Set your focus for effective foreign language learning

2 Apr

A nice post on language self study

Self Taught Japanese

When taking a formal foreign language class, your main goal is simple – pass the class, and maybe even aim for a A.

With self-study you have much more freedom to focus your energies into one or more areas. Sure, everybody wants to ‘become fluent’, but true fluency comes from a variety of interrelated skills. For example (in no particular order):

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Cultural knowledge
  • Special domain knowledge (for example, technical terms in a certain field)

If you set specific goals, or at least priority of study areas then you’re more likely to achieve fluency in those areas, and this leads to more satisfaction and a rewarding feeling that your efforts were worth it.

One way to start is by thinking about the main reason you are studying Japanese (or some other foreign language). Here are a few different categories to think about:

  • Want to learn…

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