My account expires in a few days, and I wanted to say goodbye for the time being. There aren’t may posts about this topic, but the few I’ve read have helped me to see that everyone has very different reasons for not continuing the membership. I think I might be back next year, though, but I need a break because my learning is becoming unbalanced.
I started studying through BunPro a few months ago, and I’ve learned so much in such little time that doing reviews has started to become boring. If I focus too much on WK in order to get the most advancement out of my yearly membership, I don’t want it to make me lazy about grammar, since reading is really just a portion of learning the language; it doesn’t mean I can write, or express words, or even recall english to Japanese vocab. I can recognise a kanji in ways that I never thought I could, but I find now that when I want to say a word in Japanese I can’t remember even though I know I could read it. Or I have to imagine how it’s written so then I can read it in my mind…
The thing is, I am absolutely grateful to WK, this system is awesome; I’ve advanced more than ever in my Japanese, and want to come back in the future, but my goal really is to be able to speak in conversation and understand grammar sentences.
I’ve been twice to Japan and being able to read has made a great difference in my experience y and interactions.
After a year of daily studying I’ve advanced 19 levels, so paying two more yearly subscriptions is going to be less efficient than a lifetime subscription. I thought I’d advance faster, it would be great to know how fast all you advance in one year.
I’m going to focus on grammar and conversation for next year, and then probably come back to finish my 41 remaining levels. I might start using anki SRS in this period as well. Wish you all the best! Keep patient and constant, I know it’ll pay off.
I understand it’s not your main focus. If you really want to be able to speak, yeah, maybe WK will slow you down.
I’m in the opposite field, since I really want to be able to read, so I’ll be here 'till the end.
I think you’re doing the right thing taking breaks from WK to focus time of other study materials such as BunPro - certainly the pace of WK can crowd out other study if you let it. It did for me.
Looking back at my wkstats.com graph, I’ve taken two big breaks of around 75 days (at levels 28 and 43), in which were both about slowing down the pace of my WK reviews to allow me to use BunPro.
My own subscription history is an initial annual subscription in June, transitioning to lifetime during last year’s winter sale - the pressure release of upgrading to lifetime is in fact a big part of what led to me taking that long level 28 break.
I’d be taking another break right now, except that I’m so tantalisingly close to the end of new lessons, that I might as well see it through first - and my plans for after that are very much to refocus on aspects that WK doesn’t teach.
It sounds like it would be well worth you keeping an eye out for future WK winter sales if you’re suitably convinced you’ll be back eventually. Meanwhile, the forums are still here even if you’re not doing WK SRS.
I often feel regret that I didn’t discover WK sooner in my studies, because I definitely went through a period where my kanji started to really hold me back. But although getting WK under your belt definitely then frees you up to study other aspects of the language without having to worry about kanji, I’m kind of glad I already had a decent elementary foundation before I started using it.
Lots of people get very far in WK without progressing very far in their overall studies at all. It’s a system designed to keep you addicted, and once you’re on board it eats a lots of time (unless you’re a student, say). This means it tends to be the thing people keep coming back to even when they’ve lost motivation elsewhere, or can’t figure out a consistent schedule.
All that rambling basically to say I think taking a break is a pretty sensible idea if you think WK is leeching your time and motivation to do other Japanese study. If you think you’ll come back (and you should! it’s great for kanji!) and will take around two years+ to finish, then you could consider getting lifetime in the upcoming sale anyway.
@maxb You’re almost at level 60! Don’t take a break now!!
Yeah I’ve only been able to try it three times, just my luck; when I decide I need a break from learning in one direction I find out KaniWani exists! Just by chance I found about it in another post; I would have loooooved to know about it a months ago.
@Radish8 That’s great advice, thanks a lot. I think I’ll follow it. I’d like to know how are you studying japanese, what method do you follow? Academy classes , online, textbook? I feel if you have a structured method like having a teacher and classes two times a week, WK is a great and necessary addition to progress in learning the language.
Thanks for being open about why you are choosing to take a break I also feel a need to get through the levels quickly, but I’ve run into the issue of learning too much too quickly and falling extremely behind on my podcasts and Genki. Just recently I heard the work 学校 aloud and I had no idea what it meant even though reading it would have been a breeze I started in January and I think I’m ready for my first break! But if you could get the lifetime, I would highly suggest it, just because it really does take any pressure off of doing it at a fast pace.
To anyone: Without lifetime are you allowed to continue doing reviews for what you’ve already learned after subscription expiration?
Thanks! Then in that case I would definitely suggest lifetime, because at least you can continue burning items while you study other things (which is what I have been doing since the holidays started).
I take classes at the language school associated with my University. It definitely has disadvantages (slow pace mostly due to looooong holidays, lack of kanji learning!), but like you say it brings structure. I’m not the kind of person who would have been able to get very far without a structure and an expectation that I turn up every week
It also gives you the opportunity / forces you to practise speaking. Admittedly that’s mostly with other learners, but you still have to open your mouth and talk, which I think is something self-learners can struggle with. Plus I’m friends with my teacher now, who is Japanese, so I get to chat to her quite a bit.
I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, but just knowing about those disadvantages will probably take you halfway to overcoming them either way.