1. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each)- DONE - actually did a number of 1 hour sessions as well. This is super fun and I gain a lot of confidence.

I found 1 hour lessons to work better. It’s like it takes 15 minutes for my mind to fully swap into Japanese.

きまぐれロボット

Looks good, I haven’t heard of this one and it’s good to find more approachable books. This makes me wonder if we should start a thread with good books for those starting out with reading native materials. Previously, things like キノの旅 were recommended and that is harder and much longer than きまぐれロボット, which is a bit off-putting for those starting off with reading!

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Thanks for the feedback! I was a bit worried to try the 1 hour. I am not a conversationalist so talking to a near stranger that long sounded hard, especially in another language. But I found that it was no more difficult maybe easier. I don’t think I had the switching issue you mentioned. For me the longer duration just allowed the conversation to go deeper and be more natural. Not just like how are you, how was your week, what are you doing this weekend, 30 minutes, done.

Glad you like the book recommendation. My italki tutor recommended it. It was my first novel and it feels like the perfect recommendation. It is not too childish that it is boring. Every chapter is the same length (4 pages). They are pretty self contained so you are never too lost. They all have some twist ending and a sci-fi bent. Hoping once I finish this one I find some more similar ones.

Thanks again!

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April Results 2021

This month went well with some small speed bumps. The first was I found not following the Shadowing books made my shadowing even less productive and focused. I am looking forward to getting back to them next month, but I am not sure how to handle shadowing long term because I am almost finished with the series.

Second speed bump was I took a long weekend road trip and paused all but my reviews for that time. But otherwise I hit all goals. In detail:

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews - DONE
  2. Listen to Nihongo Con Teppei podcast – 45 min a day (usually 3-4 eps)** Done, actually finished all 600+ of his intermediate, going to try some Noriko podcasts next month. Can’t recommend Teppei enough, it was game changing for me.**
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day Done
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck Still added a ton of words but a bit more manageable and not as overwhelming as when I was doing a novel and my shadowing book
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day, try using podcasts. Done but as I said this need attention long term not sure my plan
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each) Done, this is going super well doing 1.5hrs a week
  7. Finish second half of きまぐれロボット DONE!!! I finished my first novel and it was much more doable than I thought. Really enjoyed it. Will take a month or two break and then get something else probably from the same author.

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can Watched a little, started getting into Alice in Borderland on netflix
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can Did good here, lots of bonus listening
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May 2021

This month I want to get back to my Shadowing book series. I am on the last chapter of the intermediate/advanced book. Maybe I will finish it but most likely it will take me two months or so. No rush, just keep doing shadowing daily. If anyone has tips on what content they like to shadow I am open to suggestions since I am almost finished with this series. I like the measured progression it offered. It gave me some structure to my shadowing.

Otherwise mostly business as usual. I am going to wait a month or so to start a new novel as I don’t want to get too many new words right now.

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews
  2. Listen to podcasts – ~45 min a day
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day, see if I can finish my shadowing series
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each)

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can

As always love feedback/questions.

2 Likes

Nice! I have this next up on my reading list :slight_smile:

Alice is Borderland is great! Really looking forward to season 2, that program kick started my listening challenge.

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Nice how did you structure your listening challenge? I think I missed that on your study log.

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I am currently reading Kimagure Robotto! I like it because each story is only 3 and a half pages long and has a “surprise” ending!

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The listening challenge is based on the super challenge from another forum. The original challenge is 100 movies and 100 books in 20 months; however, a movie is 90 minutes and a book is 50 pages. So 9000 minutes and 5000 pages, which is a heavy load!

My challenge is to just complete the listening part in 12 months. So 9000 minutes in 12 months. Anything goes, TV, anime, YouTube (even grammar videos, providing they are in Japanese! Like Nihongo no Mori), podcasts, etc.

気まぐれのロボット is a good book for a quick daily read.It feels like a step up from the N3 books I previously read 『どんどん読める』

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Glad your enjoying the book. Thanks for sharing more about the challenge as well!

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Perhaps we can share our favorite “surprise endings” from Kimagure Robotto! (with a spoiler alert at the beginning, of course!).

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SPOILER**

A few standout but maybe my favorite was the alien talking to the robot in front of the theme park thinking how kind our race must be. haha

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SPOILER

Some are amusing:

-the pillow that teaches you a foreign language while you sleep, but then you can only speak it while talking in your sleep;

-the scientist and his robot assistant who visit a planet and make the inhabitants “civilized” by teaching them stuff and then at the end the grateful aliens erect a statue–to the robot, because it did all the work.

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-the pillow that teaches you a foreign language while you sleep, but then you can only speak it while talking in your sleep;

That’s a good one :slight_smile: I think it’s the first or second story!

I also wish the pillow worked and existed in real life :laughing:

If you click the gear in the post editor, there’s a thing called “hide details” that’s good for spoilers. I read all the ones posted so far even though I was trying not to.

May Results 2021

I enjoyed getting back into the Shadowing book, I kind of missed it. I started off fast and could have finished chapter 8 this month but after a couple weeks I stopped new chapters. Why? I was getting way too many reviews from adding way to many cards. It was really catching up to me and reviews were topping 200 a day again. That is just way too much for me and robs my immersion. So I spent the last couple weeks adding less cards and slowing down for a bit. It has helped and I think next month I will likely finish the Shadowing book. After that I may take a break from shadowing. I do it because everyone says to but after 1-2 years of shadowing I am plateauing a bit. I would rather spend more time listening or something. I am sure I will come back to it.

I am still going to wait a month or so to start a new novel or maybe manga as I don’t want to get too many new words right now.

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews - DONE
  2. Listen to podcasts – ~45 min a day DONE over 100 eps in on Noriko and Teppei, it is slightly harder than teppei intermediate I think because they rarely explain things but I still understand almost everything and love it
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day DONE
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck DONE adding too many words trying to slow down
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day, see if I can finish my shadowing series DONE
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each) DONE - I have been enjoying 1 hour sessions may try more of those next month compared to 30 min

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can I finished Alice in Borderland and watching a new anime I am enjoying
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can Didn’t have a ton of extra time on this but maybe next month

As always love feedback/questions.

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June 2021

Going to try to finish Shadowing series this month and try and plan for July what exactly to do with Shadowing or if I will break from it for a bit. I will finish Teppei & Noriko this month and then plan on starting on Noriko’s podcast next.

Business Goals

  1. Keep up with reviews
  2. Listen to podcasts – ~45 min a day
  3. Hello Talk – Daily moments post and at least 1 direct convo a day
  4. Add new words from podcast, hello talk, books, shadowing etc to my self made deck
  5. Continue shadowing everyday. 15-30 min on average per day, see if I can finish my shadowing series
  6. 2 italki tutoring sessions per week (30 min+ each)

Pleasure Goals

  1. Watch as much Japanese TV/anime as I can
  2. Listen to podcasts (active, passive, semi-active) as much as I can

As always love feedback/questions.

3 Likes