[Closed] Genki 1 & Genki 2 Study Group with Native Japanese Volunteers in Second Life starting January 2022

Guidelines for Registered Learners going to the Study Group for the First Time or those who still have Voice Chat technical issues in Second Life.
  1. Please try to login Second Life whenever you’re free between today until the day before class to test Voice Chat. Voice Chat is VERY important for you to participate in class and not make the lesson stalled as lesson times are limited (about an hour for Genki I and the next hour Genki II). This is a link to Voice Echo Canyon where you’re able to hear yourself and if you can’t, you’re able to try make your microphone work in Second Life by adjusting them via your Preference setting (Ctrl + P).

Here’s a 7-Minutes Video on how to adjust Voice and Sound Preference:

Those who chooses not to use Voice Chat due to other reasons or can’t make Voice Chat to work before class will be sitting in the Observer seats rather than Participant seats throughout the lesson. Observers won’t be able to participate during class (no Voice Chat or Text Chat while class in progress), but Observers will get to listen and watch how the class progresses.

Only after each class ends, Observers will get to ask more questions if they needed to (while Participants could ask during the lessons). This is another reason why I highly recommend Genki I learners to arrive 30 minutes before 9pm JST for any questions you might have prior to the lessons. Or you’ll be able to ask them later in the private Facebook group if the time will be too late for you after the classes end.

By not making Voice Chat work during class will also make the lesson slow down a lot for other participants who might be in a later time zones, like Japan and Australia (being near the middle of the night or after midnight). This is especially important when Genki I session is limited to only an hour and Genki II session starting immediately in the next hour.

  1. The ones who have checked and made sure their Voice Chat worked fine in SL can come by 30 minutes before class as your first time to class.

Only once we’ve all get the hang of the schedule and overcome everyone’s technical problems, learners could come by to class 10 minutes before class as a normal routine. Yoshi Sensei is very punctual, so you’ll see him there even before the class starts on time.

If a learner comes in late or too close to class time while still having Voice Chat or other minor technical problems, they will also be asked to take a seat at the Observer area, rather than the Participants area so it won’t disrupt the arrangements for the ongoing lesson’s Q&A and Sensei could be clear with who will be taking their turns on Voice Chat.

Don’t worry, we will also help the Observers sort out any further technical problems AFTER the class is over so that lessons won’t be interrupted. This is another emphasis in why trying out SL earlier before class won’t make you end up getting the Observer seats and you’ll be able to participate earlier.

  1. As of writing, it seems there are about 30 Genki I learners and a bit more than 10 Genki II learners. Unfortunately, we cannot hold a class for 30 people in one session due to the limited 1 hour slot, as it will impact the quality of the lesson. If more than 10 people come by for a class, the remaining extra might need to go to the Observer seats for now. We’re predicting there might be more learners than we expect but perhaps some will choose not to continue with this activity after trying once or a few times.

We might decide together someday on how to split the Genki I group in half, at least. Maybe half of the learners could Participate one weekend, while the other half of the learners Observe. And then the following weekend, the two groups will switch turns to give a chance for the previous Observers to Participate and the previous Participants to Observe next. This could prevent the lesson’s pace from slowing down every week due to the volume of Participants each time. Sensei might bring this up at some point in class.

What to do if Second Life viewer makes your Voice Chat not work or lags terribly after you've tried before class (alternatives to Second Life viewer)?

The most famous Third Party viewer is Firestorm viewer. Give it a try and compare it with the original Second Life viewer to see if it works better or worse on your computer. If both viewers still give you problems with Voice Chat or other SL performance, here’s a list of the other Third Party viewers that might suit your computer better. Please choose the ones that’s Not Text Only as you need to be able to see the Whiteboard and other Avatars during classes.

Sorry for the long read as we think this is important after seeing how Genki II class went the first time. Good luck in making Second Life work for you so we’ll all have a smoother transition into the lessons very soon. See you there!

This week's Homework and References for Genki I & Genki II study groups by Yoshi Sensei.


1月20日(いちがつ はつか)午後9時(JST)~

GENKI1: 224ページ Ⅵ-A~


GENKI2: 174ページ Ⅳ-A~

Thank you to those who have responded earlier here in this thread and via Second Life’s IM. If you’ve sent me a message there, I’ve read them and gave your Second Life username to the Nihongo Tea Room owner. Sorry for my late response there as I only login once a week on average and will try to reply ASAP, but rest assured that your username is being added to the safelist.

The same goes for anyone who has expressed their interest to join under this thread. You have been added to the list and we’ll be waiting for you to come over to Second Life with your registered SL username. It would be great if you could edit your reply here and write your SL username too.

If it’s not too much, mentioning your country would help too (Nihongo Tea Room owner is making a list of participants in Excel) - but it’s not compulsory if you’re concerned about privacy in this forum as we’ll have our introductions in class anyway, so it could be added later.

And the most important but unfortunate announcement is that I’ll have to end any more new registrations for now, or there might not be enough space in Nihongo Tea Room garden for everyone who has responded earlier (the owner joked that we might need a stadium! :sweat_smile:). We worry it might be hard to have a good learning experience if it’s too crowded.

But if there’s any new openings, I’ll definitely post again. The least crowded option at the moment is the weekly Shiritori Japanese x English Language exchange activity every Friday at 10.30pm JST. It’s happening in Nihongo Tea Room as well, and I think you don’t have to register or give your Second Life username to join this activity.

It is less-structured compared to learning via Genki textbook but it will be good as another Japanese speaking exercise. This activity has the most Japanese native speakers attending in Nihongo Tea Room due to them wanting to brush up their English while casually teaching you Japanese.

Sincere apology for those who aren’t able to join this Genki study group any more but I personally think there are more efficient ways to learn Japanese than this. All the best in everyone’s learning journey and thank you for your time reading this. :bowing_woman:

For those who wishes to join the weekly Friday night Shiritori Japanese x English language exchange activity with more native Japanese speakers, you may jump straight to the link below for the rough guide.


Hi, I’m interested! Would I need to buy the GENKI textbook?

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Sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll make an account.
If you can’t make it on Saturday, will there be a recap thing?

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how much interaction is there? more specifically in my personal case, i’m unable to speak (long complicated health reasons i’ve mentioned before in past posting) so i’m hoping that’s not a barrier.

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Would I need to buy the GENKI textbook?

Yes, that would be the best. But if for any reason you haven’t got one yet, the class does display each lesson of the day on a whiteboard so everyone could follow along even without the textbook.

Feel free to send me an IM in Second Life, my username there is Haruka Flores. If you’re unable to find me, just pass me your registered Second Life username and I’ll send you more details via IM on the next possible steps.


If you can’t make it on Saturday, will there be a recap thing?

Normally, (if I’m not mistaken) Yoshi Sensei has a normal day job Mondays to Fridays and prefer to volunteer teaching on Saturdays. Some weekday nights one may able to reach him via IM, but it’s usually Genki homework-related questions.

If you mean what if someone misses a Saturday or two in a row for any emergency / personal reasons, I don’t think that will be a big loss on recap. Usually the classes will still be on the same grammar point within a couple of weeks, if not more when it’s challenging.

Yoshi Sensei will also be sure to give you some light homework while you’re away so you’ll be able to catch up easily once you’re back.


how much interaction is there? more specifically in my personal case, i’m unable to speak (long complicated health reasons i’ve mentioned before in past posting) so i’m hoping that’s not a barrier.

Second Life virtual platform is pretty interactive and the lessons are mainly done through Voice Chat rather than text (except for several typing practice or if a word needed more explanations, etc.)

However, don’t let that be a barrier and hinder you from coming by to observe the class for your Genki self-study. We’ve had several observers coming by and they normally don’t participate on Voice Chat since it’s usually too early for them (especially some American time zones).

You’ll still be able to submit any Genki homework for Yoshi Sensei to check, and before & after class, you’re able to type any questions you have regarding the lessons, as that won’t interrupt with the flow of class.

Hope that helps :blush:

Tagging for the Important Notice at the top of this Thread (please scroll to the top. Thank you :bowing_woman:)
@AnimeDayTrader @boshi @Christacarl @coolsday @tepp @keinteller @Amylubee @QWee


it seems I have to install SL on my laptop, since I use linux and my boyfriend has to do it, but I’m in quarantaine, I’m not sure I’ll participate

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Sorry to hear about you being on quarantine and probably not being able to participate next year. In case you’re able to install Second Life at another time, don’t worry about joining mid-way. In 2020, I joined this class half-way through Genki 1 textbook due to the lockdown too.

I believe there are many different ways to learn Japanese, there is no one ultimate way to learn despite having similar goals. Good luck in your Japanese learning journey! :muscle:

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@Saglaub @yemi90 @axc @Rouen @MagicalGrill @Feglo @Something1343 @Hantsuki @thomasmichaelwal @SpaceMoss

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Thank you so much for sharing! This sounds like just what I needed and at the right time too. So besides installing SL and learning the controls, is there anything I should do to prepare? Should I communicate with Yoshi sensei or the owner of Nihongo Tea Room in advance somehow? Also, do you feel like the group has helped you in your studies a lot?

Edit: @distantflower My SL username is nolan7227 and I live in the Eastern US.

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Hi, how do you sign up tor thse course ?


This sounds really interesting. I just recently finished Genki I and looking towards picking up on Genki II. It would be cool to join a study group I think. How do we sign up for the classes? And SL looks like VR chat. Is a VR headset required?

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This sounds really cool but unfortunately 9pm Japan time is 4am my time :grimacing: So nice of them to do this though!

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I’ve been putting off starting genki 2 for a long time now. Fridays at 5am for my timezone I might not be at my optimum smartness potential but it sounds like a fun way to get through the textbooks finally.

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This is so cool! Due to other commitments I probably won’t join along for this intake, but I hope it’s successful and keeps on going! Definitely something I’ll keep my eye on :smiley:


Good luck and all the best for your Japanese learning journey too! :+1:

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@danielrcibz @Gymgirl @Rigansginger @chanzilla @Techker7 @Izabelle @RoseWagsBlue @Beyond_Sleepy @synergiance @Silversong



Should I communicate with Yoshi sensei or the owner of Nihongo Tea Room in advance somehow?

There’s no need for that as you may just walk-in from the first day of class. Best to arrive at least 5 minutes before the activity begins since Yoshi Sensei is always very punctual.

As long you’ve signed up for a Second Life account for more than 2 weeks before the date of the first class, you’ll be able to enter Nihongo Tea Room with no problems. And of course, getting used to the controls beforehand would really help making your learning experience goes well without any technical hitch.

In case you aren’t able to make it on the first day of class (due to emergency or personal reasons), coming by on the weekends after that are fine too, since I think you won’t feel left out much from skipping the start of a textbook. But it will be nice if you could be there earlier so we won’t miss everyone’s self-introduction.

I’ve actually joined the class in mid-way through Genki I because I’ve only heard of the activity in late 2020. So they are very flexible with your timing as long you’re able to catch up with the lessons they’re doing at the time.

Also, do you feel like the group has helped you in your studies a lot?

It definitely helped me a lot. I don’t have access to socialising with Japanese folks as I don’t live in Japan or work for a Japanese company directly (only remotely though, but we communicate in English). The free class is a good start for a beginner like me since I won’t get frustrated with inability to converse in full proper Japanese just yet and they have English basics to guide through any question a learner might have.

This activity also makes me more accountable with Genki textbook learning. On my own, I don’t think it will stick much since I could easily get distracted. I might whinge to my partner whenever I’m doing some Genki homework at the last-minute (it’s my fault anyway for procrastinating) but deep down I’m excited attending the class every time. A bit nervous at the start, but in the end, it felt it was worth the hassle, lol.

If you’re rushing for a certain JLPT test or qualifications to work/study in Japan, I’d say this class’ pace won’t help much as I think it’s quite slow. It’s a once a week Japanese beginner class after all. Most of us there aren’t students, having jobs and other usual grown-up responsibilities. One of us even have grandchildren. Can’t make things too overwhelming or Japanese learning will be a dread or a burden, in my opinion.

Nonetheless, I think the activity could be a good addition for those exam-taking folks though, as a way to test existing proficiency and understanding. But the lessons itself might be too relaxed in this case, and it’s only really good for Japanese beginners or those at the Intermediate level. It might be boring for Advanced learners.


Hi, how do you sign up for these course ?

The main sign up just involves downloading Second Life and making an account. Be sure to do it as early as you can (I suggest doing it right after this, even if you’ll be busy to use it just yet), since you do need to get used to the avatar movements and Voice Chat controls for you to be able to participate in the class smoothly without technical issues.

Have fun exploring other parts of Second Life first and hopefully I’ll get to see you once the class starts next year.


How do we sign up for the classes? And SL looks like VR chat. Is a VR headset required?

Installing Second Life and making an account are the only things you need for the class sign up. Hope you can make an account as soon as possible. The entry to Nihongo Tea Room needs your account to be at least 2 weeks old, as explained in the link under my post above.

Thankfully Second Life doesn’t require VR headset. Just a standard headset/earphones and mic to make Voice Chat work would do to take part in the class. Personally, I think Second Life has a slightly complicated movement controls compared to VR Chat. However, after a few days of testing and exploring, I think you’ll get the hang of it without much problem.

Happy to know that you’ll be picking up Genki II too! Looking forward to having you as a classmate while sharing the virtual Kotatsu with all of us together in Nihongo Tea Room :blush:


This sounds really cool but unfortunately 9pm Japan time is 4am my time :grimacing: So nice of them to do this though!

The time difference is unfortunate, isn’t it? We have an American observer where it’s usually too early in his time too. Sometimes he’ll be awake enough to ask a few questions but most of the time, we suspect he’s asleep while listening to us learners speak broken Japanese :sweat_smile:

It’s crazy that Yoshi Sensei and the Nihongo Tea Room owner are offering this class for free. Maybe after I’ve graduated Genki II and gained enough trust from them to request for their postal address, I’d love to send a present as a token of appreciation.

Although the ultimate dream would be to meet them in Japan at some Izakaya, using the skills I’ve learnt from them to order food and drinks, while chatting away in fluent Japanese. That’s truly my goal in this long journey; to be able to speak Japanese well enough to have deep conversations with native speakers.


Fridays at 5am for my timezone I might not be at my optimum smartness potential but it sounds like a fun way to get through the textbooks finally.

If you and @weirdconnie really wish to have a session that suits your timezone (I’m thinking either Yoshi Sensei’s Saturday or Sunday 3PM JST to suit some American evenings and European morning timezones), if there’s enough demand, maybe Yoshi Sensei won’t mind squeezing his weekend a bit more.

Even so, I won’t put my hopes too high for this since he’s doing all this in his spare time and it’s probably better to have 2 learners at least at a time, rather than only for 1 learner at a time.

There’s also the Genki I & Genki II use to consider. It would be great if he can maintain the plan for next year of “an hour for Genki I and the next for Genki II” for each session (2 hours total each time), but that also means slower progress for both textbook learners. Previously, we did Genki I for a full 1.5 hours because that’s the only textbook we were using.

What do you think? I’ll ask Yoshi Sensei soon in regards of the present conundrum and probably will get some form of answer after Christmas. But I’ll definitely try to get an answer for both of you before the New Year.

In the mean time, please do try to install Second Life and explore around - just in case Sensei might agree with the time adjustment.

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This is amazing! I’d like to participate.

I’m more or less done with what Genki 1 covers, so I’m especially interested in the Genki 2 course. But I wouldn’t mind listening in on the Genki 1 course as well.


Edit as requested: My username in secondlife ist keinteller (same as here) and I’m from Germany. See you in a bit.

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I wouldn’t worry about changing the time slots at all. It might be better because everyone will still be sleeping and it will be quiet at my house.

I’ve just made a second life account - is there a way to reduce picture quality or something for it to render better on my very old macbook pro? I’ve got so much laaaaaaag. :sweat_smile:

—I found the preferences and it seems to be a little better. And finally found my missing avatar dress so I’m not just a floating naked top torso anymore.

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This is great ! Thanks for sharing. I most definitely will create a second life account to join the Genki I group !

Edit : Hi DistantFlower! As the topic is closed, I didn’t know how to contact you… I just wanted to find out whether I will be able to participate or not as you said the group wouldn’t accept anymore signing in. Did my previous message count as a sign in ? Anyway, thanks again for sharing.

Edit2: my username in SL is Amylubee. I’m french.

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So I’ve made it about 6 chapters into Genki I on my own but haven’t looked at it in a long time, since like March. The listening/speaking is def my biggest struggle and participating in something like this would probably do wonders for me. BUT … I’m with the “it’ll likely be too early crowd.” Do you know of any similar events happening or maybe even other self-study resources where I may be able to get some audio practice in? Thanks!

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I have the same question! And I’m just about done with WaniKani, but I’ve been struggling with grammar. Bunpro’s review system just doesnlt hold the same level of addiction as WaniKani did for me. Would these textbooks help me master grammar and how does that compare to Tae Kim’s textbook?

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