[JAPANESE | RAMBLES] Making a Crumb into Bread – Part 3 – The End of Exploration (For Now) and…a plan?


Just, wow.

I had this really dinky list of books I had at hand, since the rest were packed and a handful of cool websites from Nihongo-e-na! during part 2.

Now I have this monstrous list (compared to before) full of MANY more books and SOOOO many more websites! I don’t even like sharing my Evernote Notes with people, but this list honestly is so long, I don’t want to copy and paste it here.

If you can’t tell, I managed to restore my collection of Japanese books and collected more than enough websites for studying Japanese. I don’t plan on using everything. Some stuff is going to be put aside for later study, such as the Tobira textbook series, while other stuff I’m probably just not even going to use at all. Like a bunch of the websites I listed.

I’ll probably colour code the list at some point and strike out things I don’t find useful. A lot of the stuff though did seem pretty useful to me in some way, which is probably a good thing.

The Journey So Far

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2, I was at a loss on how to go about filling in my in-between times with Japanese. Surely I couldn’t just fill EVERYTHING with Japanese audio, so I really needed to come up with a plan. In Part 1, I was struggling with a plan and decided that I really needed to research what I could use. In Part 2, I just began to find resources I could use to help me review.

Here, in Part 3, I have resources. Let’s see if I can come up with a plan as well.

The Plan Outline

I gotta have a plan for the year, right? I did a bit before, but I really needed something more detailed. With all these resources, I feel like I can actually make a detailed enough plan this time! (Even if I’m fearful of failing at that.)

I suppose we can divide up the division for Japanese this year into three parts, much like this blog entry:
Part 1 – Refresh
Part 2 – Learning
Part 3 – Review

In Part 1, I am “refreshing” my memory of Japanese. I haven’t really studied anything since July 2012 (bad me, bad), therefore I am extremely rusty. I have said it before, but I’m fairly confident with some review, I’ll remember everything I was suppose to already know…and I’m hoping I’ll know it even better this time around.

While refreshing Japanese, I need to stick with all activities that will help me remember what I should already know.

In Part 2, I am to learn new material. The new material I learn should be closely linked to the Genki textbook series. And by “closely linked”, I mean entirely. This should involve my previous method I had been doing for series back in 2012, since I felt like it worked REALLY well for me! I wouldn’t have remembered as much as I have without it!

During break times from Genki (aiming to be every two weeks; study a lesson for two weeks, then spend two weeks not doing a lesson), I am hoping to be doing some more review. The reviewing has to be done in a way not to wear me out, but still refresh my mind.

I expect myself to not even get to Part 3, but just in case…part 3 is another review. However, unlike Part 1 where I am trying to refresh my memory of what I should know, I should be drilling what I know into my head and make it hard to forget. It’s also the time I should be figuring out what exactly I’m weak on and tackling it!

Maybe I’ll make another blog post with an exact-details goal plan…might be a good idea, maybe not. I hope you’ll support me!

The Books

Through some luck, I’ve been able to bring ALL my Japanese-language learning books back into my work area. I have access to more physical study materials now, which is a great thing — I packed up so many helpful books unintentionally! To see a list of the books I have available to me, check out the top portion of this list.

Lots of books, right?

Okay, I’m sure some of you people out there have even more than me. That’s cool.

Anyway, out of all these books, what am I going to use? What is my breakdown?

For Part 1 of my plan, I plan on using:
わたしのにほんご (watashi no nihongo; My Japanese)
にほんご日記ノート (nihongo nikki nooto; Japanese-Language Diary Notebook)
Japanese Pronunciation Activities
JLPT Reading N5
The Preparatory Course for JLPT Level 4

For myself, all of these books cover all the areas I need to practice, review, and even learn!

にほんご日記ノート takes care of writing practice for myself, which I was aiming to do anyway.

わたしのにほんご, Japanese Pronunciation Activities, and Shadowing all practice speaking. I’m particularly looking forward to Japanese Pronunciation Activities for its focus on pitch accents. I’m excited!

Both JLPT books are great overall review materials, which I plan on stuffing in between everything else. Oh ho ho ho…ho…?

For Part 2 of my plan, I plan on using:
Genki II with its workbook

…and that’s really it.

I mean, if I’m not done with にほんご日記ノート or わたしのにほんご or Japanese Pronunciation Activities or Shadowing or even the JLPT books, I’ll add those in too. However, the focus will be on Genki II.

I may use にほんご日記ノート even while working on Genki, but during the down times, it will be a bit of everything else, perhaps in smaller intervals than in Part 1.

For Part 3 of my plan, I plan on using:
Everything Above
Any of my JLPT study books (I have quite a lot of them!)
Japanese Particles Workbooks
Basic Kanji Workbook
Maybe Kanji Look & LearnAnything else I think might be useful

Yes, yes. As I mentioned above, I plan on doing a heavy REVIEW of EVERYTHING I should know. I don’t even plan to learn anything new initially in my review!

I’m first going to do one of my JLPT practice test and judge what exactly I’m failing on (most likely listening and particles, just like last time). From there, I am going to heavily focus on improving on that. I’ll spread some review of other things as well, but it won’t be as much. (I think I may go 80/20 or something like that.)

Once I start feeling the material is sticking to the point where I want to roll my eyes and pass over the material because it’s actually too easy, I hope to begin learning some new things. I won’t be starting Tobira quite yet — I have a few books I think will bridge me over to it that I would like to do first.

I’ll talk about that in my planning post when I get to it. Or maybe I won’t, if I don’t get to it. I’m feeling like I may just put it into Evernote instead. I have no idea though.



Oh geez, the WEALTH OF WEBSITES I HAVE GRABBED IS AMAZING. Seriously, AMAZING. I can’t believe how many lovely websites I have come across, so many I didn’t even know were there! However, despite how many sites I’ve come across, I’m certainly not going to be using them all.

I suppose I should break down the ones I’m actually planning on using, huh?

I feel like this is a bit harder to layout in comparison to the books. There’s so many websites that do so many different things!

For overall review (and perhaps some extra learning), I will be using Marugoto+, Tsukuba’s e-Nihongo, and Erin’s Challenge. I’ve actually begun using all of them, just a bit, and found them to be easiest to hardest in the order I listed them in. Marugoto+ is EXCELLENT for review and practice on some basic/elementary Japanese. Tsukuba’s e-Nihongo actually appears well-structured and like it’s going to be an amazing review once I get past the first lesson. Erin’s Challenge, by far, seems to be the hardest one of the three, but provides an AMAZING review of Japanese. It certainly helped me brush up rather quickly!

I plan on aiming on completing one lesson a day on each one of those websites (although, I may alternate on Tsukuba’s e-Nihongo and Erin’s Challenge, since both seem to take a while; Marugoto+ is only a couple of minutes).

I am aiming to push through the websites in a timely manner and work on it along side my reviewing of Genki and learning new lessons.

The TUFS Language Module for Japanese is something I plan to do, hopefully soon. While most of the information IS presented in English, it doesn’t stop it from being extremely helpful from a language learners standpoint. It honestly has a lot of information that textbooks don’t seem to cover about pronunciation and I’m excited to improve my own!

There’s actually a lot of other websites I can use for pronunciation practice. I’m particularly feeling U-Biq’s Accent Study site and this Memrise course. I plan on incorporating the former into my vocabulary reviews and the latter into my general-review studies.

I’m considering studying Kanji with KanjiDamage. I’ve heard of the site before and personally have browsed it, but didn’t really feel like using it at the time. I’ve had a bit of a change of heart. It is, after all, where I learned the word 冒険 (bouken), meaning “adventure”. It’s a word I see pop up in the Pokémon games quite a bit. I’ll be honest — I’m not quite sure where I want to fit this one in. All I know is that I would like to. I’m starting to get sick of needing furigana and not reading things that are in kanji only. Come on, me! I can do this!

The Genki self-study pages are definitely a must for me, particularly when I get to taking review notes on grammar and whatnot. I also will probably use them throughout the lessons as a review, perhaps a lesson or two after I learn the grammar points.

And…honestly, out of all the websites I found, those are the ones I want to use for serious Japanese study. I do plan on checking through all the other sites at some point to see if they are useful in any way and applying them to my studies if applicable.

I do have a few websites I am hoping to use for fun or for cultural studies, rather than language studies (granted, you kind of really need culture to understand a language). Koggle immediately comes to mind, which I’m probably going to be tempted to play after this post. It’s basically Boggle, but with kanji. It’s so good. SOOOOOOO good. I wanted to play it so many times over, but the “Check” button stopped working for me. Sad face.

A Country Study: Japan is of cultural & historical interest to me, which I hope to gradually read over the year. I don’t really feel like I need to take notes on paper; I just need to take notes in my head.

Web Japan and the Highlighting Japan e-magazine both interest me for cultural stuff as well. (I may use the other ones I list too on my document, but I’m not sure yet…) I may not use these as frequently as the others though. I don’t know.

The End Has Come, The Beginning is Near

It’s almost time for me to properly review Japanese once again and, quite frankly, I am excited. Now I have an idea for my in-between study time and I have an arsenal of books. I’m nearly ready to go!

What’s stopping me now?

An organized, written plan I can use for reference as I trudge through Japanese. ’cause, right now, I’m not feeling that organized, polished plan. I can feel that it’s stronger than before, but still much too weak for me to go ahead and just “do it”.

I think I may have said it before, but sometimes, you really do need a plan to do something. This is one of those times.

I shall go forth.

I got some Japanese to do!

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