Well, it’s May, and that means it’s time to start getting ready for the N1 again. This time, I’m going to get more serious about it than last time, because I have some pockets of free time here and there to work on it.
My calligraphy class, which was taught in Japanese, is now over for good, so I have one less way to speak/learn. I had a lot of fun there, even though it was a one-hour drive each way for a one-hour class (well, it usually ran a bit over, but I really enjoyed it!)
That class, plus my twice-weekly business Japanese sessions have helped me keep my conversational skills going, but it’s hard for me to keep my grammar and vocabulary knowledge highly polished without doing some sort of language classes that focus on it.
Going over some of my notes from Yamasa really shows how much rust can build up in unseen areas. I notice that there are some grammar phrases I should be using, but I just never use in daily conversation, so I need to focus on those a bit more.
So this week, I’m going to try out the Japanese Online Institute. It’s an online speech + chat + whiteboard-based way to learn Japanese in either small groups or privately. The first 3 lessons are only $9, so I’m game to try. After that, group lessons range in price from 500 yen (if you buy 180 lessons) to 900 yen (if you buy 5). The dollar/yen pricing is a bit off, probably due to the plummeting yen.
If I like the classes, then I’ll probably pony up a decent chunk of cash to get some lessons at a discount. I want pummel the N1 this year, so I don’t have to mess with it anymore.
They have a nice variety of classes, so it looks promising.