Volume Method – Japanese Day 15

Here’s a quick update.

My had has started to bother me, so last Wednesday, I changed the way I hold my pencil.

I’ve always had problems with handwriting. I remember in second grade, they tried to correct it, but I just never caught on and I went back to my own way of holding a pencil.

Holding a Pencil CorrectlyI figured there’s no better time to change the way I hold my pencil even though it slowed down my writing dramatically at first, my hand doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s still hard to get used to sometimes, but it will come with practice.

This weekend was just horrible. I felt like complete crap. I only managed to get in an hour on Saturday and 45 minutes on Monday. :0 Thursday I had to help a friend out sooo… 0 hours on Thursday too. That’s why this is day 15. Got an hour in today, though.

Even though I changed the way I hold my pencil, my hand still hurts. Especially my middle finger now. I think it’s because I’m using different muscles now.

The Genki book has a lot deeper chapters with lots of examples and exercises. It’s very different from the Korean textbook I was using. So therefore, I’m writing a lot more and taking longer to get through the chapters. I’m still on Chapter 2. Mostly because I kind of crashed this weekend with my studying, but also because there are just so many examples and vocab words in the book.

On the other hand, I’m getting much better at words that are easy and simple, but I still can’t always remember. Words that I don’t use everyday, even in English. Such as 郵便局 and 時計. (Post office and watch.)

Tonight I had a Skype session with my tutor. Could not think today. So stressed out around the holidays. But as we talked, I started to get better. I kept on missing simple words and words that I should know. like 隣すぐ(right next to) and ひとりっこ (only child).

I’ve got to try to get in more hours with the Volume Method. But I can’t burn out on it. If I write for 4 hours straight, my hand will really be in trouble. A twitter friend suggested I do this pomodoro thing.

Basically, It’s just timeboxing.

Box up your time for 25 minutes, and rest for 5. If you type in Pomodoro Technique you’ll get this fancy website with a huge social media campaign. So most of you young hipsters will have heard of this before you read my post.

However, the book came out in the 80’s, so I’m sure my even mom has heard of it before. Google it to find out more.

So, it’s simple. 25 minute time boxes, so I don’t burn out. Easy. Done. Advice taken.

We’ll see how many hours I can get in tomorrow doing the Pomodoro technique.

German Volume Update: Dropping Korean

Yesterday was day 22 of Korean, and Day 4 of Japanese.

I want to say thanks to those who commented on the last post.

I did some thinking and after a few days of doing both languages I have to say doing both languages at the same time is quite stressful. Ain’t gonna lie.

The good news is, my Korean writing seems to have dramatically improved. My writing has gotten a lot faster and a lot more accurate. I’ve been keeping it up with at least an hour a day with the German Volume Method, and a half hour with Pimsleur.

And now with great regret, I know that I have to focus on one language. I dearly love Korean and it is extremely useful to me now. However, I can’t pretend that I am going to continue on with the volume method throughout the year for Korean. My plans are to be in Japan next August. I’m going to need Japanese. In Japan Korean is almost useless. And knowing a very basic level of Korean is even more useless.

It is like Clugston said, this German Volume method is not for people who want to play with the language. It’s for serious people who have the time to put in to achieve serious results. It is like taking an intensive course at a University program like Yonsei. (The Yonsei Program is of the famous ones, but there are others just like it all around Korea).

I did finish 2 hours of Japanese with the Volume Method last night, and 1.5 hours of extensive reading. I was a zombie at the end. I have to start reading earlier.

I just realized that I did 5 hours of studying Korean and Japanese yesterday. And the previous day I did 5.5 hours. And I went to the gym. And I went to work. So… All of my energy just went out. The next morning I woke up on the floor feeling like an old rusty bicycle that hasn’t been picked up in years. It was hard to get moving.

My Study Space

Here is my study space. As you can see no computer. So no distractions. On the shelf you can see my textbooks on the left and my graded readers and easy reading material on the right. On the desk is Heisig’s RTK 1 and 3. And the textbook on the bookstand is Genki 1. 一生懸命頑張ります!

On top of this, I have to somehow figure out how I’m going to get back on studying Kanji. I have some very powerful books to start learning. I got my old copies of Remembering the Kanji 1 and 3 sent over from America last week. And I also have the new and beautiful KanjiPro book.

Chances are I’m going to get started with Kanji Pro and after a few months, I’ll start on Heisig’s RTK1 and finally move on to RTK3.

I also need to increase the volume that I’m getting from my Japanese textbook. 3 hours if the Volume Method with with an extra 2 hours of extensive reading should work pretty well.

I’ve already seen some amazing results with my Korean in the very short time that I’ve applied this method. Most of all, it’s gotten me to focus and to track my process and what I’m doing. That’s something that a lot of “youtube experts” don’t really talk about much in detail. And honestly, I see why. It’s not the sexiest thing to talk about. Unless there’s this cool hip productivity app everyone is tweeting about. 😛

I love Korea and the Korean language dearly. And I look forward to using it everyday, even at a very limited level which is painful for me. But what’s even more painful is being in Japan and getting my butt kicked in Japanese. 😀

So that’s the final nail. German Volume Method with Japanese only. Not recommended for two languages at the same time if you enjoy your sanity.

German Method: Japanese and Korean Plans

Genki I and IISo, Genki came in last week! Yay!

So now I have the chance to study both Japanese and Korean via the “Eastern Bloc Volume” or “German Volume” method.

I have to decide which is more important to me. As I write now, my plans are to go to Japan next fall. I need to prepare myself rigorously for this if I want to have as many opportunities as possible. When I’m there I’ll also want to study for one of the proficiency tests which will open up even more opportunities in the future.

I also need to really bring up my level in Korean while I’m here in the country. Korean is becoming more and more important economically.

The past two years I acquired a lot, but hadn’t really used much of it, and sadly have lost a lot of it. Only the words that I need for the school and classroom management do I really know very well. These are words and phrases I hear and work with everyday.

칠판앞에 나오세요! Come up the the blackboard! 

오늘 공책이 필요해요. Today you need notebooks.

Korean Study Plans

I’m going to study Korean for at least 1 hour via the German Volume Method. No more than 2 hours. On friday, I almost burned myself out on a little over 3 hours.

I’m also using Pimsleur Audio that I purchased on Itunes. It’s been going well. It’s really helping me with my speed for basic things. They also start out with formal expressions which of course are the hardest in Korean just because they are so much longer. Sadly they only have I and II right now. But when I finish two I feel I’ll have a very strong basic foundation since I’m using it with the Volume method.

Japanese Study Plans

With Japanese I need a minimum of 2 hours each day with a maximum of 3 with the German Volume method. Again, I need to bring up my level even more intensively with Japanese. Especially since I’m not in the country. Japanese is going to take longer, even though my level of Japanese is still far above my Korean in many respects.

I also need to restart extensive reading with Japanese. I have to get the Japanese running through my head as much as possible.  With extensive reading, I’ll have to do at least 2 hours a day minimum with a maximum of 3 hours a day.

Study Totals

This brings my total Japanese study to 4 –> 6 hours a day.

My Korean study will be 1.5 –> 2.5 hours a day.

Total language study will be 5.5 -> 8.5 hours per day.

Wow. That’s a lot. Is that possible? I think I’m going to have to start off at the low end of plan for now. I don’t want to burn myself out on this stuff. I realized it’s so easy to do. Even today, I only spent an hour on Korean, but yesterday I did a little over 3. After 3, I was a zombie.

Okay, so gotta start off low and work my way up. It’s just like weight lifting; You can spend 3 hours at the gym and not go back for a week because your body needs to recover from all the crap you put it through, or you can go to the gym for 30 minutes for the day and continue to go every day of the week.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

 

Tracking

I’m going to be tracking in my paper notebook and on an spread sheet on Google docs. Along with that, I’ll be tracking my exercise and eating habits. I really have to pay attention to those too. Because I know it’s going to affect my study so I need to be on top of that. Eating right and doing some daily exercise of some sort is and important part of the language learning process.

Cheers for now. Look for further updates coming soon.