Immerse more in Listening & reading

So I will stick to my routine for grammar with Genki
But I can’t really fill up my listening & reading.

I tried podcasts for listening and, here and there I quite understood it, but I don’t really found it interesting.
For reading, I tried grade readers and I saw that it was pretty easy, but also that I found it less interesting to keep it as a routine.

With less interesting I mean it didn’t felt really naturally on a daily basis.
How can I immerse myself more, I guess watching shows where you can see visuals, read and listen.

I saw the fluentU app but a little expensive for now. Does someone know an alternative?

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Have you checked out the book clubs? There are Absolute Beginner and Beginner clubs so you can adjust to your level. They read manga and books, and you can either wait until the next pick is started with the group, or you can use the existing threads to read a book on your own.

They’re all assembled here:

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I dont have the books they reading.

Did you have the graded readers you talked about?

Ye there is this website were you can read them for free.

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I see. You can try books on Aozora Bunko, they are for free as well (but they are usually old, as the author needs to have died 50+ years ago for them to become free). But there are quite some nice stories among them. (There is even a thread somewhere around here that orders the stories by WK Kanji usage.)


I got same problem i guess😗

For listening I recommend recording the audio of an anime/TV show you enjoy and have already watched then listening to that. That way you already have context for everything you’re hearing. Something with a lot of conversation (slice of life/romance/comedy) works best. That said choosing something you enjoy is more important than the genre, so don’t force yourself to listen to stuff you don’t enjoy for the sake of learning.


as the author needs to have died 50+ years ago for them to become free



If you like stories I do recommend Drama CDs. There’s several connected to light novel series, manga, anime, and games. They come in all kinds of genres as well. You’ll just have to look for stuff that you’re usually into. :slight_smile:

I find this stuff much more engaging than some person talking about random stuff. I can’t stay focused for that either.

@izildop I recommend the same strategy for finding reading materials too. I started reading the Haikyuu manga halfway into doing Genki 2, as I had watched the anime and read it in English already, so I was quite familiar with the plot. That helps when details go over your head, but you will still have an understanding of what’s going on in the story. A good way is to keep it fun! :slight_smile:

You can read manga and books online on sites like

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Do you guys think FluentU is a good resource for active practicing?

What did you think of the reading sections in the back of Genki? They are the best thing to read first imo.

You can also make a free account with LingQ and read their 60 free Japanese “mini stories”. Just don’t save words to your dictionary because then you will have to pay. Otherwise it’s free and they are slightly more challenging than the Genki texts.

As for listening, try:

  • Nihongo con Teppei. This guy uses simple Japanese. Some topics might seem boring, but it’s good for training your ears to listen for Japanese.
  • Konnichiwa Podcast. An English/Japanese bilingual podcast that discusses different topics.

I found a very good youtube channel, just wanted to share: Monologue in Japanese [3] - Reading Letters - YouTube

Try finding normal Japanese channels. It takes a while to find some you actually like, but trust me, It’s so worth it when practicing is just watching something you like. If you like games you should watch some Japanese lets players, you’ll become obsessed soon like me lol. You can even watch non English and non Japanese films and watch them in Japanese subs if you don’t feel like watching anything Japanese. If you’re an anime fan read some manga, watch anime. If you play any text heavy games try playing that in Japanese. I think in the beginning you don’t know what to do, but once you find some genuinely engaging stuff, it just integrates into your life.

(Also if you try out what I said, make a Japanese Youtube channel for Japanese only so that’s all you see in your feed)

I like the reading sections in Genki, they might even be my favorite part of Genki. There you can actually train your Kanji and comprehension knowledge. The other lesson texts are so full of Furigana and the temptation to just check out the translation. They’re there to teach you grammar, but they’re pretty inadequate for reading.

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I took a peek at this channel and I think this is a very good way to immerse more Japanese, you can listen to him read and see translation, this guy is in japan giving some real experiences, I will try it out.

These are all great recommendations. Have you considered NHK Easy News? You can turn furigana off/on and there’s an audio feature where the news story will be read to you. The grammar is kept simple. Lately (well, for a year) Corona has dominated the articles, but there are current cultural and political stories too. If you want a non-fiction option:) NEWS WEB EASY

I have the same issue where I always put my graded readers aside because they are a bit boring. Same goes for kids anime, even though it is more beneficial because I can understand more.
I think switching between stuff you are interested in and stuff that is easier to understand can help keep you engaged and also absorbing a lot of content.
Every night I read 10 mins of graded readers, then I switch to 10 mins of Naruto / Yotsubato/ Crayon Shin Chan (which are really interesting but harder to understand).

I think overall the key is that the material should be something you genuinely like regardless of the language aspect. Since I picked up Shin Chan, I have been reading consistently every night. That manga is seriously hilarious and keeps me engaged in reading native content.


I have the mobile app.