Learning Routine / Pacing (Classic + Intensive)

EDIT Jul. 9: The intensive pace is now included in the first reply.

Classic University Pacing and Structure

:speaking_head: :books: :speaking_head: :books: :speaking_head:

tl;dr - if you want to make a study routine for yourself based on the pace that university classes use, here you go

Hello, all. If you’ve ever stumbled across my study log, you might know that I am taking Japanese classes as part of my university program. As I approach the end of my classroom-Japanese tenure, I’m starting to feel the looming dread of knowing I’ll need to become a self-studier once again after completion. I wanted to record what my current classroom learning routines look like so I can recreate them on my own in the future.

I’ve dabbled in self-studying Japanese before, but I was never able to make very much progress because I didn’t know how to create a routine for myself. I tried watching videos in the past about “How to Study Japanese” to get a taste of how others structured their studies, but those videos mostly just featured B-roll of someone flipping through a crisp unused Genki I, saying things like “watch anime <3” but not really offering any specifics on the routines they used to structure a study plan.

If you struggle with ways to structure your own language learning, I welcome you to glance at what a university class structure looks like and use it to guide the creation of your own routine. And if your current routine works great, feel free to read and chuckle if you’d like.

Some Preface Notes

  • The classes I base this schedule on have exclusively used the Genki II text and workbook, and the schedule is paced by Genki chapters which have 5-8 new grammar points each. Though the five-day learning loop can easily fit with other resources, I encourage you to tweak and switch items if you prefer to use other textbooks.

  • The regular semester-based schedule uses 1-hour daily classes to move students at a general one-N-level per year pace. If you wish to reach N5-N3 more quickly, feel free to double-up on daily lessons. However, I don’t recommend sacrificing the practice exercises or “homework” in lieu of reaching the next grammar point faster. Sacrificing the essential practice gets you to the next item at a superficial level, but you haven’t “learned” the previous item as well as you could have.

  • The classroom method relies on :speaking_head: excessive :speaking_head: verbal :speaking_head: usage to activate language memory. This is reading aloud, answering aloud, and generally using your voice before you use your pen to write. Dubbed the “production effect,” studies determined that the dual action of speaking and hearing oneself has the most beneficial impact on memory. There are tons of studies on this, but the crux of the matter is that you will understand and retain information better if you engage with the material aloud. In class, the room is never silent - there are always students reading under their breath, repeating videos, repeating the professor, practicing the pitch accent on various vocab words. To get the most from your learning, get used to using your voice as you study.

  • The 1-hour session in a classroom includes calling on students to answer the questions that you, at home, will be answering on your own. Without this aspect, it’s very likely that the schedule I outline below will take far less than an hour. Feel free to add items if desired.

How to Use This Information

  1. The most important item that everyone forgets to consider is that teachers never walk into a classroom without having an exact idea of what they’re about to teach. If you have one hour to study Japanese, you can only get the most out of that hour by already having your resources and goals prepared ahead. I say this in the Intensive Pacing Guide below as well, but you want to start a session of ANY pace by having:
    ✓ Your goals for day listed out (what grammar are you studying? how many pages of the text?)
    ✓ All relevant websites/videos already pulled up in your browser ready to use
    ✓ Distractions closed out or removed entirely

  2. As my professors always say, “Save your questions until the end, please!” If any questions arise (What are the exceptions for this conjugation type? Can I mix this grammar with that grammar?) save them for the end. Write a note for yourself to look the question up later but DO NOT pursue it until the “class” is over. It is far too easy to flush fifteen minutes of your hour down the drain by getting caught in the rabbit hole of your curiosity. Once your study time is up, search the questions you’ve jotted down as a cool-down afterward.

  3. Your goals are not the same as those of the person next to you. That is to say, use this information in whatever way you wish. Move around the day-schedule, do two hours on some days and thirty minutes on other days, whatever fits your world best is what you SHOULD do. This university routine is like the sample cover letter that you customize for yourself. If anything is not working for you, it’s a routine problem, not a You problem! Always be patient with yourself and change your routine whenever needed.

University Japanese Learning Schedule

Quick Notes: 1 hour per day, 5 days a week, 2-4 new grammar points per week, chapter finished every 2-2.5 weeks, 月水金 are :speaking_head: practice-focused, 火木 are :books: learning-focused

Five-Day Learning Loop
:speaking_head: Monday is mostly review - if you’re using this guideline, the first day would be Tuesday. Verbally practice last week’s grammar points, finish any incomplete textbook grammar exercises, quiz yourself on grammar today if you wish to utilize tests, introduce 10 new vocab words
:books: 2 New grammar points*, use textbook example sentences as a guide to verbally make new easy sentences (use yesterday’s new vocab words whenever possible), write a few completely new easy sentences without examples guiding you, HW: WB
:speaking_head: Use new grammar to verbally make many complex sentences and combine grammar, answer more textbook exercises aloud and then on paper, 10 new vocab words
:books: Practice Tuesday’s grammar briefly, begin next new grammar, again using textbook examples to guide easy sentences aloud, write easy new sentences with all new vocab from the week, HW: WB
:speaking_head: Use yesterday’s new grammar to make complex combined sentences, do textbook exercises for Thursday’s grammar aloud and then on paper, quiz yourself on vocab/kanji today if you wish

* “New grammar points”: For this, we will read the textbook grammar lesson aloud and also watch one or two videos specific to that grammar point. Learning a new item doesn’t stop at the textbook explanation.

・New grammar: させる
・Easy sentence practice: 母は私に野菜を食べさせました。(Straightforward usage)
・Complex sentence practice: 高校生のころ、私の成績が悪かったので、父は毎日四時間に勉強させてしまいました。(Combines with other recent grammar to practice using in context)

This learning loop fits into a larger chapter-long schedule that is specific to the setup of the Genki textbook. It looks something like this:

Chapter Introduction → Five-Day Loop (until all grammar + exercises are complete) → Reading Passage → Chapter Test → (New Chapter)

Tips for Home-Study

  • When answering textbook exercise questions aloud, try recording yourself so you can identify mistakes and also die from embarrassment
  • Give a few extra minutes to an exercise by answering the same question with different perspectives to stretch your vocabulary memory.

    (Q: “If you were a teacher…” Try answering as a nice teacher, a mean teacher, a hungover substitute, etc.)


We have homework nearly every night, excluding Fridays and Saturdays, which each take about an hour to complete. Homework will be directly related to the most recent grammar and vocabulary from the day.

  • Workbook: The Genki companion workbooks provide approximately two pages per grammar point. These pages include sentence translation, general questions, dialogue completion, and multi-sentence writing prompts. Two grammar points per week will usually mean about 4 workbook pages coinciding with them. There are also kanji practice worksheets in the back of the workbooks, which we are expected to complete for handwriting purposes, though you may choose to skip these.

  • Conjugation: This is a homework type when nearing the end of the chapter. The assignment is to conjugate every verb from the vocab list into all known conjugation forms at the time. For example, midway through Genki II, you might conjugate Chapter 17 verbs into て-form, present negative, casual positive past, potential, volitional, and そう-form. There are usually 15-20 verbs per chapter. You can do this by hand or in a Word document and search for the corrections after completion.

  • Listening Comprehension: In the Genki series, each chapter begins with a two- or three-part dialogue scene. Since the dialogue is at the start of the chapter, this is an assignment we will be given the night before reading the dialogue in class. Our homework is to listen to the official audio for the dialogue on the OTO Navi app (this is free and has audio for every single Genki chapter) without the aid of the script. Our task is to summarize the dialogue based solely on what we listened to, then read the script while listening once more and red-pen mark anything in our summary that was wrong or missing.

  • Reading Comprehension: Genki books have a lengthy passage in the back section (where the kanji is) for every chapter which includes grammar and vocab from the lesson, and also has 5-10 comprehension questions to be answered afterward. The passage is read and dissected for its content in class after the five-day loop has ended, and then the comprehension questions are completed as homework.

  • Writing Projects: After every two chapters we type one full-page essay on a broad personal topic (favorite childhood moment, your hometown, future plans, family history, etc.) and use as much of the new grammar, in as complex of sentences, as possible. We write drafts and exchange them for feedback before writing the finished versions, so this would be a good chance to connect with a proofreading buddy.


The most recurring tests we take are vocabulary and kanji tests. As you likely use WaniKani, neither of these is particularly necessary unless you want more of a challenge. Seth’s Genki Exercises Website offers mini-quizzes for each chapter’s vocab/kanji/grammar that you can try.


This schedule is entirely based on time spent learning new items - it doesn’t include the general immersion (reading books, listening to music, watching anime) that you engage in outside of your learning time.

Two to four grammar points per week
Read everything aloud, answer everything aloud :speaking_head:
Do red-pen corrections on written work whenever possible - track your mistakes
Stretch your vocabulary by answering more than once with variations
Save your questions for the end

With one hour of class and one hour of “homework,” you’ve already given yourself two full hours of language practice without yet dipping into immersion. With weekends, holidays, and the occasional day off, this schedule will have you finishing Genki II in roughly 8 months. It may be more or less, depending on varying textbooks you use.

Zoom down to three sample routines using this schedule in Genki II

So this is what my learning routine looked like as a university student in Second-Year Japanese class. As I mentioned earlier, my goal was to record this instructor-led schedule so I could use it as a guideline when I eventually end up self-studying again.

If this helps you, I’m so glad! Study routines are always one of those mysteries that are difficult to find as many people seem to either make it up as they go, or are so set into their routine that it seems too boring to explain to others.

If you have more items that you add to your own schedule, I would love to learn about them! I’ve heard of people who study Japanese for 8 hours per day - WOW! What I would give to know what that learning routine looks like. (Edit from the future: I ended up having to do this [see next post] and it didn’t end well lol)

:warning: For an ultra authentic classroom experience, make sure you stumble over your words in front of a group of 30 people who are all better speakers than you. Use the grammar incorrectly and forget three key vocab words. Answer the wrong question. Have a friend sternly call your name to answer aloud but you were jotting down a note in the four seconds that a question was asked so you don’t know what the question was but the entire room is now completely silent as everyone waits to listen to your answer. :relieved:


EDIT Dec. 11: Now that enough time has passed and the JLPT is over, I’ve begun restructuring this post for clarity and further information. Consider this guide currently under construction.

Intensive Study Pacing Guide :blue_book::boom:

and very unofficial Tobira guide, too, I guess


The post above this one is a broad outline of the pacing of a regular academic semester, assuming that you are taking a Japanese class for one hour per day, five days per week (and also using Genki, since other text series might necessitate tweaking the routine slightly). An intensive study routine like this one is based on a far more rigorous schedule of actively learning for four hours per day, five days per week with the Tobira textbook. Outside of the four-hour class, we (students) also regularly put in about four more hours of essential homework, studying, and immersion.

Just like the previous learning structure, this pacing continues to expect that you will be reading absolutely everything aloud :speaking_head: to activate language memory and move through the content more quickly. The “production effect” has the most beneficial impact on memory and I will probably never go back to learning in silence (unless I’m, like, in public). In classes where students receive the highest language learning gains, the regular learning day is full of repetition, shadowing, and reading aloud. So do it!

Regarding “four hours per day,” as a general disclaimer, I did not come up with this manner of speed-learning nor do I attest that crushing one chapter per week from Tobira is a sustainable routine. However, as I am currently enduring it, I’m constantly shocked by how much I’ve learned since starting.

If you are 1) making a mad dash for the next JLPT level on a tight schedule, and/or 2) have lots of free days, and/or 3) insane, then this speed of studying might be right for you. :+1:

As with any sudden rigorous routine, there is a high risk of burnout - please pull back as soon as you feel the impending overwhelm creep in. And don’t forget to take weekends/rest days!

EDIT from the future: I burnt out on this schedule after a little over five weeks of it. I am not kidding about the “don’t ignore the signs” part.

4+ Hour Intensive Japanese Learning Schedule

1 :speaking_head: Focus: Verbal warm-up, using yesterday’s grammar from memory (+ quiz / test)
2 :open_book: Focus: Reading passage, identifying unknown grammar/words
3 :memo: Focus: New grammar/vocab from passage, practicing using in new sentences
4 :books: Focus: Finalizing notes, completing comprehension questions, writing a summary
Focus: Homework, self-study, immersion

:speaking_head: Hour 1

This is the most difficult hour of the day for me - starting early in the morning, trying to remember what grammar I learned yesterday, and attempting to use it correctly just from memory (and before any caffeine has hit my system) is rough. Before you begin your session, it’s important to ensure that you are free of any sort of distraction and are not likely to be disturbed. You should also make sure that all videos, audio, or relevant websites needed for your lesson(s) are prepared ahead of time.

The point of the first hour is to prime ourselves for the next three hours of textbook work.

For the first ten minutes of the session, we have a very casual “discussion time” where class has not officially been called to begin, and we sleepily answer some easy conversation-starter questions aloud. The purpose is both to turn on the “Japanese” switch in our brains as well as to try to recall any of the previous day’s grammar/vocab and use it casually. Though you won’t have anyone responding with follow-up questions at home, this is still a good way to dispel the talking-to-yourself trepidation right away.

Something to mark the official beginning of the lesson, following our lazy conversation time, is a short kindergarten-style show-and-tell. One student each day will grab a random item from home and open the class by describing a little bit about it (when/where/why/etc) in a short 2-3 minutes. For my show-and-tells, I told the class about my gachapon keychain collection and brought in my Sailor Moon manga to talk about the series. This would be a great exercise to do at home to practice polite speaking off the top of your head, and you can also use a goofy show-and-tell to mark the official “start” of your session like we do in class.

The remainder of this hour is a gentle easing into reading and grammar. Switch to an NHK (or Todai) news article and read it plainly, no pausing to look things up or even to hover with yomichan. Reading this way is “Tadoku-style” where you disregard unknowns to focus on building context for the knowns. Afterward, open your textbook for the first time of the day and skim the lessons you did yesterday for a recap.

Hour 1 task breakdown:

  • 10 mins - Casual verbal warm-up (try answering a kids’ conversation starter aloud) and use yesterday’s grammar/vocab when possible
  • 5 mins - Vocab or kanji quiz (use Seth’s Tobira quizzes for this!)
  • 5 mins - Show-and-tell - using no textbook/jisho nor scripts or prompts, describe an object or piece of media you like in polite desu-masu form (try recording this to listen back later)
  • 15 mins - NHK News Web Easy article - read this article Tadoku style, no looking up words or grammar, just read it and absorb what you can. Read it aloud or listen to it if you’d like. Don’t get caught in the intricacies of the vocab or grammar.
  • 10 mins - Crack open your textbook and re-read yesterday’s grammar explanations and notes for a refresher

“This doesn’t take a full hour” - This is true. In the classroom, extra minutes are often eaten up by switching between tasks, latecomers, questions, technical difficulties, students stumbling to read aloud if we alternate sentences (Remember: At all moments, speaking is key! Don’t go quiet after those warm-ups) or any number of things that take a minute or two. For you at home, the amount of time is not what matters more, it’s the content! Whether this takes an hour or more or less, your mind is primed for Japanese from both reading and speaking. Now you’re ready to stick your nose in a book for the rest of the session.

Take a 5 min break :coffee:

:open_book: Hour 2

In the second hour, we’re tackling our reading passage just one portion at a time. We’re no longer reading Tadoku-style like we did with the NHK article - the goal now is to break down the passage as intricately as possible. How you split the readings varies every few chapters, since a couple chapters have just one passage, or two passages, or one passage and a manga (the ramen chapter :ramen:). But generally try to read the passages split in a way that you’ll be finished after four days, with the fifth day of the week given to the kaiwa pages. So if your reading passages has 100 lines, it’d be a good split to do 20 pages per day.

This is when I suggest having a physical textbook or a pdf version that you can easily write on in an app like GoodNotes instead of just reading on a computer screen. Annotations like circling, highlighting, and writing in the margins while reading are all excellent methods for building strong comprehension quickly. Simply reading a textbook on a screen without being able to notate will definitely hold you back. For the reading part, especially, annotation is essential! You will be circling every single thing you don’t know as well as things you kinda know but they don’t make sense. It’s recommended that you do your first read-through along with the official audio, so unknown kanji don’t force you to stop.

After your selection of lines for the day is significantly scratched up with circles and underlines, don’t look anything up yet! In a document or notebook, jot down a quick summary in English (or your native language) about what you just read. We will come back to this later, so don’t lose it!

Moving back to your passage, begin with unknown vocabulary you’ve marked. Check the vocab list after the passage against words you’ve found and note the meaning/pronunciation. After vocab, move to the kanji list at the end of the chapter and do the same. This will be the end of Hour 2.

Hour 2 task breakdown:

  • 10-15 mins - Identify your reading portion (which lines? Kaiwa pages?) and read along to your section using the Tobira audio - circle quite literally ANY new word, strange grammar combination, strange particle choice, or any collection of words that seems like it could be a set phrase
  • 15 mins - After the read-along ends, write or type a summary of what you just read in English without looking up any of your unknown annotations - you will come back to this summary in Hour 4
  • 10-15 mins - Start with unknown vocab from your reading segment and locate them in the vocab list. My tactic here is to “resolve” my circled words by just writing the meaning underneath as well as adding the word to my SRS program (it’s torii-srs btw I love her)
    → If you have circled anything that is not in the vocab list, don’t worry! Use Jisho.org to look it up and treat it like the chapter-specific vocabulary. I like to do this at the very end of the class as a satisfying “resolving all problems” moment, but you can definitely do that now. Same with grammar and kanji that you are iffy on but aren’t in the chapter lesson.
  • 10 mins - After vocab is complete, pivot to the kanji list at the back of the chapter, take the time to identify any new kanji in the list. I like to handwrite kanji I haven’t come across before. If you are below level 30 on WaniKani, there is a high chance you will encounter unknown kanji as you move through the book.

Take a 10 min break :coffee: Look at something at a distance, like across the room or out a window. Staring at a screen/book closely for 4+ hours per day without breaks isn’t fun for your eyes!

:memo: Hour 3

Hour 3 is the Grammar Hour - we usually do 3-5 grammar points per day depending on complexity and time. This is also a speaking-heavy hour, since it’s important to build muscle memory for the grammar in context. You should expect to speak every single example sentence in the grammar explanations aloud, as well as modify them aloud to build your own understanding of their use.

Grammar is when I find myself asking tons of questions about exceptions because I have a professor at my disposal to answer them. At home, I recommend already having a grammar reference service pulled up and ready to be utilized in the probable case that the textbook explanation isn’t thorough enough. This might be Bunpro, JLPT Sensei, Core6k, or any of the Japanese Grammar Dictionaries.

Hour 3 breakdown:

  • Return to the passage and tackle each of your circled grammar points one-by-one
  • Start by referencing the grammar section in the back of the chapter - you will be given examples of the grammar in context; read these aloud, modify the subjects/objects to create new sentences while still using the framework provided
  • This would be a great time to insert the grammar into Immersion Kit and read/listen to your new grammar in the context of anime (use with caution - sometimes the hiragana of one sentence form will match that of another sentence form - use kanji when possible but otherwise use with a discerning eye)
  • We usually come up with 5-6 new simple sentences per grammar point on our own before moving to the next new point
  • Spending at least 10 minutes per new grammar will easily eat up this hour - again, take notes in the textbook, especially if there are exceptions for the grammar rule
  • Don’t neglect grammar structures that you understood immediately. They will have further uses and exceptions than you may have already known.

Take a 10 min break :coffee: (your brain might be fading now - this is usually the break where i eat a snack to get some energy back)

:books: Hour 4

You’re almost there! This is the wrap-up hour where we pull away from dissecting the intricacies and return to the big picture. Make sure you still have your English summary of the passage from before so you can come back to it.

Hour 4 breakdown:

  • Returning to your reading section, are all of your circled/highlighted parts resolved? If anything remains that wasn’t in the provided vocab/grammar lists, feel free to quickly look them up and complete your understanding of the reading
  • Read the passage section in its entirety again, this time without the audio - if want to build your speaking speed, read the passage aloud
  • After the reading pages are comprehension questions - try to answer the questions that relate to your reading portion (whether you write the answers out or not is up to your preference - I don’t, for the purpose of time, but if you’re not ready to tap out of the lesson yet then go for it)
  • Returning to the reading summary you wrote in English, make visible edits to what you first wrote or write a completely new summary - this is a great way to track how your understanding improved as you learned the new aspects of the chapter
  • In class, we also take the time to translate each individual sentence into English one-by-one, just verbally, and I think this could be additionally helpful but not necessarily required

You made it!! Four hours can really be a drag at first - it took me two full weeks before I stopped losing steam halfway through. You can always alter this schedule or build up to it as you see fit. Your personal schedule should always be flexible.


The homework in this course is less varied than that of the Genki course. Rather than conjugations or writing projects or kanji repetition, the work done outside of class always consists of:

  • Workbook pages (these are in the Tobira Grammar Power book - there are usually 3-4 pages per day that correspond with the grammar). This includes the wrap-up exercises in the workbook after the regular grammar questions.
  • Watching the corresponding Tobira chapter videos on the official website

Additional Information

Those that are taking on an intensive workload like this usually have very specific goals that they are working toward (usually JLPT). The “four more hours outside of class” that I mentioned in the preface includes the individualized work that we choose for ourselves to reach those goals. Since the workbook homework takes roughly 1.5-2 hours, we all usually put in another 2 hours of specialized practice.

This specialized practice may include:
Shin Kanzen Master JLPT books
Shin Nihongo Vocabulary books
にほんごはじめよう Try! books
にほんごチャレンジ books
Anything that continues to require focused, not passive, attention for specified skills

Something that I’ve identified as a past self-study struggle of mine was a total lack of preparation for my study session. Finding and bringing up websites and videos, making specific to-do lists for every lesson - these are things that, at least for me, were not done while self-studying and led me to waste significant time wondering “what should I do… what video should I use…” and ultimately not get anything done. If you think this might be something that you do, try making an actual list rather than a mental one of goals or steps for the day. Find that listening practice audio beforehand. Close out of distraction websites before starting. All my weaknesses :melting_face:

I’m reading Tobira but I don’t wanna slog through four hours per day

And you’re not expected to, unless you’re looking for a crazy challenge! At the very least, something I hope you take away from this guide is the content setup that my native Japanese professors have mapped out when teaching this rather sterile textbook. Rather than learning just one page at a time, Tobira requires meaningful connection between the various pieces of the chapter. There is a lot of flipping back and forth, reading and re-reading, answering questions, head-scratching, but it can all be done just as well on far slower schedules than this pace. Good luck!

As always, I’m happy to expand on anything and give even more granular detail. If you can, join one of the big language exchange discords and ask questions where native speakers can see to help/correct you.

btw can you guys help me decipher the japanese in this video? thanks


Nice post, thanks! There are lots of great ideas in there, especially to make more progress with output.

Going from the pacing of Genki in 1 year (at 2+ hours per day), to Tobira in 10 weeks sound like you will soon find out! :wink:


I’ve never studied Japanese in a classroom, so it’s interesting to get a glimpse of what the experience is like! I feel like I’ve talked about my own routine enough on this forum, so I will spare you all from hearing about it again.

The thought of studying for 8 hours a day is very intimidating to me, too! My routine is like an hour and a half on an absolute bare minimum day, with 3-4 hours a day being more common (not counting a billion hours of passive immersion each week lol).

Yeah, I am very curious and also afraid to hear how that goes :sweat_smile:!

I am doing Tobira at about two weeks a level, and even that is a lot! I’m doing the grammar workbook, but am skipping all of the kanji stuff and all of the speaking practice, and I can’t imagine doing more than what I’m doing in even less time! :scream:



Having only studied in a class room after self study til the N3 and doing the N2 after like the first few lectures it is interesting to see the routine… but even in my class room experience it was always a course where we had to adjust to the weakest member (because it were like hobby courses) so I never ended up studying really serious with review etc… and even if i plan a routine for myself after like 2 weeks I end up droping it :neutral_face:

maybe I should take a serious look at setting a routine… :thinking:


From what i can tell, the schedule is two hours of lecture and two hours of conversation every weekday. I’m sure the amount of homework and self-study will also be, erm, interesting :sob:

But I’ve also seen people here express interest in doing that sort of thing on their own at home, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to record information about the methods of torture :melting_face:


I definitely need a routine because I am a serial justifier who can justify not studying with nearly any excuse :sweat_smile: “I did my wani reviews today, I watched a good language video on Youtube, I skimmed a news article, I don’t need to study grammar today” [four weeks of no grammar later…]

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It’ll be totally worth it, you’ll get through this way faster than on your own, there’s nothing like the camaraderie of the group and having to hit deadlines to push it forward. you got this!

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i reached out to the summer intensive tobira professor to ask for ways that i could use to prepare for such a high-speed class and this is what she responded with:

“漢字を知っていたら、ちょっと楽なはずです” very relieved to hear this as a wk user lol :sweat_smile:


Interesting - I was able to read and understand most of that without looking things up…


such a good feeling!!

This was so interesting to read!! Very cool to get a glimpse into what studying a language at university is like. I’m going to bookmark this post for when I’m wanting to step up the hours I can give for Japanese each day (don’t think now is the time!) because this seems like a really solid routine! Thanks for posting (I’m excited to see your follow up post about the intensive course too :>)


I’m glad it could seem helpful! I posted the same information on the r/LearnJapanese subreddit and was essentially laughed off the stage for it “not being enough work” or it not taking up as many hours in the day as a “real learner” would use, so I’m very excited that anyone over here might find it interesting :sweat_smile:


People on the internet are really wild. Nothing is ever right, I wouldn’t worry about it


screw that! There’s no such thing as “real” learning lol every person is different and the closest thing to real learning in my mind is finding the best routine for you personally !

the WK forums really are a cute little safehaven on the internet haha everywhere else seems scary and mean to me


That subreddit is honestly so unpleasant… I’ve only set foot in there a few times, and people there love to be very discouraging in general, unfortunately. They have one particular vision in mind for how people “should” learn, and if you don’t follow that, then, well, you’re wasting your own time and others’, in their mind.

If I came in there and talked about my wrestling translations, they’d probably laugh me off the stage for spending so much time doing unnecessary work that is taking away from time I could be spending just consuming native media, not understanding that my goals might be different than the average learner.

Personally, I’m interested in seeing how a university learning routine is paced because I’ve never taken a Japanese class myself before, and it gives me a ballpark to compare my own pace to, in terms of how much time I’m spending, and how far I should expect to get with that time. It’s definitely possible to go faster than university pacing, but it’s also totally possible to go slower, haha, so to me, university pacing is sort of the default/average speed, and when you tell someone “I’ve been studying for two years”, most people will imagine two years at university pacing.

So even for people who don’t plan on actually following that pace, I think it can still be useful information to have!


The difference between genki and tobira is that it has more kanji, vocabulary and grammar. Additionally it puts a bigger emphasis on reading.

It helps if you start reading before tobira, to get used to reading Japanese regularly. As the reading sections are longer, you need to build up some stamina. So news web easy like your teacher mentioned is a good example, but if you have something else like manga or children’s book or a game or whatever interests you that’s even better.

Two years back I used tobira for self study and I had read some easy manga before. Started playing skyward sword around the same time, so I ended up benefiting from doing them in tandem. Although it took me a few months to finish them both.


i’m just about finished with my first week and boy do they really put the intense in intensive

the session structures are pretty uniform though so i will add my write-up for a faster learning pace in a week or so



it is posted! let me know if anything is worded in a convoluted manner or if something needs further explanation


By chance I found this post it’s really helpful. I started to comit more hours to my study and after reading I noticed I also drift or go in the rabbit hole.

So grateful this, will rapport back next month.

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