Nihongo Online School

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Nihongo Online School > Tips for More Effective Studying > [Study Plan with Murthy-san]He successfully improved from JLPT N4→N3+ level !

[Study Plan with Murthy-san]He successfully improved from JLPT N4→N3+ level !

2024/06/20

Director: Kotaro Muramoto
Principal of Nihongo Online School
In September 2019, he founded "Nihongo Online School". Since then, has been teaching Japanese online lessons, with a total of over 1,000 students.
He has designed an individualized curriculum based on student’s needs and study goal. And is conscious of making the classes speech-centered in order to improve students’ speaking skills.
The school asks students to submit homework assignments worth 2 hours per lesson to improve faster. By supporting students with these features, students are able to efficiently improve Japanese language skills.

●Summary

Nationality: India (currently living in Ireland), Age:20’s 

Occupation: Engineer 

Reason for learning Japanese: ​​​​​​He is interested in Japanese dramas and J-POP, and wants to learn Japanese so he can communicate more smoothly with Japanese people. Also, as a short-term goal, he wants to pass JLPT N3.

●Trial lesson feedback

【 Level : N4  (Level 3 in our level chart) 】

・Listening & Speaking :

Conversation level is 3. His sentence flow and pronunciation are natural, giving the impression that he is used to speaking Japanese.

He taught himself Japanese through anime and manga, and can communicate in simple everyday conversations without any problems. He also wants to practice listening for the JLPT test.

・Reading:

He can read hiragana and katakana because he learned them by himself. He can also read many kanji at N5-N4 level.

 After the trial lesson, we proceeded based on the content of Minna no nihongo chapter 26 in order to confirm the level of retention at the N4 level.

 He seemed to be okay with N4 level grammar, so we will focus on reviewing up to N4 level, mock exams, and explanations in the class.

●Learning plan

Enrollment course: 15 hours course(1 hour lesson ×1 time in a week)

・Bharat san has repeated the 15 course four times and is about to start his fifth course.

・For the first 15 lessons, we reviewed the N4 level content, checked his progress with a mock test, and then reviewed the items he didn’t understand.

・In the next 15 lessons, we completed half of the N3 level and chapter 11 of the textbook “Manabou nihongo”.

 And In five of the lessons, the teacher explained the meaning of the lyrics of three J-POP songs requested by the students, explained onomatopoeia, and explained Japanese folk tales.

・In the next 15 lesson courses, he studied the continuation of the N3 level textbook “Manabou nihongo”’ and completed up to chapter 20. It also covered N3 level content. We had two classes on manga and haiku, and the teacher gave an explanation.

・In the next 15 lessons, we started studying chapter 21 of the textbook “Manabou nihongo”’ and entered the N2 level content. He progressed to chapter 24 in 15 lessons and has reached the point where he understands about 20% of the N2 level content.

・Perhaps because he has been exposed to Japanese through manga, anime, and J-POP in his daily life, his Japanese word choices and pronunciation are very natural.

・He seems to be actively interacting with Japanese people through “meet-ups”, and every week he talks about events related to these events and clarifies expressions he doesn’t understand.

・He requested class themes such as a JLPT mock test, an explanation of the meaning of J-POP lyrics, an introduction to onomatopoeia and haiku, and reading manga to understand the content. And the teacher also gave a class explaining those themes.

●Learning approach

Teaching materials: Manabou nihongo,JLPT mock test

Class frequency: 1 time in a week 

How to proceed with the class:

① Vocabulary and grammar: 

When studying at the N4 level, he completed a series of summary questions that come with “Minna no Nihongo Beginner”, equivalent to levels N5 to N4, to solidify the learning content and solidify the foundation. He then solved JLPT N4 using the “Best Moshi N4”  to check his progress. His grammar was at a passing level.

After completing the N4 level, he moved on to the N3 level, using the “Manabou nihongo” text to learn how to read sentences and learn the sentence patterns needed for N3.

② Speaking: 

At the beginning of class, we talk about recent events, weekend plans, etc., and have free talk. We also verbally confirm unfamiliar words and expressions that come up in everyday life.

③Listening :

His listening skills, which he said he was not confident in, were at a passing level in the JLPT N4 mock exam.

It seems that he listens to J-POP and has many opportunities to converse with Japanese people through meetups, so the teacher asks him to continue to practice listening a lot on a regular basis, and also to reflect during free talk in class so that he can hear various expressions. 

④Writing :

When it comes to writing, he practices by solving essay questions at the end of each lesson in the N3 textbook “Manabou nihongo”. He practices thinking of sentences based on his own situation regarding the given theme.

⑤Reading :

He reads the long sentences at the beginning of the text ”Manabou nihongo” to improve his reading comprehension. At this time, we check the words and expressions he doesn’t understand, and we work together to improve his vocabulary.

●Achievement

【 Level : N4 (Level 4 in our level chart)】

① Vocabulary and grammar :N3 level. Starting with a review of the N4 content, he is now reading N3 level texts and understanding the meanings of the texts and words.

② Speaking :N3 level. He is familiar with the expressions that Japanese people use in everyday conversation, and is able to listen and speak in natural sentences. The pronunciation is also good, so we can understand it easily.

③ Listening :He can hear and understand most phrases using sentence patterns up to N3 level.

④Reading :N3 level. Although he sometimes stumbles over the meaning of words and reading kanji, he is able to grasp the overall meaning of the sentence and answer questions accurately. He quickly accepts things he doesn’t understand by saying, “I don’t understand,” and proactively tries to find answers along with hints, which has helped him improve quickly.

Overall: 

When we first took a trial lesson, I got the impression that Bharat san was more familiar with everyday Japanese expressions than other students.

As we had lessons, I realized that this was because I was exposed to a lot of Japanese through Japanese anime, manga, and J-POP.

Bharat san understands many expressions, but when there is a word he has never heard or a part he doesn’t understand, he honestly admits what he doesn’t understand and tries to absorb it quickly, so I think this learning attitude is helping him improve. 

This year, he will be traveling to Japan for the first time. In Japan, I hope that he will have a lot of input and output and be able to demonstrate the results of his studies so far.

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