One of the hardest parts about learning a new language is knowing what to study, when…and how! Add in personal learning style, and figuring out this roadmap for yourself is downright daunting. This is where the website Refold wants to help. It's a language-learning roadmap comprised of methods, mindsets, and core activities.
Though not specific to Japanese, Refold aims to help you learn your target language through immersion, listening, and active study. The goal is acquisition — meaning you can comprehend and reproduce the target language effortlessly, as you do with your native language. This is a big promise, and one that usually makes us skeptical. But in this case, they emphasize putting in the work, which we know is the pathway to success.
The goal is acquisition — meaning you can comprehend and reproduce the target language effortlessly, as you do with your native language.
A nice aspect of the writing in this roadmap is the focus on positivity — things like learning to enjoy the language itself, gaining a positive view of mistakes, and understanding how your brain works. Ideas like this aren't the concrete building blocks that get you to the finish line (Refold does cover that too), but they help to keep you from burning out or quitting. You can't put in the work if negativity drives you away from learning altogether.
When it comes to practical methods for immersion and study, Refold gives introductions to effective methods like SRS, passive listening, and choosing the right content. We've written about or endorsed a lot of these things ourselves, so we know Refold is pushing some effective strategies.
At the moment, the roadmap is incomplete. Stage 3: "Learn to Speak" and Stage 4: "Refine to Mastery" are "coming soon" according to the website, and we hope that they are. In the meantime, there is plenty to keep you busy.
Update: Refold has added Stage 3: "Learn to Speak"!
It should be noted that for Japanese learners, this roadmap does not take into account specific hurdles like kanji, which may rearrange or add some steps to your roadmap. The end of Refold's Stage 2 talks about adding reading to your regimen, which isn't an easy task if you haven't been studying kanji up to that point.
We have our own roadmap here at Tofugu, which is Japanese specific, but if you compare the two, we think you'll find they agree in many ways. Taking in both (and hopefully even more), you'll learn about learning to the point that your personal roadmap becomes extra effective — because it's tailor-made for you!