The textbook and I

I am a very creative person, as you might have noticed already, when you read some of my articles. Or at least i try to be as creative as i can, not only with my learning methods, but also when i create real art. I am also what is called a nuts and bolts person. I need to know how something works, and i need to analyze all the bits of information to a certain degree to see, how everything goes together. And i think that the way i go about learning is mirroring both sides quite a bit.

  • I shadow the spoken text and read along in my book.
  • My next step is to open up my Word application and write out the dialogues.
  • My reason for sacrificing the 振り仮名 is that they are only a grudge. In a real situation i cannot expect to have any.
  • Next on is the vocabulary section, where i do pretty much the same, as with the dialogues.
  • I also type out all the information in the grammar section of the book, but I don’t just copy everything down 1:1. Instead i aim for a better visual representation of the information.

I organize all the information in a way, that my brain can handle it more effectively, as opposed to the standard textbook layout. It is also a good way to get rid of the 振り仮名 in those passages. This might seem like it’s a lot of work, tedious, and an unnecessary step. But it takes less than an hour or two, to work through a chapter this way. I always write at the same time i read in the book, so there is no extra work involved at all.

By doing this i get some small benefits as a reward. I can actively use some of the vocabulary introduced in a chapter in written form, and i can also read the sentences out loud, while doing this. It is only a preparatory step to process the information, and to sort out everything i don’t need. Next i use my Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, to look up and see what information it contains about a grammar point in question. I will add the information directly to a separate Evernote Notebook. If the Grammar contains conjugation of verbs, i will open my Excel sheet, and add it to the list of know conjugation patterns. My last step is probably also the hardest. I try to formulate a short explanation, containing the core information of a grammar point, in no more than 7 sentences. I do this because it is easier to remember 7 items, than 2 pages with numerous explanations, conjugation patterns and what have you. I can also use it as a cheat-sheet, to remind myself of how it is used, when i read something.

For me, dear reader, it pays off to go the extra mile, in doing all this. While some people complain about the shortcomings of the books, and how much better it would be if this and that was organized in another way in Amazon reviews, i just change it the way i want it to have. You would never hear me complaining about anything, unless it really proofs to be a waste of money, which has never been the case so far.

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