It’s a new year which means a fresh start, and I find this strengthens my resolve to improve. It’s positive energy that, harnessed correctly, I can take advantage of. There are many things I’d like to do this year. So this week, I thought I’d share some of what I’d like to do with this site and with my study of Japanese this year.
- A second season of the podcast. It has been almost 4 years since the last episode of the podcast. We’ve attracted a lot of fans with our 今日の一言 posts on Facebook and Google+ and our blog posts, but The Japanese Learner was originally a podcast. My vision for it was to do something completely different from many Japanese language learning podcasts out there by stepping outside of lessons and listening exercises and hosting discussions with people who are learning Japanese, just like you. The Japanese Learner is all about our journey to Japanese mastery. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you listen to our earlier episodes.
- A broader range of content. We’ve attracted quite a following with our vocabulary notes on Facebook and Google+ and our blog posts. We’ve written about vocabulary, kanji, grammar, and ways of getting more conversation and listening practice. But there’s so much more to learning Japanese than burying your nose in books and flashcards or attending language exchange meetups (though we certainly encourage those things). Learning another language is a door to learning about a whole new culture. I think we can do more to aid that process of discovery and help you feel more of that sense of wonder.
- Write and pass N2 of the JLPT. As you may have read, I wrote the N3 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The results of that won’t be mailed out for another month or two yet, but in any case I’d like to set my sights higher. A few years ago, before the N-levels were introduced, I passed level 2. Passing level N2 of the new test would essentially bring me back to where I was before a whole wave of Real Life got in the way of my studies.
- More practical and comprehensive proficiency. I’ve been studying Japanese on and off for a long time, but I’ve never achieved what I could consider real fluency in the language. It’ll take a lot more studying and a broader range of materials to get there but I will never reach the level I’m aiming for if I don’t seriously commit to it. Admittedly, I could stand to practice a bit more of what I preach. =)
Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew, but I’m going to try my best this year. If you haven’t already, I hope that this inspired you to think about your New Year’s resolutions for studying Japanese. Whatever those resolutions may be, I hope we can help you with them in 2012 and beyond.