I haven’t been reviewing previous grammar topics that I did in Genki. Or using a SRS system to keep track of the grammar I was learning. So I’ve forgotten ALOT of grammar points. Like… most of them. Right now I’m "on’’ lesson 20 of Genki. But the thing is all the previous grammar points and whatnot I can’t really remember. I was being lazy and I guess I just don’t remember a lot of it.
What should I do? I recently just fount out about Bunpro and I’m thinking I can just use that to help me review some of the things I’ve forgotten. Should I halt my Genki progress and review? Or should I just finish up the textbook since there’s only 3 lessons left and THEN review.
I’m not having a lot of trouble doing the Genki exercises and I very well could finish off the book without much of a problem. But I’m worried that I’ll just dig myself deeper down the rabbit hole if I do that.
TLDR: I haven’t been studying grammar points like I should have been. Should I just finish Genki 2 and then review. Or should I halt my progress, review and then resume where I left off. I just bought Bunpro to help me review.
You could start from the very beginning and just do the listening and reading sections for each chapter (in the second part of the book). If you don’t have any trouble understanding everything you are good to go. Otherwise just review the grammar sections that you are having trouble with.
Personally, I got to a similar place (around Lesson 14 or 15 of Genki… edit: actually before I finished Genki 1)… and I ended up buying Minna no Nihongo to shore up my basic grammar awareness… Others might not recommend that, but I did that because there were aspects of Genki’s presentations that I personally found very disorienting and frustrating… and then by going back to MnN I was able to test how well I knew what I’d done and what I still needed.
Another tactic might be to review the dialogues from earlier chapters and see how much you understand of those… It may be that you can recognize the meaning of certain points without being able to produce or articulate them.
I might do this with Tae Kim since I have it and I can refresh myself on things I don’t know. I think I’ll just go through the textbook like how I would if I was actually studying it and review that way.
Another option (if you’re not doing it already) would be to join one of the book clubs here and start reading! That really helps cement grammar I’ve found - the N5 (and N4) stuff is so common that it comes up again and again and again. I know that some people prefer to wait until they’ve covered all of N5 and N4 grammar until starting reading…it all depends on how willing you are to look things up as you go (and the benefit of book clubs is that you can ask questions and get explanations if you don’t get stuff ).
I started reading my first manga (ハイキュー!!) with the WK bookclub when I’d covered.about the same amount of grammar/same WK level as you have now (but I hadn’t put much effort into vocab so you are probs a step ahead of where I was!) and it was definitely very challenging but in a really good way (a note - ハイキュー really wasn’t a sensible first manga for any reason other than it was one that I really wanted to read and so was motivated to push through. I’d probably recommend something like よつばと or the next ABBC pick if you want to be sensible)
I faced a similar problem while studying with “Japanese for busy people”. So I bought genki and went through all the lessons quite rapidly. I liked that it is a way to refresh my grammar without repeating the same old lesson. It is also very satisfying to take a complete different book and realise that you actually know a lot and did not forget all of it.
This is always my recommended route for someone who’s trying to retain early/common grammar, and move forward with learning more grammar.
When reading, you’re seeing the same (common) grammar over and over, in various situations, and with various words. This causes your brain’s pattern recognition go to work, and you slowly shift from simply knowing about the grammar to actually internalizing it. And this makes it a lot harder to forget.
Having started myself with my first manga read being a text-packed 4koma with no furigana (before I started using WaniKani), and no book club, spreading the volume over maybe about 180 days, it’s amazing what one can do when it’s a series they really want to read!
But that said, I agree on starting by joining the Absolute Beginner Book Club. Even if it’s a manga you’re not 100% interested in, so long as you enjoy it, you can keep moving forward, and you gain a lot by asking questions and reading answers.
Our next manga will be the one to start with to jump into reading, because chapters are about 8 pages long, typically with low amounts of text, and (in the first volume) chapters are fairly stand-alone. That means you don’t have to worry about missing out on too much if you don’t fully understand some things along the way.
Until July 1 it’s also free to keep on digital platforms, which means that if you grab it now, even if the book club doesn’t work out for you or you don’t like the book you won’t have wasted any money on it!