Struggling to retain grammar

I don’t think it’s impossible, although it may be difficult, and you’ll most likely need to use a dictionary with anything you try (also, you have been memorizing the Genki vocab, right?).

Here is a site that has free pdf files of simple graded readers AND audio files to go with some of them. At your level I’d advise starting with レベルA1 (The site is in Japanese, but just scroll down until you see the cover pictures):

Some people like Satori Reader (, and I’ve seen White Rabbit Graded Readers recommended frequently. Maybe someone who’s used those can comment more…

After you learn verb short forms in Genki lessons 8&9 you could try very simple children’s books. Perhaps your local library might have some to borrow? My library has a few shelved in the children’s non-fiction section with the foreign language learning books.

Others have mentioned writing down notes/diaries for yourself, talking to yourself, or using the Hellotalk app. There’s also, which has a free notebook function, where you can write in your target language (Japanese) and native speakers will correct your writing (similar to Hellotalk).

Hearing the patterns can also help. Do you consume any audio-visual Japanese media (tv/anime/music/youtube/podcasts)? If there’s something you enjoy, it can be fun to just listen; even if you don’t understand anyeverything, you may be able to pick out a grammar item that you’ve recently learned.

Oops, didn’t mean to write an encyclopedia! There are also tons more ideas in the Japanese resources thread: The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!