I just joined this forum, just said hello in the introductions section.
I'd like to share my studying method with you in hope to get some additional tips and maybe inspire someone else!
Since I already studied Chinese 4 years, I know how it is to study from books and arrive in China and have completely no idea what people are talking about! Therefor I think it's really important to put a lot of effort in speaking and listening comprehension. I heard a lot of great things (also not so great things) about Japanese the Spoken Language so I bought the series and also got myself the Japanese written supplements to study writing 'on the side' (which really isn't a problem for me because of my knowledge of Chinese writing).
JSL focusses a lot on speaking and listening and there are really great resources to practise! Since we live in 2010 already, the available cassettes, vhs, cd-rom and dvd-rom are really (and I mean REALLY) lame (if you can find them...)
Luckily for us, Ohio State teaches Japanese with JSL and have made 1.1 days of audio (according to my iTunes) available that accompanies JSL 1, 2 and 3! I burn everything I have learned on cd's and practise everyday when I'm in the car to work or on my hometrainer (look really lame, but I have to use my time wisely).
So be sure to check it out if you use JSL or are considering JSL but have doubts since you can not find useful audio! There is also video available for JSL 2 and 3 for context! But don't be surprised to see black and white Japanese smoking in the office behind their historical computers!
Even though I got myself a (in my opinion) great series of books with great audio, I still need someone to help me and explain everything I'm not sure of and practise speaking with. So I shipped in near native speaking graduate in Japanese from one of our universities to help me a few hours a week.
I study writing on my own without help and use a great piece of software to create my library with flash cards. It's called Keep Your Word (Mac only) and also let's you synchronise your flash card library to their free iPhone app!
So that's what I'm doing. I try to spend at least 1 hour a day learning new stuff, about 30 minutes a day in the car practising speaking and listening and about 2 hours a week with a private tutor.
I hope somebody will have some use for the JSL language lab resources and/or the Keep Your Word app.
Got any tips on further improving my study methods or tips for other resources? Please let me know!
Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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