AJATT Immersion Challenge UPDATE

This post is WAAAAY overdue. This is a follow up to the AJATT Immersion Challenge post I wrote over 2 months ago, promising to follow up in a month. I could make excuses about how I kept forgetting, but no the reality is that this post was always in the back of my mind. Like an annoying fly I’ve been meaning to swat away. To be honest… I haven’t been very diligent at following any of my challenge.

SONG OF THE DAY: Vortex by The Gazette– An angry song for an angry me! To myself! haha 😛 (J-Rock is not usually my thing, but I’ve been trying to get into it lately.)

So truthfully… I followed my challenge completely for about 3-4 days. I know, quite impressive. For about a week after that, I lagged behind and towards the end of my “challenge” I think I had almost dropped learning completely! Yes, completely!!! I don’t think I respond very well to being forced into doing something, even if I’m the one doing the forcing! Perhaps it was the fact that I was being held accountable for the results on my blog? Usually that type of motivation is helpful, so I don’t know what happened. But of course, I am determined to learn this language, so I ended up picking up my slack through the next month.

Here is how each of my challenges worked out for me:

All Japanese music, All the time– yeaaaaaa….. NO. I was the least confident about keeping this challenge up and I was correct! I only managed for a few days, but I went nuts because there really isn’t a lot of Japanese music that I like yet. Music is something that’s very important to me and it keeps me going. I can’t just cut out a bunch of music that I like COLD TURKEY! However, I have put a lot more effort into discovering new Japanese music, and I do listen to it a lot more than I ever have. I have been curbing my K-Pop craving by downloading a lot more Japanese versions of their songs. It helps.

Japanese While You Work and Sleep– Hmm… I didn’t do as well as I had wanted on this goal, but not too bad. I did the sleep thing for a few days, but after that it was out. I’ve tried it a few times after (and once unintentionally just fell asleep while a podcast was playing lol), but I don’t think it’s for me. I don’t like noise while I sleep and it doesn’t help that I sleep like a maniac. I couldn’t find my iPod in the morning, that’s how bad it was. During work, it got to be a bit boring listening to people talking without understanding. So I’m back to JPod101 podcasts, which are much easier to handle. I often replay the Japanese dialogue and I find it more beneficial since I can understand it after reviewing the lesson. I still go back and listen to podcasts I’m subscribed to on iTunes Japan, just not all day long.

Japanese Learning on the Go- OK! Finally a goal I didn’t completely screw up! I’ve actually been following this one quite well…umm… sort of. I haven’t been going over vocabulary as much as I have Kanji. I still want to do reviews on all my ipod apps… so I’ll keep the details to a minimum here. I’ve been using the Kanji Flip ipod/iphone app which I faithfully study everyday anywhere from 5-20 minutes. I am quite proud of myself when I recognize these kanji in any Japanese writing. And it’s actually not that bad! Yea, it’s frustrating but when you can quickly and conveniently “flip” through them everyday, it is much easier to stomach. Believe me… it is extremely rewarding to look at a kanji and be able to remember all of it’s meanings and readings… and that is no easy feat with some of these!!

Talk Japanese to Everyone- Still driving everyone crazy with my random Japanese sayings! I also get a bit of practice in with friends who are also learning Japanese. But the person I should be talking to the most, my tutor who also happens to be a Japanese native, is not getting as much attention from me. She really tries to incorporate Japanese into a lot of our conversations, yet I continue to switch back into my comfort zone of English. I forgot how embarrassing it feels to speak a language you’re learning in front of a native speaker. I was even invited to her house warming, which should be taking place soon, and that all of her Japanese friends will be attending. Ahhh I tremble at the thought! I need to get over this fear soon if I wish to become proficient. Opportunities like this (outside of Japan) don’t come around too often!!

 So I didn’t reach all of my goals, but just setting them has helped. Before this challenge, I listened to a lot less Japanese then I do now, even if it’s not 24/7. Could AJATT work for someone else? Yea. Sure. It’s just not my thing. I told myself when I was beginning to learn this language that I was in for the long haul, and that’s ok. I want to have a life outside of Japanese learning and I don’t mind if it’ll take me a few years longer that way.



About L

Interested in Japanese language and culture, J-Pop, K-Pop and Asian Dramas.
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3 Responses to AJATT Immersion Challenge UPDATE

  1. Char says:

    Hi Ivsanchez115, I stumbled upon your blog and it caught my eye because of the name. I also am impressed because I tried allot of these methods and am also trying to find my own way to learning Japanese. Anyway I wanted to let you know I tried to do this method but it really was hard for me to manage that and the real world as well. I think the joy of learning was being cut out. So again, thanks for the posts and I will check back to this site often.


    • lvsanchez115 says:

      Thank you for your comment! It’s always nice to hear from someone who is going through the same thing! I’m sure it’s possible to handle real world responsibilities while using these methods, but your social life would definitely be sacrificed. I think I’ll just stick to keeping Japanese learning as a hobby, as it was intended! You also have a nice site BTW!

  2. Jombo says:

    Hello, good blog post. However, I can see why AJATT didn’t work for you, mainly because you did it all wrong. The point of AJATT is to have FUN and be comfortable learning Japanese in an immersion environment. The fact that you bothered to call it a “challenge” set you up for failure right at the beginning.

    All Japanese music, All the time – Changing your entire library of music is a gradual thing. You gotta keep searching until you actually find music that you DO like. Enough to forget about your other bands. Japan has as much of a variety of music as other countries do. Don’t stop searching.

    Japanese While You Work and Sleep – You stated that the Podcasts were starting to get boring. Find something you like and listen to it until you don’t like it, then find something else. Its good to expose yourself to things you don’t understand, your brain will start picking up words or you’ll start to get a better understanding of how people actually speak. Don’t focus on words as much as just listening to how cool Japanese people sound. Its funner that way.

    Japanese Learning on the Go – You said you did a good job on this, which is excellent. Just remember to not make it a painful thing to do. Don’t “perfect” it, aim to fail.

    Talk Japanese to Everyone – To be honest, I’m not sure how this would help at all. A lot of people in my life would probably just get annoyed and cause me to be very unmotivated. Speaking Japanese to other learners and actual Japanese people would make sense, but to someone who doesn’t know or care about the language would probably just cause problems.

    I think the main reason why AJATT didn’t work for you was because you were forcing things on yourself. AJATT isn’t a unique concept, its just doing things you currently like doing, but in Japanese. Most of the things that caused you to fail have already been covered in AJATT. I think you should give it another shot, but instead not call it a “challenge” and make it something you gradually, COMFORTABLY make your way into. The site probably has articles for every bump in the road you have.

    Anyway, good luck with your future progress. Its mostly about finding a method that works for you, not following a method that worked for someone else.

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