For this CAS Experience, I wanted to learn Japanese because I want to go to a Japanese university for my further studies, thus, I began using this application, “Duolingo” which is known for free courses in 38 languages. I was surprised by how simple the language can be because there is no sentence structure required in the Japanese language, there are no filler words required to complete your sentences except for (sama) as a sign of respect after each name. I also practiced some Japanese speaking into google translate, (which didn’t help) and it was really fun to learn it!
This helped me identify myself because I got to know how the learning style can affect the speed at which everything is understood by you. I learned that my greatest strength in learning something is how I process that information, and how I use logic to form sentences in Japanese with only words. My weakness in learning is that I am too scared of being wrong, every time I hit the submit button on anything, I am fearful that I have done something wrong which has made my entire answer wrong, so in learning an entirely new set of words was frisson(<– googled this word) for me, I wish to overcome this through simply trying to participate more in my online classes and always writing what I think is right (and rechecking of course), this will not only help me in learning faster but also in my social anxiety.
The most challenging part of this CAS activity was promoting yourself to the next leagues, Every week, you are placed with 49 other people on the “Scoreboard,” only the Top 10 were promoted to the next league, while the people who had the least amount of experience (which was gained from completing lessons) were demoted to the previous league, it was really difficult to get into the top 10 because all the people wanted to go the next league, we all worked hard to surpass each other. There are examples of this everywhere, and it played a big role in my motivation to learn Japanese. I managed to go to Ruby League which is the 5th league, out of the 7 weeks I have continued to learn Japanese. I feel very exhilarated when I go into the next because I am constantly putting in little amounts of effort which pay off, and then excited to see what bigger scores I have to beat to go to the next level.
I was completely clueless whether or not I would be able to complete this goal because I knew that I would have to be proactive about doing one thing for 50 consecutive days, even missing out 1 day would reset my entire streak and I’d lose too much time recovering from that. By doing this, I learned that I can do anything if I can set my mind to it, and when I get constant reminders (about twice a day), this was given to me by the application itself, I have also learned that perseverance is key to developing yourself as a person, because drastic change is not one of the human body’s strong suits, it can take up to 254 days to develop a habit.
My final takeaway is that with enough perseverance and commitment, you can win by just not giving up, not giving up is key. Even one day off, “ehh, I can do this tomorrow” will take you back and trap you in that cycle of procrastination that will inevitably lead to failure. I was shocked when I achieved the 50-day win streak in my first 50 days because all I did was just give learning 15 mins of my day, every day.
1365 = 1, but 1.01365 = 37.78, simply doing 1% more than something you did yesterday, every day for a year, will increase your capacity by 3778%.
I am proud to say that I currently have a 54-day streak of the application. I have completed around 200 lessons. I have learned this for the sake of my further education, which I plan to pursue in Japan.