Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I mentioned earlier that I started seriously studying for JPLT level 2. Passing this test doesn't mean a a lot as far as actually being able to use what you've learned to actually communicate with human beings, but it certainly provides a goal and motivation to study.

I talked about some useful books for studying Japanese. Many of those were designed to help people learn to speak, not just study for a test. (That's how we studied Japanese in university in the mid-late 80s. Basically, we used Grammar-translation, the same thing most Japanese students study. Language learning for tests, not communication.)

I have revised my opinion slightly on An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese. Most of the readings and even roleplays apply to university life and are basically irrelevant for adults, but it does have some good grammar explanations. Much of the grammar is needed to pass Level 2. A lot of the vocabulary is needed for level 2 also. So it is a useful text.

It's funny how all the language acquisition theory that I studied has not made it any easier for me to really learn Japanese. Every small increase in ability still takes a lot of time and intentional effort. I do a lot of the stuff which supposedly helps. I do as much "extensive" reading as possible. But to learn new vocabulary, I still fall back on memorizing word lists. Reading then reinforces what I have learned when I encounter the words or grammar structures that I have studied, but it gets no easier.

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