Going from studying alone to taking a class

I’ve been studying Japanese on my own for a while and I’m thinking of taking a evening class in the fall. My conversational ability is far behind my reading comprehension, so I’ll be in a slightly odd place whichever class I’m in. But I have some time to make my skills slightly less lopsided between now and then. Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing?

I looked at the Tobira sample chapter and I found the passages easy to read and recognized many of the grammar constructs but couldn’t do the grammar exercises and I definitely couldn’t hold a conversation on the subjects. I think that’s a good class to aim for? Genki seems too basic, and I don’t think I’m ready for interacting in the advanced class that has moved past textbooks.

I’ve started going through Genki, reading the text and doing both sides of the conversation exercises. Is this a good way to prepare?


Personally I would get on Hello Talk and start trying to construct some sentences. You don’t necessarily need to talk to people but using your wall to get corrections will be a big help. You shouldn’t worry if you speech is shaky in class, the main thing is that you can communicate what you want to.

When trying to construct a sentence, don’t try to go too far out of your comfort zone. Use the knowledge you have now, get used to working within your limitations. It can feel frustrating to only be able to communicate in the most simple manner but in a conversation it’s more important to get your message across than to be eloquent. With time your limitations will expand but you will always have them (just as you will in your native tongue).


Thanks. I downloaded that and started using it today.

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