My Top Study Tips: What I’ve Learned About Learning

やすいにくい copy2Everybody’s different in how they learn. Here’s a list of habits and techniques that have helped me learn better.  Maybe they’ll help you, too!

◊Practice all 4 forms of input/output.◊
That’s reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Don’t neglect one, it’ll catch up to you!

◊Set specific goals.
Set achievable, realistic goals each week/day and stick to ’em!  If you’re consistently not meeting your goals, it’s time to set the bar a little lower for now, it’s okay!  The more often you achieve your goals, the more motivated you are to keep going!

Study every day, even if you can only do 15 minutes.
Something is way better than nothing! You’d be surprised what you can do in 15 minutes. Review a set of flash cards a few times. Do a round of iKnow. Write a short entry in your Lang8 journal.

Bombard yourself!
You don’t have to go AJATT (All Japanese All The Time), but expose yourself to Japanese as frequently and in as many forms as possible. YouTube some Japanese bands, read a Japanese blog, visit the Japanese website for your favorite anime, follow Japanese friends on Twitter, and of course, watch animes or dramas.

Get a study buddy
Studying is a lot more fun, and you remember a lot more, if you have someone else to study with! So, find a buddy, in your school/town/online/wherever, and get to it!

Speak!
Find native Japanese speakers for language exchange! None in your area? Skype is a great tool for that. There’s a Japanese-English Skype group on Lang-8 that you can join, with tons of potential Skype pals.  It can be intimidating to try speaking, but you’re not going to wake up one day and be a perfect Japanese speaker, not without lots of practice!

Get comfortable with making mistakes.
Today I told some Japanese pals I was going to go kayaking with my family at a chair(いす). I meant to say pond(いけ). S’all good, we had a laugh, I fixed it, and I’ll be damned if I’m making that mistake again. Making mistakes is one of the many ways we learn. Nobody’s going to be spouting fluid, fluent Japanese the first time they say something. Get comfortable with making mistakes and you’ll improve your speech MUCH faster!

Have you tried any of these suggestions? Didja love it? Hate it? Did it not work for you?

Got a suggestion that’s really helped you?

Leave a comment about it!

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One Response to My Top Study Tips: What I’ve Learned About Learning

  1. marcusbird says:

    I totally agree. Getting in even a little bit seems like a good way to go. Still trying to figure out how to get people on Skype to chat regularly tho : p

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