Learning Routine / Pacing (Classic + Intensive)

→ Sample Schedule: Academic Pace :books:

To give you a practical idea of how the academic 1-hour schedule is used, here are some examples of three types of learning days: Introductory, Grammar, and Reading, using Chapter 17 of Genki II.

Before you begin: It’s admirable if you’re able to sit down and suddenly be able to focus for a full hour with no distractions. However, I recommend creating a trigger to kind of Pavlov yourself into being ready for your study session. For students, simply entering the classroom is the focus trigger. For those of us at home, try choosing a specific drink, snack, song, or anything easy to get your hands on that will signify to your brain that you are about to begin your session. Throw your phone into the ocean.

Sample Chapter Introduction Day

When first starting a new chapter, the temptation is to skip ahead to the meat of the information. However, reading the dialogue is vital for providing a foundation for the upcoming grammar and vocabulary, as well as for learning the flow of a polite conversation. Today is about gathering the pieces of the puzzle.

  • Read Dialogue 1 (pg. 114) (est. 5-8mins)
    → First reading only in your head. As you read, use something to circle/underline unknown grammar, vocabulary, and kanji :pencil2:
    → Read again, this time aloud. If improving your speaking is a goal, record yourself to listen back.

  • Read Dialogue 2 (pgs. 114-115) (est. 3-5mins)
    → Repeat above

  • Compare your initial understanding with the English translation (pg. 115) (est. 1-3mins)

  • Vocabulary: New vocab group (pgs. 116-117) (est. 10-12mins)
    → Skim all vocab words
    → Choose either nouns or verbs/adj/other as your first group
    → Add each word to the vocab system of your choice - quizlet, anki, toriiSRS (though it is helpful to be able to add an image)
    → Try coming up with short sentences verbally using the new words - pay attention to particles on the vocab list

  • Kanji (flip to the back, pg. 300) (est. 12-15mins)
    → Do not skip this step due to being on Wanikani - these are all essential kanji that will appear in the chapter text
    → In your notebook, write each kanji using the correct stroke order
    → Read each associated on’yomi, kun’yomi, and vocabulary aloud

  • Kanji Exercises (pg. 301) (est. 4-6mins)
    → Parts A and B only
    → Part A is an exercise in recalling the translations
    → Part B is an exercise in recalling the kanji readings

Homework: Complete kanji pages in Genki II Workbook, pgs. 117-118

Sample Grammar-Focused Day

When reading to dive into grammar, general advice is to learn two at a time. Sometimes a grammar point will be extra long or extra short, and it will be up to your discretion whether to add/remove a piece. Use your new chapter vocab as often as possible.

  • New Grammar: 〜そうです (pgs. 118-119) (est. 5-8mins)
    → Carefully read the grammar explanation
    → Speak the example sentences aloud - take note of where the grammar structure appears in the examples
    → Practice tying new vocab words and the new grammar using the conjugation box

  • 〜そうです Exercises (pg. 125) (est. 10-15mins)
    → Complete the exercises aloud - it will waste significant time to write them all down
    → Take your time and refer to the Answer Key if you get stuck
    → Part A - Read each sentence and alter them using 〜そう
    → Example: 就職(しゅうしょく)しました → たけしさんは就職(しゅうしょく)したそうです
    → Part B - Alter each sentence and add context
    → “(I hear) Yamashita-sensei’s house burned down. (Why? Did he leave the stove on? Was there a criminal?)”
    → Part C will be skipped because it is entirely dependent on a partner

  • New Grammar: 〜って (pg. 119) (est. 3-5mins)
    → Same as before - carefully read the grammar explanation and make notes as needed
    → Speak the example sentences aloud - take note of where the grammar structure appears in the examples
    → NOTE: In the instance where one grammar point is very short like this one, feel free to add a third point

  • 〜って Exercises (pgs. 126) (est. 10-15mins)
    → Again, complete all exercises aloud and use the Answer Key to help whenever needed
    → Part A - Ask about the character and report on what they told you
    → This one is trickier than it seems, since you need to know the vocab before altering the sentences
    → Part B will be skipped because it is entirely dependent on a partner

  • Crafting Sentences (est. 8-10mins)
    → Use a notebook to combine your new vocabulary of the week with today’s grammar points
    → Be as creative as you desire, theme them around a fictitious restaurant or from the viewpoint of a villain

Homework: Complete Workbook pg. 44 - for bonus exposure, look up new grammar points in immersionkit.com and listen to them in the context of anime

Sample Reading Passage Day

The reading passage is generally the final boss of the chapter - after completing all new grammar points and learning all new vocabulary, the reading passage has been specifically chosen for someone at a Chapter 17 level.

  • Pre-Reading Exercises (pg. 302) (est. 3-5mins)
    → These are short questions meant to prime you for the content of the passage - we can see that the subject is Yoko Ono
    → Prioritize reading and answering questions aloud, use new grammar points whenever possible

  • Reading Passage (pgs. 303-304) (est. 25-35mins)
    → It can be easy to run out of reading stamina very quickly - before reading, identify the halfway point and mark it
    → A supplementary vocabulary list is on pg. 301
    → Reading slowly with a pencil/pen in hand :pencil2: mark anything that stands out - your new grammar, unknown words, etc.
    → Stop at the halfway point you marked previously - take a moment to look away, summarize what you just read
    → When you feel ready, continue reading the rest of the passage, still marking as you go
    → When finished, mentally summarize the full passage. Was there anything you weren’t sure of?
    → Listen to the passage on the OTO Navi app

  • Post-Reading Activities (pgs. 304-305) (est. 10-15mins)
    → Usually what follows a reading passage are questions on comprehension, but this one focuses on the timeline
    → Chronology - Filling in this timeline helps build your ability to skim Japanese text in search of specific items
    → Lyrics Translate - A fun way to stretch your vocabulary knowledge
    → Reflection Essay - Yikes. This one is only for the strongest among us
    → Write a Biography - See above

Homework: In the workbook, complete the Listening Comprehension exercises on pg. 49 and the chapter wrap-up questions on pg. 50

Chapter Introduction → Grammar Days → Reading Passage → Chapter Test → (New Chapter)


:books: Genki I and II Answer Key
:desktop_computer: ToKini Andy’s Genki series
:memo: Seth’s Genki Study Exercises
:loud_sound: TheJapanTimes’ OTO Navi App