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.



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.

4 thoughts on “German Method: Japanese and Korean Plans

  1. I think for that kind of study you definitely need to rotate your materials continuously and find little 5-10 min spaces where you can fit in those resources. For example, when I was living in Argentina, I had purchased a collection of one (really funny) local newspaper comic and would read that all through breakfast. Then during the day while at work I would use my breaks to review vocabulary that I was finding in the book I was reading the previous night. Coming home from work I was watching Spanish tv and then at night I would read a book. Now, I’m already fluent in Spanish so I didn’t need to do intense grammar studying, etc, but it was a good use of my breaks to maximize my Spanish intake. Also, the constant rotation of materials made me excited about each individual part.

    Also, while you’re at the gym, you could easily listen to music while working out which would be a great way to get immersion while doing something else you need to do.

    So I really think that’s how you can succeed.

    Maybe read a newspaper article while eating breakfast, listening to music/podcasts while commuting, working on vocabulary in between your classes or on your breaks, use lunch to review grammar or read a chapter of a novel, go to the gym and listen to music, then go home and do some intense kanji/hangul/grammar study then finish your night with something relaxing like reading where you can use all the knowledge you collected throughout the day.

    Suddenly, you’ve accomplished all those hours of studying without it feeling like this crazy 8 hour block. Anyway, that’s my advice.

    • Thanks for the advice, but I really doubt that you remember accurately what it’s like to be a beginner. Your level of Japanese and Spanish seems very advanced to me.

      I’m no beginner, but picking up a newspaper is way above my level. Also listening to a podcast would be mostly noise to me. Comics are fun, but It takes way too long to look up every word that I don’t know right now. And after I read them, I still don’t remember things. I’m way too slow to enjoy the comic naturally.

      No, most of those things you suggested would be a waste of time at my level of proficiency, unfortunately. 🙂

      Sorry, but I’m keeping it simple and focused for now until I can bring up my level. The point is to build a strong foundation.

      Thanks again for the advice, though!

      • Certainly! As you said, I clearly didn’t have a good gauge as to what your level is. Indeed, it does seem like you need more intensive study materials. Although I still back up the comic thing since the comics I read were all 4 panel comics so they required very little commitment.

        I look forward to seeing how you progress though.

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