The joy of being on the right track

A good way to get yourself back on track, especially in language learning, is to go back to the reason why you started in the first place. It is important to have one because without a goal in mind there is good chance you will drift through weeks and months aimlessly without making any actual progress. Having a definite goal also helps you gauge your strengths and weakness between now and before, giving you the satisfaction of having achieved something and a clear sense of objectives for the future.

I have watched my ‘reasons’ change over time. This year my goal has been to improve my speaking skills in Japanese and also pass the N3 level JLPT exams in July. While the start of the new year and the framing of resolutions provided me the initial momentum for studies, I found myself in a slump last week. I was distracted and did not feel like making use of the time I had for Japanese. That’s when I came across Shanna’s post and heard her speak Korean like a boss.

I was inspired to study again!

Last year I had made the decision to write the N3 in December. I had 6 months to prepare for it. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Part of the strategy I used there was to study the hardest stuff first and go back to the easiest. And so I started with N3 and worked my way back to N4. Since I found a lot of references to N4 grammar in my N3 textbook, I thought I was hitting two birds with one stone. But that wasn’t the case.

Thanks to that I now find myself floating in space, neither here not here. To remedy this I have begun anew with an N4 grammar textbook and it’s been such a confidence booster. I can see progress taking place because every grammar point I study can be connected to the conversations I’ve been a part of or the texts I’ve read in the recent past. And this has helped solidify the concept in my mind.

Yay for progress!

With that encouraging bit, I would like to announce that I’m going to try this whole audio blog thing as well. It will be private for now as the objective of this exercise is to practice speaking. I would love to post them up here once I feel I am able to make coherent sentences. This will definitely be a good opportunity to practice all the vocabulary and grammar points I have been studying recently.

P.S. I have to work on the Toastmasters of the Day script for the coming session and I have absolutely no idea where I am going to start. The theme is going to be ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ I am excited to see what I come up with.




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