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May 13, 2011

Make Your Own Method

I've shared a lot of ideas, strategies, and methods for learning Japanese, and while they worked wonders for me, they may not work perfectly for you. That doesn't mean they aren't worth reading about, but it does mean that you should be open to change. Don't just take ideas and methods at face value – if you think you can do something different and get better results, then just do it! Nobody is all-knowing, and no method will work for everyone, so take the ideas you like and use them – then throw everything else away.

The best part of learning on your own is that you can tailor the “lessons” to focus on what you want to learn. I've talked about becoming a specialist in Japanese before, and that's precisely what I'm saying you should do now. Focus on the things you want to know and learn them – and do it in a way that works for you. Don't use a method just because someone said you should – try out new things and see what is the best path for you. As language learners we may have very similar destinations, but the roads we take can be very different.

So as you go about learning Japanese, keep in mind that you are in control. If you think another card format would work for learning vocabulary, then go ahead and try it. You can't lose much even if you don't like it. I've never really talked about using textbooks and such for learning (because I don't think they're very effective), but if you want to use one – go ahead. You're the master of your own learning. Make your own method for learning Japanese.

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