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What do you do when frustration sets in?

Posted: May 15th, 2009 6:39 pm
by untmdsprt
I don't know what you call it, but I've been frustrated the past couple of weeks. On one hand I'm tired of everyone speaking English to me, but on the other hand I'm tired of people speaking to me like I'm a native Japanese speaker. I'm wanting people to speak to me on my level or just slightly above it so I can get more experience in having to think without the use of computers, dictionaries, etc.

What has everyone done to get over this? I've been reading some graded readers at my level, and just about to start on the next level to build up my reading speed, and also to challenge myself a little. I've also gotten my kanji flashcards out again, and set a goal with them too.

Both of these has been helping me get over the frustration.

Posted: May 16th, 2009 3:24 am
by Psy
It's been a few years but I can relate! I wish I had solid advice for this kind of situation, but I don't. What I do when the going gets rough is shift around my study routine or take a break for a day or two. Other than that, it's just to endure.

It would seem that the majority of Japanese-- excluding professional teachers-- don't know how to adjust their speaking level beyond the extremes of "full force" and "patronizingly slow." Frustrating indeed, but still, better that they speak Japanese to you than English.

がんばってね

Posted: May 16th, 2009 5:59 am
by Javizy
Yeah, a shift seems to be the best option. You can just take a break from whatever is frustrating you, and focus on something a bit more fun for a while, until you feel a bit more positive. That way you're still learning new stuff and making progress. You can't really force the speaking/listening, so just keep gaining exposure and trying to speak, and try to find encouragement from any improvement you notice yourself making: focus on what you can do, and don't be put off by what you can't.

For speaking, try preparing some topics in advance, make a few notes, look up vocabulary you don't know, review any grammar you don't feel confident using, practice saying some sentences, and so on. It'll really give you some confidence when it comes to the crunch, and anything you get stuck with, you can ask your friend about.

Another thing I tried recently, which was quite fun, was role-playing scenarios in a workbook I have (日本語生中継). You can practice speaking styles you wouldn't usually use with your friend, and rehearse for real-life situations (ordering in a restaurant, dealing with shop clerks, etc). Get your friend to tell you where you're going wrong afterwards, and then you can try it out for real, since you live in Japan.

Posted: May 17th, 2009 9:48 am
by untmdsprt
Thanks for your suggestions. My mom also sent me some DVDs that have Japanese audio so I've been watching my favorite movies. :)

I've also gone back to the smart.fm website, and have been playing the braingame. It's fun and it's also getting me faster in responding. These two breaks are helping me get over my frustration.