Level 10, Genki I + II, now what?

Hello, this is my first post so bear with me :sweat_smile: I’ve felt stagnant lately so I’m looking for recommendations to refocus.

My ultimate goal is listening and reading comprehension to consume native media; talking and writing are not priorities. In the shorter term, I’d like to take the N4 or N3 in July 2021.

My progress so far:
Basically, I did the ‘ridiculously detailed plan’ backwards starting this June. I did all of Genki I+workbook+vocab 3hrs/day for a few weeks. Added in WaniKani daily. Read through Genki II and took notes but eased off on workbook+vocab because WaniKani was piling up and not sure if I believe in the whole drilling grammar thing (open to be convinced otherwise). Throughout I listened to a Jap/Eng podcast or watched unsubbed anime for exposure. With Genki I + II done-ish, and having less time, I’ve only been doing WaniKani + anime since September. I am now at level 10

To gauge my progress I decided to take a practice N5 without prepping and passed! I’m feeling quite happy about this since its been months since I formally studied any grammar.

Now the question is, what should I add to my routine to keep moving forward? Should I revist Genki II and do it properly? Move on to an intermediate textbook like Tobira? Forget the formal textbook study and start reading books (i.e. immersion learning) and google when I get stuck? Do I really need a seperate vocab SRS on top of WaniKani?

I want to take N4 or N3 in July. I think I could pass N3 with focused study, but the outcome would likely be ‘I memorized how to pass the N3’ instead of ‘I understand Japanese at the N3 level’ if that makes sense? Which level should I aim for and what should I do to get there while also moving towards my greater goal of improving comprhension? Thanks so much for reading!!

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I’ve yet to do Genki I and II, but the recommendation I’ve seen most often is to do Tobira. It all depends on what you’re focussing on. If you’re looking for to do N3 in July then Tobira is probably a good shout as it takes you up to that level more or less. You don’t get 100% of N3 kanji until you hit level 50 of WaniKani, but depending on your levelling speed, you might have done about 50 to 60% of the N3 by then; Tobira covers most of the N3 kanji, if I recall correctly. You can always subliment with the Kenzan Master N3 book if you really want to cram for it.

If you want to drill grammar, I’ll always recommend BunPro, it’s a good way to keep it all in your head and you can unlock items in there along a Tobira track as well as by the genki books, so you can refresh what you know from there. I find it great, personally.

That’s about all I’ve got, but since this is your first post:

\textcolor{pink}{\huge \textsf{WELCOME! ^-^}}

Even if you’ve been a member for a while, so aren’t really new hehe
welcome gif - crabigator

Take the time to check out the FAQ and GUIDE if you haven’t already…
…but you probably have, because you seem like you’re diligent and awesome like that ^-^

There’s also a lot of good stuff on the forum to help you…
…that you’ve likewise probably already seen, but it still worth mentiioning!

The Ultimate Guide for WK
The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resource List
The New and Improved List of API and Third-Party Apps

I hope that you continue to enjoy WaniKani that your worship of the Crabigator is eternal!

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Because you said you went very fast over Genki 2, I would first spend a good time trying to read all the graded readers and try to read NHK easy news every day, before moving to Tobira. They are adapted to your level so you can aim for a very good comprehension, with a lot of effort. Personally, at your level I tried many times reading native content but it was too difficult and demotivating so I gave until later, after reaching ~ N3

However there is also many learners around your level that find graded readers and such too boring and learn best with content they love. If you have a great tolerance for ambiguity (and it seems you have since you managed to watch unsubbed anime all that time, for me it would be torture to spend hours and hours watching stuff I barely understand), you can also go full native content. There is many great book club on WK if you want to go that route, it’s perfect to ask questions and motivate you.

So in the end, I would say after coming out of Genki 1+Genki 2, there is typically an exploratory phase anyway, to find the resources and style you like the most.

I don’t think that’s a thing. Like, maybe in school you can fluke a simple test by cramming last minute, but those language ability test like N3 are very large, you can’t “memorized” them. Not only do you need to know at least 2000 words just to have a fighting chance for N3, you will have to study, read and listen a lot of Japanese, internalize enough, otherwise you just won’t make sense of the test.

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Thanks for your thorough answer! Ok yes that’s a good idea I think I’ll work my way through the free Tadoku graded readers and see if I feel up to a book club after that.

And wow level 60! Whereabouts are you on your Japanese learning journey?

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Genki 2 is very dense. I’d recommend going through it again personally.

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Welcome to the forums!

If you just want to consume media, is there much point in studying for the JLPT?

There are two extreme schools of thought, which most of us fall somewhat in the middle on. Some people are proponents of not using textbooks and compiling massive sentence decks from anime and other media you’re interested in. The other extreme is the more traditional route of textbooks and classes / conversation groups / tutors. Since you mainly care about consuming media, and seem (based on my understanding of what you wrote) to not really favor textbooks that much, feel free to lean towards the approach that keeps you motivated the most. The most important thing is that you stay engaged with your learning.

I personally take an approach of replicating the life of a Japanese child as closely as possible:

  • Consume media and study various topics (math, science, history, etc.) in the target language
  • Communicate with friends / make new friends via JP chatrooms in the target language
  • Convert my devices to my target language

And so on. I wasn’t able to do this without the textbook stuff though, so YMMV.

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I second the suggestion of Bunpro as it gives you a good sense of progression without feeling like you’re missing something. Obviously it’s not perfect but as you study you’ll get a sense for the deficiencies of your study materials regarding what you want to be doing.

Personally I don’t have the patience for deck building but I would give that a try since you’re interested in media. Based on my experience, it might be better to do that more down the road after you’ve built up your vocab and grammar understanding or it could be very tedious and frustrating.

Good luck!