Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The 90 Day Japanese Language Learning Challenge

The 90 Day Challenge

I have decided to do a 90 day challenge starting September 1, 2017. At the beginning of July I caught the studying bug and have been fairly consistent working at learning to read, write and speak Japanese. Other than studying I have been preparing and learning how to study, by watching lectures put on by the online Polyglot community. Polyglots are people who have a passion for learning languages, many of whom are able to speak ten or more, often from a number of different language groups. I'm fascinated by them and their language learning abilities. It's possibly why I've been able to study for an entire month without slowing down much. 

Two of the language learners that I found have mentioned that they find 90 day language learning challenges to be extremely helpful. One of them hosts a community challenge that you unfortunately have to pay to join called the Add One Challenge. I think his challenge is basically self teaching with a designated practice language partner that you can use to help keep you motivated. The other owns a website and app called LingQ.com. I don't see anything on his site that indicates his 90 day challenge but he was posting about one on his youtube channel earlier this year. From what I could gather from his videos he was spending concentrated time on a specific language that he wanted to improve on. It didn't look like he had a plan to follow other than amping up his usual study methods. The goal for both was to spend 90 days in a row intentionally working on a language. The goal is not to become fluent but to improve on the knowledge that you may or may not already have.

I do have a plan for my 90 day challenge although I won't know if I'll be able to execute it until my learning materials arrive in the mail. Obviously buying new language books when I already have a million of them is a frivolous approach to this challenge idea and is completely unnecessary. I definitely have enough books to work from but I thought it might be nice to start with something new and shiny. In under a week a bundle of level N5 and N4 study books from Japan should be arriving. The books I'm most looking forward to are the vocabulary lists for these levels. I have been researching vocab learning techniques and plan to use these lists for my 90 day challenge. I'm curious to see how many words I'm able to consume using a combination of Iversen's Method, The Leitner Box Method and The Goldlist Method. I'm hoping that this 90 day challenge will prove one way or the other if my planned learning method is too complicated to be effective. The main plan is to have enough exposure to the vocab words that some or all will be absorbed as if through osmosis. There are also grammar and Kanji books arriving from a few different series which have lesson plans built into them. I'm going to go through them one by one at the suggested pace in addition to the vocab lists. 

My biggest concern is the amount of time these activities are going to take to accomplish on a daily basis. I assume the amount of time I spend studying, specifically on the vocab lists, will take a tole on my motivation after a while. My main goal for the 90 days is to spend time in the Japanese language every single day even if it's only for 5 minutes. Obviously this also hinges on my continued interest in this activity as a whole. Let's hope for noticeable language improvement which will keep me excited and motivated.


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