Things to know for efective Japanese language learning
Learning Japanese is not about diving in and hoping to become proficient one day. On the contrary, you need to understand and know the following things in order to plan your study effectively. With these pieces of information, your Japanese language learning will become clearer, eliminating confusion and ambiguity.
1. Set Clear Goals
The first step in learning Japanese is to determine your specific goals. Do you want to watch Japanese movies without subtitles? Read research papers smoothly? Or have enough proficiency for your work?
Unfortunately, many people want to learn Japanese without much experience in language learning. If you have never learned a foreign language before, it's difficult to imagine the difficulties and challenges you will encounter. As a result, most people give up early in the language learning process.
Therefore, having clear goals is extremely important. If you want to excel in Japanese, you need to define what "excellence" means to you in Japanese. Specific and clear goals are more helpful than vague ones. For example, the goal "I want to read the book 'Norwegian Wood' in Japanese" is more specific than the goal "I want to read a book in Japanese."
Additionally, you should determine the proficiency level you want to achieve in Japanese in the near future. The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a widely used proficiency assessment system in Vietnam, ranging from N1 (highest level of proficiency) to N5 (lowest level of proficiency). Mastering a foreign language, including Japanese, is a long and challenging journey. Clear and specific goals will help you have a clearer direction when studying Japanese.
2. Join Japanese Language Courses
Self-study is not the best way to start learning a new foreign language. Language is a means for human communication, and it is difficult to learn to speak if you only speak to yourself. Of course, learning through TV, radio, and recordings is good, but starting to learn Japanese through these mediums can make you feel lonely and make it more difficult to absorb the content.
Therefore, joining Japanese language courses provides you with an environment to learn. Having a teacher's guidance will help you build a solid foundation and basic knowledge of grammar, ensuring that you learn in the right direction and make the most of your study time.
3. Find Suitable Textbooks
Currently, there are three popular textbook series: Minna no Nihongo, Shin Nihongo, and Genki. Each textbook series has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Minna no Nihongo: This series is widely used in many Japanese language schools and provides a comprehensive approach to learning Japanese. It covers all aspects of the language, including grammar, vocabulary, listening, and speaking. The explanations are in Japanese with accompanying translations in various languages. It is suitable for both classroom study and self-study.
Shin Nihongo: This series is designed for beginners and focuses on practical communication skills. It includes clear explanations, ample exercises, and emphasizes real-life situations. The vocabulary and grammar are presented in a gradual manner, making it easier for beginners to grasp the language.
Genki: Genki is another popular textbook series that is widely used in Japanese language courses. It offers a well-structured curriculum with a good balance between grammar, vocabulary, and conversation practice. The explanations are in English, which can be helpful for learners who are not yet comfortable with reading in Japanese.
When choosing a textbook series, consider your learning style, preferences, and goals. It's also a good idea to browse through sample chapters or reviews to get a better idea of which series aligns with your needs.
Additionally, you can complement your learning with other resources such as online courses, language exchange programs, and language apps to enhance your Japanese language skills. Practice regularly, immerse yourself in the language as much as possible, and seek opportunities to interact with native speakers to further improve your proficiency.
Good luck with your Japanese language journey!