Saturday, November 3, 2012

Summer Language Training

On the one hand, it feels too early to start thinking about summer.  On the other hand, I need to purchase a return ticket to Japan for the end of Christmas break, and must make a decision soon about whether that will be a round-trip ticket (like I've done in the past, the second part of the ticket being a return to the States in June), or a one-way ticket.

I'm fairly certain it will be a one-way ticket this year.  I'm currently looking at a variety of options for summer language programs in Japan.  The most attractive one so far is a program offered through OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship), a complete immersion course in Hokkaido.  There are also several options locally in Tokyo that I'm looking into, as the Hokkaido option gives preference to missionaries with OMF and is very much dependent on how much space is available during the summer--something that the staff will not know until April or so.

Either way, I know for a fact that my only hope for making any kind of clear progress in my Japanese language training is to take the opportunity to do an immersive program during the summer.  Too much of my daily life during the regular school-year is spent speaking and listening to English to make real headway--it'll take diving in deep over the summer, and diving in deep in a setting where I cannot just revert to speaking English at home each evening.

I've already invested several thousand dollars into my Japanese language education over the past few years, and I want to continue to honor that initial investment by building on my language training.  I admire the missionaries I know who are fluent in Japanese, or at least comfortably conversational.  I want that for myself, and now have a clearer since of what it will take to reach that point.  Please wish me luck and pray for me as I begin to fill out applications and wait for results.

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