Online course recommendation - mainly for speaking practise

Hi all!
I’m oldtime japanese learner - I’ve started around 2010, but due to “real life” I dropped out. I was somewhere around JLPT N3 level. (Well, those were times when there was only 4 levels :smiley: )

Now I’m trying to jump back to learning. I have language classes with natives once a week, but those are at N5 level and it is going really slow (for me at least).
Besides that I’m here at WaniKani (well, I’ve reseted my progress to start over without a kanji flood), doing some bunpro and drills from different text books. Also some basic shadowing, mainly from youtube channels.

I’m looking for course which will force me to speak (as its my weakest point), like rosetta stone or rocket, or maybe there are different ones you guys could recommend? And it will be nice if the course go up to at least N3.

Anyway, any recommendations on how to approach fast review and speaking, are warmly welcome :wink:


The best way to practice speaking is to engage in conversations where English is not an option. You’ll need to find Japanese speakers to do that with.

I found a native speaker on I spend two hours a week with her on Skype; we chat for an hour and then we share screen and I read out loud from whatever book I am reading (I’m fairly fluent, so reading ordinary books for adult which I buy from amazon Japan kindle store). It’s very inexpensive.

Also where I live (Sonoma County, California) there are not many Japanese; I have connected with two local people who are happy to meet me for coffee and just chat.

I also recently enrolled in a class at the brand new online school Not as inexpensive as italki, but also works for me. In the advanced class we are reading adult material, and students are doing small presentations. I did a presentation with slides about the construction project in my neighborhood where all the utility poles are being replaced.

You might also want to record your conversations so you can go over them afterward and see how you did. Or just to memorialize your progress.


I have classes once a week, fully in japanese (just lower/slower than I’m expecting). I want full immersion, something I can do everyday for a few hours, preferably alone, to quickly catch up and advance to more apropriate class. Cost of online tutor (on italki or preply) in that manner is well above my paycheck. I’m from Poland, so ALMOST like third world country :wink:
That is why I’m thinking of Rocket or Rosetta.

I know it doesn’t fully fit your requirements, but ASAO is a very good alternative to italki, mainly when your focus is purely to work on your speaking.

ASAO is basically training Japanese people to become teachers. Because of that, they’re offering lessons with trainees for much cheaper than italki. Their 1st patreon level already allows you to have as many lessons as you want a month for 6€. There are probably hundreds of teachers to choose from, and you can literally have 1 different teacher a day to practice speaking with.

I’ve been using it for 11 months in a row so far, and it’s great. With time, I became good enough that I feel I don’t need anything else to work on my speaking.


I could recommend Pimsleur, although that is really a resource that you shouldn’t use all by itself. It’s a 30 minute audio lesson which forces you to speak and form your own sentences, very easy. You learn a lot of vocab naturally, as well as building sentences naturally very early on. You can do those lessons while doing other tasks such as washing the dishes or going for a walk. Unfortunally, last time I checked it was about 20 euros per month, which is why I gave up on that as a university student with not much money to spare. However, technically you could go over the full course in a matter of maybe 3 months(?).

That’s all that comes to mind at the moment, good luck in your studies!

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Thank you for ASAO recommendation, just hopped in as it is really afordable and worth a try :smiley: Seems perfect for practise speaking.


If interested, I posted this speech deck on Kitsun that uses speech-to-text as a pronunciation threshold for productive entry SRS. The general idea to have a method to shadow/read/output and develop pronunciation habits independently.


Get Deck here

What is it?

Using FORVO’s useful travel phrases and expression, this deck is intended to be used by a verbal dictation keyboard speech to text (STT). Each card includes two distinctive native audio samples.

Everyday phrases
Receiving care
Getting around
Drinking & dining
Directions & locating

Layouts include:
Reading from Japanese - Read aloud the phrase, dictate verbal entry

Audio Shadow - Listen to the native audio phrase, repeat via dictate verbal entry

Sentence Recall from English - Test your recall to remember the Japanese phrase from English

All my STT tests we done with iphone. I check most entries and were able to reproduce the text entry (if you have issue, please let me know and I can test to confirm).

Be sure to have a Japanese keyboard enabled for speech dictation


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:smiley: Always look on the bright side of spelling mistakes :smiley:


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