Language partners are a great way to keep yourself motivated as well as keeping yourself on the right track.
For those that have studied Japanese for more than a year, I recommend finding a study partner or a study group that you can attend to on a regular basis.
I have a virtual language partner that I met on a Japanese language chat while trying to find Japanese people to practice with. We are about the same level and of course; we both have our own strengths and weaknesses.
Having someone to review grammar, vocabulary etc; can really assist with memory retention as well as to have a better understanding of what was recently learned. As an example, my language partner and I would test each other on how a certain word was written in kanji by drawing it over the internet in real time.
I have a bad memory when it comes to stroke order so it’s nice to know that someone is there to make sure I do not make a mistake. And if I do, he immediately corrects it so I can learn from it.
That’s just one simple reason but you get the idea of the benefits of having someone study with you.
The only downside would be is if you both come to a question that neither one of you can answer. So, if you do not have any Japanese friends; it maybe a good idea to either find one on the net or find a person that knows Japanese at a higher level than both of you.
Asking questions to those that are at a higher level is great because they can give you some tips on how they became successful at their current level.
This can also be very inspiring. They are a constant reminder of what we are working so hard to accomplish; Japanese fluency. If they got there, so can you!
Depending on how dedicated you are with this idea, try your best to find a partner that you can get along with; to keep the sessions fun and exciting.
Maybe one day you can watch anime with no subtitles, watch Japanese television streaming from the net. You can even roll play by practising the sentence patterns that you have recently learned. How about going out to a sushi bar with staff that speaks Japanese and see if you can place your orders without using your native language? Sound fun?
Either way, having someone you can study with will make the experience that much more enjoyable.
Ganbatte, mina-san! See you all next Friday!
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