I recently finished N5 grammar on Bunpro and I’m currently level 10 on Wanikani. I haven’t used any other resources besides joined some bookclubs that were way above me. Before I move on to N4, I really feel like I need a lot more practice to solidify my learning on N5 stuff but I’m not sure what to use. I’ve considered buying the Genki 1 book + Workbook but I’m not sure if it’s worth it at this point. My goal is to be able to read/listen well, as I’m not really aiming to speak/write at this time.
Anyone have any recommendations or should I just continue on to N4? And if I were to get a book for N4 which would I get?
I would continue on to N4. N5 is… more of a test milestone? It’s not very useful on its own, but combined with N4 they give a very solid base that will be enough to tackle simple content (NHK Easy, Satori Reader) and get a rough idea of what’s happening in more complex passages. The biggest hiccup you might have moving on to N4 is the kanji/vocab in use and I would recommend getting a browser extension like yomichan/rikaikun to expedite things for a bit.
If you’re reading through the Bunpro example sentences and using either the referenced online resources for each point (or the associated section in a textbook) you’ll probably be fine. Also, you might have already seen it, but Bunpro has a set of passages you can read in the content tab.
Have you tried out the bookclubs that are at your level ? Nah, but there’s some graded readers online that could help, and I’m sure the absolute beginner bookclub would be good.
Try writing your own sentences, and if possible, getting them checked somewhere. I’ve heard there’s websites that do them, although I’m blanking on names right now.
Until you get comfortable with N5 grammar, I wouldn’t suggest moving on, because future grammar is based on this foundation. I think it’s important to make this foundation now, although moving on wouldn’t be a crime.
Is there a web browser version of bunpro that I’m missing? I have the app but I tend to do most of my studying on my computer and so rarely open it despite the fact that I’m paying for it… It would be way more useful to me if I could use it on my computer.
Don’t forget about Tae Kim’s free book, which you can get in a mobile app format.
Also, unless you are planning to take a JLPT test in the near future, I wouldn’t worry about JLPT level readiness. A good textbook is an invaluable accessory to an all-online education, but you don’t need to break the bank buying books and apps.
There are a LOT of YouTube videos that cover grammar in-depth. Cure Dolly and Japanese Ammo are popular.
Just doing a lot of reading is going to help more than anything. I’m using an Anki deck for vocabulary, but since the deck is filled with complete sentences, I’m absorbing a lot of grammar too.
If you are thinking of a book, there’s no harm in picking up Genki I, but typically you want to be studying ABOVE your current level, and a thick textbook of stuff you’ve already covered might make your eyes glaze over. You’ve already learned a bunch of vocabulary and kanji through WK, so a thick textbook has less bang for buck.
Consider this book (it’s the first part of a series):
For your goals of improving reading and listening, I would recommend Tadoku graded readers (like some others have mentioned) as well as Japanesepod 101! Tadoku has a few free books online just for practice, but the ones you pay for are much more interesting (though a bit expensive ). JapanesePod has a massive database of Japanese/ English podcasts from beginner all the way to advanced and I found that listening everyday really improved my listening ability.
I did the Genki books and found them really helpful for learning Japanese to start life in Japan, not just for the JLPT. (Also for reference, even after finishing both Genki books there is still a bit of grammar that needs to be studied before covering all of N4).
I wrote a blog post about some of the most helpful resources I’ve found for learning Japanese if you want to read more here!