Back in November, I wrote a little blog post about my plans for learning Japanese. Here’s a little update.
So where am I in Rosetta Stone?
Since the last time I wrote, I moved on from Level 1, Unit 1…to Level 1, Unit 2. Yep, that’s it. I’m not very proud of this. I haven’t spent nearly as much time with the program as I should.
However, I did start taking a Japanese class. My local community education program offers a Japanese class and I enrolled in it. My teacher is native from Japan and she’s super cool to talk to. This isn’t a college class or anything, so our progress is based on the progress of the class as a whole, and there’s no real set curriculum. It’s very open and we can ask whatever questions we want and she does a great job at answering them. Since there are no tests or homework or quizzes, it’s really something I have to work to motivate myself to study for, which really is the hardest part of it, I suppose. Then again, that’s the same problem I run into with Rosetta Stone.
The main reason I decided to take a class was so I could speak Japanese in front of others with confidence. I feel like the more I do it, the more I feel confident in my pronunciations. It’s fun to surprise my teacher with words I’ve learned in Rosetta Stone too! I know it will be a while before I can build sentences and have a conversation with someone in Japanese, but I feel like taking this class has given me a better understanding of the language than just taking Rosetta Stone alone. Also, the small class size (we have ten people in the class, but usually only five to six actually show up on any given week) still lends to the feeling of personalized and independent study. The handouts she gives us have good lessons and she’s always willing to clarify anything if we need it. And she made me hiragana and katakana flash cards! She’s the best!
I’m sad that the class is coming to and end at the end of April. There’s currently no level two class offered, and I don’t know if there is enough interest for another level. We need at least four people interested for them to offer a level two course and I think we have only three people interested. If another class is offered, I would most likely take it. As nice as it is to learn a language in the comfort of your own home, having a physical person to meet with and talk to is hands down better. And the low-stress and non-judgmental environment of the class makes learning comfortable. I’ll miss going to class on Thursday nights, but maybe I will be able to talk my teacher into going out for ramen sometime!