What do you think is important, apart from having fun, when you are trying to learn a language? It’s the small successes. But what are small successes? They can be anything. If you can read and understand a passage of text, that you weren’t able before, this is a small success. It can also be a dialogue you’ve been listening to, and all of a sudden you notice, that you can understand what is being talked about. Also if you were able to master a grammar point that gave you trouble, or some vocab that seemed like you would never be able to memorize, it’s one of those small successes.
I noticed that i had many such small successes while learning Japanese. Today for instance, i started watching Eris Challenge – 日本語で来ます (にほんごできます)! It is about a high school exchange students, which tells the story of えり, in small skits. So my small success today was, that i understood around 95% of the dialogues, in the 2 videos which each has a length of 24 minutes! What i did not understand was mainly some vocab, having to do with 美容院 (びじょういん) Beauty salons, as well as some others. But i was able to look those words up, so next time i will watch these videos, i will be able to understand everything! I was also able to finish Lesson 19 in my textbook which is げんき 2. *やった*
The important thing is, you have to notice, when you have your little success. If you have one give yourself a pat on the shoulder! You can also treat yourself with a cake, a chokkie, or whatever it is that you like to eat! You were able to achieve something so you deserve a reward! You could also jump around in your room because you are happy when you have a small success. If you feel like it don’t hold back. Anything that keeps your motivation high is welcome in that situation.
By now you should be able to see how important those little successes are. You can look back at your successes, when you have a hard time understanding something, and it seems like you made no progress. You just need to be able to notice them. So start to pay some attention, because you wouldn’t want to let the small successes slip away. And don’t start taken them for granted either, they are anything but, as you may well know from your own experience. You have spent so much time learning, and they will give you the perfect opportunity, to relax, and enjoy yourself for a little while. So you better treat them as something special!
And now, dear reader, I would like to hear what your small successes were lately, and how you reward yourself for them. Please let me know by leaving a comment.