Structured approach to new lessons?

Hi all,
I started WK two weeks ago and I have to say I really enjoy it! There’s just something about the setting (all hail the Crabigator!) and the mystical level 60 cap (vanilla world of warcraft, anyone?) that pulls me to WK several times a day.

The problem is that I have the feeling I’ve been going REALLY slow (maybe 5-10 new lessons every other day) because I focus on the reviews all the time, and have to mentally charge myself before starting new lessons. The lack of any structured approach from my side (i just stare at the readings and meanings) just gives me this no-idea-what-the-hell-I’m-doing vibe when doing new lessons. I feel like it’s wholly up to chance whether I remember something the first time or not (only the first time is problematic for me, once it has a foothold, the SRS kicks in and I recall things smoothly)

Does anyone have any tips on how to approach new lessons? I dunno like: [read mnemonic out loud three times; practice reading 5 times; pause 10 seconds; try to recall reading;…] or maybe combine it with written studying of some sort? My commute to work is a 50 min train ride twice a day so I’m able (and willing!) to spend a lot of time on the lessons and reviews, just need some advice on how!

Thanks and regards from Belgium! Schol!

What worked for me was to focus on creating a clear mental image of the mnemonic. Really watch the scene unfold and think through it. When I was in the zone and in the mood to kill some lessons, I did it with my eyes open. When I was feeling distracted or not 100% I closed my eyes to force myself to picture it and ignore everything else. EDIT to add: I think if you want to repeat anything, you should repeat walking through the whole mnemonic and the process of arriving at the answer, not just the meaning or reading itself.

Nothing will ever be 100% perfect but my recall was wayyy better by doing that, especially when the answer didn’t come to mind right away. I’d walk through the steps of the mnemonic and more often than not, I arrived at the answer. When I hurried through without mnemonics or only very quickly skimming them, there was no fallback if I forgot the answer.

During the quiz right after doing a batch of lessons, even if the answer came to me immediately, I learned to think through the mnemonic anyway. The random order of that first quiz meant that the first item in the quiz could be the last one I just learned in the batch of 5, so it’s obviously still fresh. I found that if I just used the answer that was fresh in my head, and didn’t think through the mnemonic again, my recall later was much lower.

Hope that helps!


I usually stare at the kanji, readings, and meanings as well. With some experience you can tell if you can infer the reading or meaning without mnemonics, I just use them occasionally. But in the beginning everything is full of exceptions, you probably have to repeat the reviews until you make it. It really helps to know some vocabulary already, I don’t know what your level outside of kanji is, but just watching subtitled shows or listening to podcasts can give you a better feeling for the language.

Then I use the self-study script to repeat the kanji a few times directly. If I’m especially motivated I look up the kanji in a kanji dictionary or look at example sentences of vocab. Writing kanji down is probably I good idea, but I postponed it for a second round of WK :wink:


I do all of the radicals right away first. I usually only do 5 kanji at a time, unless I already know them or feel they’re easy, and in the lesson I click back and forth between all of them and quiz myself on their meaning and readings and only do the quiz once I have most of them down well enough. Then I do vocab later in smaller or larger groups depending on how well I feel with them.

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i was hungry for more at the start and taking all the available classes at once, whenever i can.
result is lots of leeches. for example: iku, i cannot write kou for reading.
second attempt was to taking classes at morning and results were better. grasping the mnemonic is the key.
Not i do lessons whenever i have time and if i feel mentally idle.
i do not pile up.

I also do lots of errors but it is ok to make faults as earlier as possible.

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For Kanji, I tend to read through the mnemonic, check the reading, write the character a few times, and then sit back and visualize the whole mnemonic, from the meaning to the pronunciation. Then I write and pronounce the character a few times. I studied Japanese a few years ago in school, so most of the characters I’ve encountered so far are at least familiar, but I think running through the mnemonic, and using it to get from the radicals to the meaning and pronunciation is the key for getting the first few reviews correct for the kanji. I’ve found that once it’s guru’ed I tend to drop the mnemonic and can recall the character without it, especially since the onyomi reading will often be reinforced a bunch by vocab words which use the character.

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You could try something like this:

You may already be doing this, but if you try to do your first couple reviews right on time, that helps a lot with recall…

But can you choose what lessons to do first? I can only choose “start new session” without any apparent possibility to pick between lessons.

You cannot. In the settings you can choose to do all lessons of one type before others though. Like all radicals bofore all kanji…

I would strongly suggest writing. An app like Skritter goes a very long way to helping recall.

In the settings, you can change lesson order.

Ascending level than subject - does lower level items first, but within each level does radicals, kanji’s and vocab, in that order.

Shuffled - Random order, obviously

Ascending level than shuffled - does lower level items first, but within each level the items are shuffled.

There’s also scripts you can use to re-order your lessons, maybe try this one out?

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