Should I start everything over?

So I made it to about halfway through Genki 2 and level 9 on WK (I started learning kanji late because when I first started learning Japanese I just wanted to be able to speak). Now, after some consideration of some things, I want to go to a Japanese university and try studying Japanese classes in a few years. I’ve reset wanikani because I spent like a year just to get level 9 and I had already forgotten a lot of the earlier stuff, and I’m starting over with genki. The biggest reason that I’m starting over my grammar learning is because I can’t write in Japanese. My Japanese study has been all online, so I’ve never had to actually write. But with me wanting to go to Japanese university, I’m going to have to learn to write. So I figured it would be best to start over so that as I learn to write, it’ll be with the most basic sentences possible. And also looking at the latter half of Genki 1, there’s some things that I don’t even remember, and even fewer things from Genki 2 that precede the lesson that I’m on that I remember. So I’m kinda thinking I should go back and start over with grammar, and learn each thing incredibly thoroughly until it becomes natural and THEN I’ll move on to the next thing. I was kinda inconsistent with learning Japanese and very lazy with it as well, and I feel like I’m kind of paying for that now. I’ve been studying 2 years and am probably like N5 level, almost N4 level, so progress has been slow by my own choice. I know if I work hard, I’ll be able to do better.

What do you guys think of this?


Have you ever heard of the “zone of proximal development”? It’s a theory that we learn most efficiently (and most effectively) when we are being challenged and assisted through that challenge. I bring this up because it sounds like you really want to establish a strong foundation, which is great, but I find that the material in Genki (and WaniKani) already scaffolds pretty nicely - stuff you learn later builds off of stuff you learned earlier. So, just by going through those two resources, you will reinforce the stuff that happens early on all the time.

Or to put it this way: I was awful with the て form of verbs for a few months. If I had spent a month exclusively on the て form, drilling and reading and reviewing, I might have gotten my ability to where it is now, several months sooner. However, because I didn’t do it that way, I instead also started getting comfortable with a bunch of other grammar points like passives and conditionals. And while none of those are learned “incredibly thoroughly”, I can recognize, understand, and produce them all well enough to keep practicing them.

頑張れ!Learning a language is a giant jigsaw puzzle, not a linear staircase, but you’ve already at least got some of the border finished! :slight_smile:


I think it’s only natural you won’t remember all the grammar points you’ve learned from Genki. We have to constantly recycle what we learn. I’m an English teacher, my students study the same grammar points every year (of course, each time with new nuances and progressively adding other grammar points as well). I got to chapter 8 from Genki I by myself and then started reviewing it with a tutor from chapter 5, we just started chapter 7 and I think I already forgot all the stuff I saw on 8, but it must be somewhere deep in my mind and I’ll recall it when I review it… I think reviewing Genki once will do you no harm, but you should also try to move on to something a bit more challenging soon. Did you do Genki’s Workbook?

As for writing, I’m not sure if I got it right - do you want to write by hand?


Yes, I feel the same way! When I started watching content in Netflix with subtitles, a lot of things didn’t make sense to me because of grammar. Now I see things and I think ‘OK, this person is using this verb ending because they are talking about a possibility/they didn’t mean to do this/they are being emphatic etc’.


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