Refold program

Hi, this is my first time writing something on the community so I am kind of excited!
This is gonna be kind of long sry😓
I am part of the wanikani for a while now and up to now I didn’t use too much resources aside from it except imabi for grammar and maybe read some simple stories.
I am sure I need to improve listening. I found out about Matt vs Japan on YouTube and programme Refold and AJAT(All Time All Japanese if someone doesn’t know) he almost always talks about. I don’t feel like paying for anything after wk so I am down the self study path. :muscle:
They explain results arent immediate and I believe I understand why. Actually,English is my second language and I don’t remember learning it or anything, just playing video games and watching movies and speaking and understanding it fairy well.I am from Europe btw
So…has someone been using this program for a while to share how it impacted them or just to share their thoughts.Thanks for reading through!:blush::+1:

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I actually don’t know much about it since I never got into it myself, but I’ve heard a lot of criticisms of Matt vs Japan and the courses he sells.

The nice thing about Refold is that the guide itself is completely free, and doesn’t require paying for any products or services to follow.

Yes, I do remember reading through that site a year or two ago. I agree immersion is important but it felt like refold was being portrayed as the one and only true way to learn Japanese. There isn’t a need to stick strictly to the rules they set out.

Refold sure can help, but its nothing really different from what you can do for free anyway: immerse with content that’s suited to your level and your liking.
I personally never really understood the need to follow fixed courses to get further, but if you need that, I have no doubt it will help you if you keep at it. :slight_smile:

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I haven’t followed Refold myself, but if I go through the simple guide and compare it with what I’ve done for reading that did and did not work for me, here is how it measures up:

Stage 0: Refold Overview

Does a great job of covering the basics and setting expectations.

Stage 1: Learn the Basics

I mostly do only reading, not listening/watching, and everything in this section rings true to me.

I also often talk about things like “tolerating ambiguity” in the Absolute Beginner Book Club here on the WaniKani forums.

The parts about using vocabulary lists match up with what has worked for me.

Stage 2: Learn to Understand

This is where the guide goes more heavily into watching content. If you consider this section exclusively about reading, it matches my experience. “Intense immersion” is what worked for me.

The “sentence mining” part I never had much success with, but I see the value in it.

I haven’t gotten into using a monolingual dictionary much (as covered in this section) as I keep hitting upon too many unknown words whenever I try.

Stage 3: Learn to Speak

I don’t have any need for production, so this section I cannot speak on.


I haven’t seen this from Refold, which refers to its stages as “the Refold method” (suggesting other methods exist).

I have seen it from some fans of immersion learning, and of Refold specifically, who can be tribal about being on the “right” team when posting on Reddit and other forums.

Those specific fans can unfortunately make things like Refold and AJATT sound like “the one true path” which can have the unfortunate impact of turning some new learners away from the methods.


I’d say the Refold method answers two questions:

  1. Am I doing the right thing?
  2. What should I do next?

Some of the best methods of learning Japanese involve “trust the process”.

But when you’re told “keep doing X even though you won’t see results until you do”, you don’t want to be spending time on something that won’t actually give you results. Especially when you don’t know which ones really give results and which don’t, or how to properly apply them (such as, don’t focus on only one thing for too long).

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Thanks for such detailed reply! I think it cleared off confusion I had.