Japanese – end of the 1st month

So, I’m at the end of my final week of the first month and thought it would be useful to reflect on my progress and think about what I’ll be doing during my second month.

Goal – To complete ‘Basic Kanji’ Book 1

Kanji – I set myself a target of completing the ‘Basic Kanji’ book 1. I initially I thought this had 500 Kanji but soon realised that this was for both volumes in the series. That’s fine as I was really looking to finish that first book and I have.:) Finishing that first book doesn’t mean I remember everything. So what to do now?
A) Characters I don’t recognise immediately 
To simply know the meaning of a single Kanji (not the possible readings) I’m using the following books.
‘Kanji Look and Learn’ which provides a picture and a story to help remember them. There are some from Basic 1 that are not in ‘Look’ so I’m making my own mnemonics.
I’m also displaying cards (White Rabbit Press) to cement ‘how’ they look and notice the stroke order.
Tuttle’s ‘Kanji Learning Dictionary’ – this particular dictionary is useful as it includes nicely referenced graphemes of the Kanji
B) Re-Enforce knowledge
Knowing individual characters is useful but it’s important to be able to read them. Therefore, my natural emphasis now is on vocabulary that have the very Kanji I’ve been studying. To do this I’m going to be using a few resources for this.
‘Goldlist’ – awhile back I used the ‘Goldlist’ method (https://huliganov.tv/goldlist-eu/) and really made great progress with it. I think this will also be useful for me now as it offers the opportunity for me to re-enforce Kanji stroke order as I’ll be handwriting my vocabulary.
‘Kanji Look and Learn’ workbook – again useful gap-fill exercises.
‘Kanji de Manga’ – I’ve heard some interesting things about these books so I’m going to give them a go just for fun. ‘Basic Kanji’ book 1 – selecting a reading passage at random.
‘Memrise’ – ‘Basic 1’ vocabulary can be found here.
Variety of N4 test books with only a focus on the Kanji questions.

Goal – To complete N4 grammar book

I have now completed working through all of the 122 grammar points in this book. This involved noting the qualities of each term and writing/completing sentences in my notebook. This was useful as writing by hand gives me so many opportunities to annotate the sentences as well as practice Kanji. I also constructed my own sentences and posted these onto LingQ and iTalki. I’m still, though, left with two targets.
A) Confusing grammar points.
One of the things I’ve discovered, is that I don’t completely understand the differences in a few grammar patterns as they share similar meaning. I need to speak to someone about such things. As such I set myself a mini-goal last week to improve my confidence in speaking. I started by recording myself reading particular conversations found in my textbook and posting this onto LingQ. I will post more on that mini-goal next week.
B) Unknown grammar
The other target I’m left with is using grammar points I understand but simply have never used. So, I’ve taken the contents page of this book, circled the points I want to use and then put these points into groups (about 10 groups in total). So, now I’ll just take one of these groups to do some mini-writing.

Goal – LingQ

I must admit that this was not a major focus for me this month. I did regularly work through vocabulary and tried to listen/read a few articles each week. I’m going to maintain this with a more active attempt tp import my own lessons. This was generally a light and fun part of my studies; I’m going to try to keep it like that for another month.
Before I break down how my second month is going to look in terms of time and task, I’m just going to enjoy the fact that I’ve completed my Japanese goals for the 1st month. Yeah! 🙂
Image result for cupcake#

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