Study Advice

久しぶり!

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been on the Wanikani forums. Don’t know if anyone will remember me, but I’ll still say it: Long time no see!

Anyway, I hopped on here to ask for some advice.

I’m currently living in Japan and teaching English on the JET Program. Finding time to study alongside my busy schedule can be hard sometimes, so as a result, this last year has been rough study wise. I passed the N5 a couple years ago, and I’m probably around mid N4, but I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut when it comes to my studies and progress. I was looking for any advice on what/how to study better.

Currently, I’m trying to take everything in bite size chunks. I’m doing about 10 lessons on Wanikani plus reviews in the morning and evening during weekdays. I’m also going through and reading an NHK Easy article and listening to it being read by the robot voice on the website about 3 times during those same weekdays. My listening ability is absolute garbage, and while the robo-voice/article reading is helping some, I’m getting frustrated at my lack of ability to actually understand what is happening around me.

I was previously doing the 10k deck and Genki decks on Kitsun as well, but I was having trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of reviews every day. I’m trying to strike a balance between sustainable and effective without burning myself out.

Any help would be appreciated. I’m especially looking for anything small I can add to my current little schedule of study. Especially any scripted listening practice.

5 Likes

I would finish Genki 1 and 2 if you haven’t. Find something you like and do that in Japanese. At your stage I was watching a lot of Doraemon.

4 Likes

I actually bought the first two volumes of doraemon but haven’t read them yet. :upside_down_face:

I’m my own worst enemy

1 Like

WK, 10k deck, and Genki deck is too much SRS I reckon.

Drop the Genki one.

Sounds like you’re doing everything else right, you’re just sadly at the sucky part of language learning, you gotta power through this bit.

I’ve found having a few resources to choose from helps, so as you get frustrated with one, you can try something else but still make progress (so I’ll read a bit, or watch some beginner youtube, or read NHK easy, etc)

2 Likes

Any recommendations on YouTube videos to practice? I’ve found that things with a script or something I can follow along with has been the most help.

1 Like

This has been invaluable to me

4 Likes

Oh sweet the maker is from Fukuoka. I’m pretty near that actually. :eyes:

1 Like

If you want something with a script, join Satori, it’s fantastic

Although I do agree with @WaniTsunami, get through Genki 1 and 2 if you haven’t yet as the top priority. Then drop grammar SRS. I personally would drop the 10k deck and replace it with Satori/ other reading, as you’ll learn vocab through reading just as fast and with much more pleasure. Plus, the reading speed on Satori is faster and you’ll get used to that so quickly you’ll find NHK News Easy too painfully slow to use it before you know it.

4 Likes

If you don’t want to drop the money on Satori, I recommend Tadoku graded readers https://tadoku.org/japanese/en/free-books-en/ or drdru’s stories https://drdru.github.io/stories/intro.html

Otherwise seconding what everyone else has said so far.

4 Likes

Yeah I originally went through Genki way back when. I was going back through Genki 2 to revisit a bunch of grammar I forgot (cause I rushed through it). I really should go back and finish that back up again.

Oh and I forgot about Satori! I remember it being a big deal a couple years ago here. Been away from the forums too long clearly haha.

2 Likes

In that case, maybe the grammar glosses on Satori are enough. Anyway, make full use of their free version and you’ll see if it’s right for you. you can sync it to your WK level

2 Likes

I think I’ve actually used these a while ago! I found a lot of it to be a bit too easy which is why I moved over to NHK Easy. Thanks for the suggestion though!

1 Like

Tadoku? They have different levels. They go all the way to N1 difficulty

2 Likes

Since you are living in Japan, take advantage of being able to interact in Japanese as much as possible. Yes, it can be intimidating at first.

There are a ton of language exchange groups/meetings on MeetUp. I prefer to find ones that are a) mostly around my age group and b) are not classroom based language exchange but activity based language exchange and c) are structured around having Japanese speaking only as the focus or are divided (Japanese only time/English only time). Japanese only is best for my studies, but I find that the Japanese attending want to also study English and I am happy to be a learner for half the time and helper the other half. Just make sure the group is a good mix of both and does enforce a “this language only for this period of time” method. Avoid groups where everyone or most everyone is a Japanese learner because the conversation will almost always revert to English. You can find a variety of groups that engage in a variety of activities. Hiking, shopping, museum visits, picnics in the park, cycling (harder to have a chat though), etc.

Personally I get the most in terms of immersive listening by hanging out at a few local “salaryman” bars near my office or my home. But then I enjoy a beer or two (or four) after work on Fridays. All of the ones I have been, or am, a regular at are all Japanese customers. Conversation is Japanese. Not every place will be the right fit. But after trying a few I have found many that feel like home to me and I see the same other customers on a regular basis. Also, following along with karaoke is great reading and listening practice. I always sing along (very quietly) to all the Japanese songs others are singing. Choose a couple of Japanese songs you like and with a little practice at home, get bold enough to sing them at the shop. You will be a hit with everyone. At my favourite place I often sing duets with another regular customer or group songs with everyone. Bonus point for me is that I also get to hear regular everyday Japanese and some slang. How friends talk amongst themselves. When you hear a word you do not know, or are looking for a word to use, avoid the urge to ask for help in English. Ask for help using the Japanese you do know. Don’t over do it (no one there came to be a tutor) and if you have found a place that is the right fit, they will not mind. I often now get tips even if I did not specifically ask. E.g. correction on pitch/tone , or “this is a better word to use for that”. There is one place I frequent that has a semi regular customer - a very elderly lady - who seems to have made it her mission to get my pronunciation and pitch correct.

Granted, my second suggestion will not be for everyone.

7 Likes

Ah I guess I was misremembering it or something. Or maybe I didn’t wanna sign up with their website? I can’t remember to be honest. I did read a bunch of their lower level stuff though.

1 Like

Is MeetUp an app? Hadn’t heard of it before, but I like the suggestion. I’ve been thinking about using HelloTalk for something similar. Maybe doing a post in Japanese every day or whatever and chatting with people. I’m being a bit of a coward and hiding from it for now hahaha.

1 Like

MeetUp is a global web platform for setting up groups for (mostly) in real life meetings/events/activities. Each group will have a purpose and location. E.g. “This group was created for people in the XYZ area that are interested in making paper airplanes.”. You can search for groups (or activities) based on interest and location. A group will organize regular or sporadic events and for groups you have joined you will get sent email notices to let you know.

Mostly, groups are something organized by a someone with a specific interest they are looking to share. But some are people trying to make some money (and charge for events) and some are actually commercial endeavours trying to get people into the place of business. It is generally easy to see which is which.

Also, groups will die off if the organizer decides to give up on it. A lot of groups do come and go. But a lot have a dedicated subscriber base and have been around for a while and are active.

I use MeetUp for some board gaming groups I have joined for attending live board gaming sessions once in a while around where I live.

I just searched for “Japanese language exchange” with area set to “Fukuoka” and got a lot of hits for upcoming events as well as groups. You can set the filter to find events within a certain radius of a specific place. You can get a sense for how active a group is by looking at the past events hosted and how many people attended.

2 Likes

Sounds great! I’ll look into it for some language exchange groups. Maybe there’s a couple closer to home. Traveling around this area is a pain haha.

1 Like

I do have the advantage (of disadvantage depending on who you ask - there was spirited thread on that subject a while back :slight_smile: ) of being relatively close to central Tokyo so getting around is easy and there are so many places to get around to. But I do really like your neck of the woods too, have been there for work many times.

2 Likes

If you are real adventurous, you can start up your own group :wink:

2 Likes