Hi! Self-teaching tips focused on reading/writing?

Hi guys!

I have some background in Japanese as my mom, aunt, and grandpa are speakers. I was taking an intensive course at Washington University in St. Louis last fall, but received a concussion and had to withdraw from most of my classes. I am hoping to self teach myself to catch back up and test into the third class. My writing is weak as the program and my familiar history are speaking-based. Any recommendations for books/programs/etc?

Currently am using Japanese: The Spoken Language, Japanese from Zero, and WaniKani.


Plan ahead and make goals. When self-teaching, no one is telling you to go study. You don’t attend any classes. It’s all about you being comfortable at your house and take the initiative to study Japanese.

For goals, I mean stuff like:

  • Reach level x on Wanikani before y.
  • Read a chapter of x textbook every y days.
  • Finish my day with 0 reviews on Wanikani.
  • Read 1 News article a day.
  • Etc.

This is important because once you know the path you have to follow (thanks to planning), it’s easier to actually study. Doing so without knowing where you’re aiming at feels… aimless xD

Install the app Hellotalk. It’s a language exchange app where you can practice writing with natives. You can also make posts (think Twitter/Facebook style) that all the natives of your target language will have access to and help with corrections. You also get access to a timeline full of posts from those same people that know your target language, which helps with reading.

Also, @Radish8 wrote a lovely resource list for reading in Japanese. I highly advise you to check it out :relaxed:

Resources for Starting to Read Japanese Content


Ive mentioned this before, but I recommend also making an actual daily routine for your studies, including wk. So if you wanna level up 7 times in 70 days, make a plan that will get you at consistent 10 day levels. Dont leave your day to day workload up to what you feel like doing, because lets be real, no one always feels like doing japanese, but thats no excuse.


I know I can always count on you to complete me :heart:


For your goals, I also suggest setting the bar pretty low for each goal.


Because sometimes when you see that big goal after you’re tired from work/going out/whatever and it’s easy to think “I’ll do it after x” or “Let me check twitter first” and keep putting it off until… oops! It’s bedtime! I’ll do it tomorrow. Often just getting started is tricky.

If you set the bar low, starting is easy. For example, I read the Conan movie novelization at work or manga at home for at least 10 minutes a day. That’s an easy goal, plus once I sit down and start reading that time easily becomes 30 minutes or more over the course of the day.

Plus on those crummy days when I don’t want to do poop it feels good to hit that tiny goal.


Oooo another St. Louisan! Nice to know there are more of us out there :D!

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