University Level Japanese Class

 

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to study Japanese in two different class settings:

1) Non-academic and 

2) Academic

nihonjin-no-shiranai-nihongo

funny Japanese show about a teacher teaching Japanese to Foreigners

That’s my take on how to best distinguish these class types. After taking 2 school years of the “Non- Academic” I decided to continue my studies through the University. So naturally I took the placement test and when the results came back I was surprised I was still placed in a beginner class!

Now consider this for a bit, and maybe you’ll understand just exactly why I was upset; I’ve been self studying Japanese for years prior to my first ever class. So to be told that 5 years of studying only amounts to beginner level was dismaying. Now having gone through the first year level University Japanese, I understand better why I still was at the level.

The material  is not new to me, I’d seen the grammar patterns and was familiar with them, but beyond that I realized that I wasn’t likely to use them.

 

First know that my 2 years of the non-academic beginner years were not a waste. That’s where I learned most of the grammar I am used to seeing. I learned how to be comfortable with reading, speaking and listening to instructions in Japanese because of these classes. The problem was all in me. These classes were once a week and I tended to push the homework and my studies aside to focus on my university work. I didn’t have the pressure that the university classes provides me-my GPA’s on the line! Not everyone would think this is a good Idea. One person I met didn’t like learning Japanese in the University classes because the pressure and amount of work made them dislike Japanese even more. They wanted a more relaxed setting. 

On top of the grade pressure, there are 4 classes a week so I’m constantly exposed to Japanese daily so I can’t easily forget. Also I actually have to actively memorize the kanji and grammar rules and vocabulary. This isn’t to say that the “Non-Academic” classes had no stakes. There was a certain grade you had to achieve to get a certificate and there are these end of term “tests” where they basically see what level you’re at.  These were the classes that significantly improved my speaking, and a learning friendly environment with classes small enough for conducive learning. Personally I like the idea of combining Japanese with my school load so that it becomes of equal importance to me and that way I’ll have constant motivation to study.  

I’m writing this now because my experience thus far has been exciting. I’ve learned so many Kanji and bettered the usage of phrases and grammar! I don’t think it would have been this great if I hadn’t had prior exposure to Japanese. I am still learning all the time in University classes, but I know they would’ve been harder had I not been familiar with some of the content.

 

 

It’s all so fun and exciting! 

Will I be able to reach my goal of becoming an intermediate Japanese learner in 2 years? We’ll have to see. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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