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Frustrated - How to study for L2?

Planning for the JLPT? Learn about the new JLPT test levels N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. The JLPT is a goal for many students of the Japanese language - whether for university entrance, a job in Japan, or just personal motivation.

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tracylee
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Frustrated - How to study for L2?

Postby tracylee » March 17th, 2010 9:53 pm

I took (and miserably failed) level 2 in December. I want to do it again in July, but my level is terrible.

My problem is, I have so many texts, and I jump around too much because I can't decide which is the best text to study with.

So, how do you study for ni-qyu? Any suggestions for texts or methods much appreciated!!

Javizy
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Postby Javizy » March 17th, 2010 10:23 pm

完全マスター is a good way to マスター the grammar. If you take a picture of your copy, you can ask for a premade spreadsheet here containing all the sentences, so you can review them using Anki.

If you're not already using Anki or smart.fm or something, then that's another thing you should start. Find a vocabulary list for 2級 and add all the words to a deck. You'll probably be able to find some premade ones somewhere. Remember to have example sentences somewhere on your flashcards so you're not just relying on J-E definitions.

I don't really know what to recommend for kanji, since it depends how you've been learning them. Personally, I used Remembering the Kanji ages ago, and continue to learn readings from the vocabulary cards I mentioned above.

Other than that, you need to read and listen to whatever you can. Find some shows and podcasts you like, and maybe some approachable bunko if kanji isn't a problem. If it is, you could try one of the 2級 reading comprehension workbooks. 完全マスター has one. I find them pretty good, since you need to learn how to answer the kind of questions they give you on the test.

There's also more advice in these two threads:

http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=3504
http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=5385

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amost
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Postby amost » March 18th, 2010 2:01 am

I second smart.fm. They have a "core 6000" series for study which is awesome to the power of rad.

tracylee
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Postby tracylee » March 18th, 2010 7:12 am

Javizy - Thank you so much for such a long and thoughtful reply! I really appreciate your thoughts and the links are awesome. I have the Kanzen Master grammar (and the kanji book too - in fact I have enough books to start my own library!!). I will get the spreadsheet from the site you suggested.

Amost - I will try to use smartfm. I think I created an account ages ago and then just never used it. But I really like Japanese Pod 101 for listening practice.

My problem remains - I have too many resources to choose from. I need to narrow things down and just stick with ONE resource...

Taurus
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Postby Taurus » March 18th, 2010 8:33 am

In that case, just blitz the Kanzen Master book - stick all the sentences into Anki and go through them.

But you will also need to master the art of reading - and the best way to do that is just to read a lot of different things. I don't think there's any way of getting around this. You need to master the art of reading stuff you don't quite understand and filling in from context, and scanning for answers and so on. That's something I'm trying to do right now - there are times when I read through stuff forensically, with a dictionary, adding anything I don't know to my Anki deck; and there are times when I read just to understand the gist, and to master the art of reading in a foreign language. There are many things that I do instinctively when reading stuff in English that I currently have to force myself to do in Japanese (eg. skip through boring bits, fill in the meaning of unknown words from context etc.). And I think a lot of those things are very useful for the JLPT.

So by all means be systematic, but I don't think it's possible to stick to a single resource and pass the higher levels of the JLPT.

tracylee
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Postby tracylee » March 18th, 2010 7:23 pm

Thanks Taurus

I do like reading, and am currently using my 'relax time' to read Breaking into Japanese Literature.

My problem is just not being able to stick with one text. What I have to do is decide which to make my main book and not be 'fractured'.

I bout a series of books recently, 日本語総まとめ問題集; I bought four books (vocab, grammar, reading and kanji), and they don't really go together well, so there is just too much for me to learn each day (too many new words and structures). Also not enough drilling, so I'm trying to decide whether I should toss these aside and go back to Kanzen Master; or do I stick with my old class text Intermediate Japanese which tries to build all four skills...

Decisions, decisions!

Javizy
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Postby Javizy » March 18th, 2010 8:09 pm

tracylee wrote:Thanks Taurus

I do like reading, and am currently using my 'relax time' to read Breaking into Japanese Literature.

My problem is just not being able to stick with one text. What I have to do is decide which to make my main book and not be 'fractured'.

I bout a series of books recently, 日本語総まとめ問題集; I bought four books (vocab, grammar, reading and kanji), and they don't really go together well, so there is just too much for me to learn each day (too many new words and structures). Also not enough drilling, so I'm trying to decide whether I should toss these aside and go back to Kanzen Master; or do I stick with my old class text Intermediate Japanese which tries to build all four skills...

Decisions, decisions!


Those まとめ books aren't really good for learning anything. The grammar isn't actually explained, and you can't learn vocabulary well just by reading over it once. SRS really is by far the best thing for vocabulary, and a large vocabulary is going to give you the best chance of doing well on the exam.

Personally, I went through 完全マスター, and then started using the まとめ books just for review and practice questions. The reading one can be used as intended. There's so much furigana in that book, though. You'll still need to supplement it with outside reading. For the vocabulary, I went through the Level 2 list in my dictionary and added all of the words I didn't know or struggled to read to Anki.

tracylee
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Postby tracylee » March 18th, 2010 8:43 pm

That makes me feel better and more confident about giving up on the まとめbooks.

Anki is an SRS, right? Is there a good SRS for the iPhone/iPod Touch?

Okay, I guess I'd better get off to try to study!

Javizy
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Postby Javizy » March 18th, 2010 9:19 pm

tracylee wrote:Anki is an SRS, right? Is there a good SRS for the iPhone/iPod Touch?

Yeah, it is, and you can sync your decks with your iTouch/Phone using iAnki (that's how I use it). You should find everything you need to know on the website. If you have a regular commute or something, getting all of your vocabulary studying out of the way will free up a lot of your time to study/watch/read other things at home, so it's well worth setting up iAnki. You need to find yourself a deck first though!

jkerianjapanesepod5596
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Postby jkerianjapanesepod5596 » September 22nd, 2010 6:36 am

It's worth mentioning that anki has two ways of using it on an ipod. Damien is currently working on a full fledged Anki port to the iPod, but it's a bit spendy ($24 iirc).

The other method is iAnki, which can be tricky to get working, but is free and easy enough to use. (Anki itself is free as well, so if you want to try it out, this is the way to test it)

rshirley426260
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Postby rshirley426260 » August 19th, 2011 11:45 am


I do like reading, and am currently using my 'relax time' to read Breaking into Japanese Literature.



What's this book breaking into Japanese literature? It's Japanese and English side by side? Have you found it useful for working on reading comprehension?

staccato1259442
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Re: Frustrated - How to study for L2?

Postby staccato1259442 » September 13th, 2013 11:11 pm

I studied online at "Babelingual" ( http://www.babelingual.com/home.html ) to prepare for L2, by taking economical skype lessons with native Japanese teachers one-to-one at my home.

Teachers there are very kind and gave me many tips for the exam. (They can speak English too, just in case you also need help in English.)

community.japanese
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Re: Frustrated - How to study for L2?

Postby community.japanese » September 19th, 2013 6:44 pm

Staccato-san,
thank you very much for the link and info!
We all appreciate suggestions from people who actually experienced the lessons :wink:

Natsuko (奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com


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