Mass Immersion Approach

Avoid This Mistake!

Commenter:

I already finished my 7th month with AJATT. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not feeling the progress I wanted. Yes I learn 20 new words a day with my sentence mining (some days I have to not mine any at all because of all the reps I have to do tho), spending about 3 hours a day on Anki and immersing when I can, but most of the time when I try to recall the words I “learned” in my everyday life, I can’t, it’s like if I only remember the words when I see the Anki card and read them, but a lot of the words I can’t recall them by memory (yes I’m meditating every day and my memory is not bad at all). Is this normal? Is anyone feeling that they don’t make progress like me? Maybe is just my mind playing tricks and I’m actually doing progress without noticing, and some day it will “click” and will start to understand a lot, but at least after 2.5 years of Japanese school and 7 months of AJATT, I still feel my level is very bad.

Matt:

“spending about 3 hours a day on Anki and immersing when I can”

Immersion is the core of AJATT; it’s where all true progress is made. Anki is just a supplement.

“most of the time when I try to recall the words I “learned” in my everyday life, I can’t, it’s like if I only remember the words when I see the Anki card and read them”

This is a typical sign of too much Anki and not enough Immersion. You don’t “learn” words in Anki, you simply prime your mind to learn them through immersion. If you aren’t actively immersing at least 3 hours every day (reading and listening combined), you can’t expect to be improving at even close to the rate that I or other prominent AJATTers did. You should never be spending more than 2 hours a day on Anki, and that’s for people who have an additional 4+ hours to actively immerse each day. Most people shouldn’t be on Anki more than an hour a day.

Commenter:

Thank you so much for the reply. I’m doing like 8 hours of passive immersion (I don’t immerse when I’m attending a client on work only), but I’m not doing much active immersion, maybe that’s the problem then? can it really be that much of a difference? About the 3 hours a day, it’s because I’m still getting like 40 cards from RTK deck, even after 4 months of finishing it, plus the sentence reviews, plus the 20 new cards and searching for an example sentence, the 20 new cards is what take the most time, should I lower to 15 or even 10 cards a day and change that time with active immersion? Thanks!

Edit: To be honest, I really don’t find any improvement when I’m immersing, that’s why I traded more Anki for less immersion, I might be wrong.

Matt:

“but I’m not doing much active immersion, maybe that’s the problem then? can it really be that much of a difference?”

Yes, and YES. Passive immersion only helps to the extent that you are also doing active immersion. If you do no active immersion, passive immersion does little to nothing. If you are doing lots of active immersion each day, then passive immersion starts to become very beneficial. I explain this and the reasons behind it specifically in this video. You should never be using the SRS for more than one third of your total daily active time spent on the language. If you only have 3 hours total, then you want to be doing 1 hour of Anki max, and 2 hours of active immersion. On its own, Anki does literally close to nothing; it’s almost never a good choice to trade immersion time for more Anki.