Am I the only one who thinks this question makes no sense? Isn't it a little like saying, "I want to learn how to drive. In what order should I learn shifting, braking, and steering?"I just finished Kana, so I was wondering in what order I should learn Kanji, grammer, and vocabulary.
I've never met a teenager who was confused about how to learn how to drive. All of them seem to know instincitvely that driving is best learned by doing, and they sign up for behind-the-wheel lessons as soon as their parents will let them.
But many young people come to this forum eager to learn Japanese, and somehow they seem to have gotten the idea in their heads that foreign languages are best learned through what you might call "academic means", like the method one would use to study mathematics or biology. Maybe it's because in school they study languages in the same kind of classrooms and do much the same things they do in their math and science classes. But they miss the point: A language isn't a subject, it's a skill.
I think it's safe to say that most people who come here aren't looking to become Japanese linguistics experts. Surely what 99% of them want is to be able to produce and comprehend spoken and written Japanese? And what so many of them don't seem to realize is that speaking, listening, reading, and writing are skills, more like juggling, playing tennis, or driving a car than solving an equation or memorizing chemical reactions.
Certainly it takes skill to solve equations and balance chemical formulae, but to be able to effectively use a language is really less about memorizing rules and more about forming habits. Through repitition, your speech apparatus learns to produce the foreign sounds correctly; your brain learns to associate sounds with ideas, and then kana/kanji with those sounds. It's all about training yourself to use the language.
Perhaps this can be summed up in one Zen statement: If you want to be able to speak Japanese, you must speak Japanese. In other words, "practice makes perfect." To learn to speak, don't memorize lists of words! TALK to people, or drill with recorded voices on a CD. To learn to write, don't memorize lists of Kanji. READ books (simple ones at first). WRITE what you're learning in kanji. Even grammar is not a thing to be studied in the abstract, as if someone could become a karate expert simply by reading books about how to do the moves. You must DO the moves, and then have someone correct you when you make mistakes. Reading books helps, but not nearly as much as practicing does.
Listen to Nike: just do it!