Taking a break… but not completely!

I have already mentioned it on Friday, but I am not studying at the moment. This does not mean, however, that I am doing nothing in Japanese! I think it is necessary to stay in touch with your target language on a daily basis.

If you don’t want to or cannot study for a long period of time, try to define one or two short and easy activities that you will perform every day no matter what. It might take only 20 or even 10 minutes to do, but at least, you will have worked on your target language on a daily basis.

I try to always keep good feelings attached to my target language, and I don’t want to feel the burden of mandatory homework on it (this is why I prefer to learn on my own than in a classroom.) If I am more interested in other things than learning Japanese, and if I skip my study sessions to practice these other activities, I will inevitably feel guilty. As a result, Japanese will be associated with duty (things to do) and the other activities with fun (things that I want to do). This won’t make me want to come back to my textbooks!

To avoid this trap, I always do something for Japanese every day, so that I can move on to other activities with a light heart and without feeling guilty. I feel that I have fulfilled my study obligations for the day and can engage in other hobbies.

And of course, doing at least one little thing (like Anki) allows you to stay in touch with your target language, instead of making a long, complete break. Spending one or two weeks (or more!) without doing any Japanese is something that I want to avoid at all cost because it is harder to get back on tracks, and I would stop making progress too.

Defining one or two little things to do every day maintains the link with your target language, makes it easier to jump on the train again and guarantees that you are still progressing.

For now, I only do Anki every day, and I write a (very) short text in Japanese around five times per week (I generally skip the weekends.) Sometimes, I do pick up one of my books, but it feels more like a duty than real pleasure at the moment, so I don’t force myself and just stick to these two things. The good thing is that, even if I am not studying, I still hold on to some of my goals for November (writing in Japanese on a daily basis was one of them.)

To conclude: It’s okay to take a break, but don’t lose touch with your target language!