Fill Fluency Gaps

When you get to Phase 4, you will be very good at Japanese.

But your Japanese won't be perfect, and you'll be noticing a lot of areas that need improvement.

Our task as advanced speakers of the language is to avoid plateauing, which is very easy to do. To avoid plateauing, we need to actively search for our weak points and attempt to rectify them.

For example, back in 2016 I was having dinner at a Japanese business colleague's house, and I noticed that I was repeatedly using casual language by accident while speaking with his wife, to whom I should have been using standard polite language. I had spent so much time speaking casually with family and friends over the previous few years, that my brain was defaulting to informal language. No one said anything to me, but I felt a bit embarrassed.

To fix this, I started taking face-to-face lessons with Japanese teachers online and speaking polite Japanese with them. After about six months of doing this, I felt a lot more comfortable switching back and forth between casual and formal Japanese.

↑ That's just one example. You may find that your speaking is great, but your reading ability isn't so great. Or maybe you can speak accurately, but you speak too slowly or your pronunciation is messed up. There are always little things to improve.

Advanced students who continually seek to improve the little things become orders of magnitude better at Japanese than advanced students who get a bit lazy and let their skill level off.

So, yeah, "filling fluency gaps" will be one of our main challenges in Phase 4.

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