My 2022 Japanese language study habits
This time last year I put together some custom scripts to send a record of each study session to my personal site using the micropub endpoint. You can see them here. Each entry says what I did, how long I did it for, and when I started doing it. On their own these aren't particularly interesting or useful. They mostly serve to hold me accountable. However, now that I have a full year of data, it seems like a good time to see if there are any trends!
I also took lessons during 2022, but I'm not including those here. Study sessions as I define them here are solo study time, but that does include homework. While I have categorized each session, the vast majority of time was spent on WaniKani and Bunpro, both of which I categorize as flashcards.
- The most time I spent studying on a single day was 88 minutes.
- The least time I spent studying on a single day was (unsurprisingly) 0 minutes.
- I averaged about 17 minutes a day.
- The most time I spent studying in a calendar week was 5 hours and 47 minutes.
- The least time I spent studying in a calendar week was (regrettably, but we'll get to that) 0 hours.
- I studied the least on Saturdays (averaging about 11 minutes), and the most on Sundays (averaging about 24 minutes).
There were days and weeks in which I apparently did no study at all. Missing days may not be surprising (family, holidays, illness, etc.), but whole weeks surely are. The study minutes for each calendar week plot below helps to explain what happened.
Week 1 aside (January 1st 2022 was a Saturday) you can see that I started out with good intentions. At the time I didn't have much structure to my study, and the tools I used were not working well for me. I was using flash card applications like Memrise and Busuu which are general purpose. Japanese (and probably many or most other languages) is a unique beast, and these general purpose flash card apps didn't do a great job in my case.
At the end of May I resolved to build a study habit. That's where you can see my study minutes really take off. A mixture of finding interesting reading material within my comprehension and a couple of learning applications (I mentioned WaniKani and Bunpro above) helped a lot. These applications are designed specifically for Japanese, and I'm getting much better results from them. I also changed my morning routine to include waking up a little earlier, heading to a local coffee shop, and clearing my review backlog for both each weekday morning before work.
I appear to have peaked in the Autumn. At the time I was doing a lot of reading and I think I need to push in that direction a bit more rather than leaning on flashcards alone. I have plenty to read to keep me going for a while!
My resolution for this year is to regain all the ground I've lost since I passed the JLPT N4 exam a decade ago, and sit the N3 exam in December. I'm going to need to increase my study minutes (I'm still considering where to place this but a minimum of 30 minutes a day seems like a good goal) and sign up for more lessons.
- We know where the road those pave goes.ꜛ