What is your lesson pacing method?

Hi all,
as others have found (threads are locked though, forgive me for making a new one) and I can confirm for myself (at least at level 8) is that while doing reviews daily is valuable (and doable if consistent), pacing at WK is best done by controlling lessons done. What is your personal “rule” whether to do new lessons or not? I’ll start:

  • Generally: I do lessons until I have 100+ apprentice items (tip from the forums)
  • But usually not doing more than 20 in one go, if I need more, I’ll do them at a different time later that day
  • If I reach the spot where no backlog vocab lessons are available and new level radicals are getting queued, I do all the radicals even if I surpass the 100 apprentice items, as radicals are easier to learn (no reading) for me and queueing them all up even if failing some later is good for rapidly getting some of them them over with so they aren’t a levelup blocker (earlier unlocking of the new level kanji, even partially, helps spacing those out)
  • If I have a few days ahead of me where I am very constrained on time and/or energy and I know it, I may purposefully let the apprentice items drop below 100 and only do reviews, but it is back to the other rules once that time has passed
  • Letting SRS take care of leeches so far works out for me without additional considerations, so having some leeches in the reviews is no reason to postpone lessons if not for any other points above for me. It even helps motivation to balance out leeches with a few more queued items that inevitably also have some easier to learn ones among them, so that reviews don’t become all leeches.

No idea if I have to alter this method as I get into the painful level territory, but so far I’m making very consistent progress with an average leveling time of roughly 10 days. It works especially well with my commute schedule (twice a day up to 30min each). How do you handle it? :slight_smile:

6 Likes

My method is something along the lines of:

  1. Unlock a ton of lessons
  2. Think “Ok, now pace them to get it all done in small chunks rather than huge reviews”
  3. Do a few lessons
  4. Do all the lessons in one go
  5. ???
  6. Profit
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I do 25 lessons every morning. Unless there’s less left, or I need to do slightly more to keep my 0/0 streak.

I believe this subject is personal preference.

I prefer doing all lessons once and space 1-2 hours for reviews and do all reviews as they popup. Nowadays my daily review count is around 300 items. I don’t care about numbers because in real life when I am reading a text, I got bombardierded by lots of kanji. If I can’t recognize bombardment of kanjis in wanikani, how could I cope with bombardment of kanji while reading. This style can lead to demoralization and burn for some people they say. I believe, this is just a mental state. I had lots of times that hit as below as 20% and I just continue without giving any flick after a while slowly I raise to 90%. In the long run I learn somehow.

In my opinion by limiting reviews, lessons etc I think we don’t force our brains to learn and in the long run we tend to forget easily. If we force our brains till end, and escape burn mentality I think we don’t forget that easily. I just automatically remember. I had some lots of moments that, I just don’t remember but wasn’t this read as or wasn’t that mean that and randomly answered and it was correct.

4 Likes

I have to disagree with this. If we are bombarding our brain with a ton of new information all at once we are most likely going to forget that. Our brains actually are lazy and want to use the least amount of energy as possible, so when you completely overload it with information (which our brains find unnecessary to really learn a new language and doesn’t improve our survival or ability to reproduce) it can go slack on you. I’m not saying your method isn’t possible, its just that you aren’t going to be very efficient that way unless you have actually trained your brain to learn that way… which would take a lot of effort and time which could be used towards learning. You need to give your brain time to go over the information you learn otherwise you are putting too much into your short term and its just going right out. The brain sees it unnecessary to keep the stuff you are learning in your memory if you keep telling it to learn new things all at once.

So yeah that can work and it looks like it is working for you, but you would have to spend a lot of time on each vocab/kanji to make sure it’s making it into your long term memory so you can pull it out later. I’m just suggesting that isn’t a very good method, not saying it is wrong because we all learn differently. I just happened to read you hitting below 20% which shows that it’s not very efficient.

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My rythm might be slow but it’s about 15 lessons every two days. It’s going pretty great, I have a lot of time to assimilate all of it, I have very few leeches.

As I said it is personal preference. I prefer this way. If I can reach %80 percent after a while (which is generally about one week), and I can answer 200 reviews about 45-50 minutes I think it is pretty good statistics. Btw I don’t use any mnemonics, that’s why I start with 20%. I am learning by exposure and increased review count. I will stick this way because reading speed is more important for me than trying to remember kanji or getting lvl 60 soon.

And what about Kanji? Do you prioritize it or something?

I am currently lvl 17. Until recently I did all reviews whenever they came and just went with it. Problem is I didn’t have much time recently and started having ton of reviews to the point I was not able to keep up. I was like around 250+ aprentince items. Then I decided to stop doing lessons to lessen my WK usage as I didn’t have time to learn language, I just did vocab. And without at least simple grammar you can’t really read or talk or whatever. And that only leads to forgetting vocab anyway.

So I got back down to 100 apprentince. But I feel like I it’s not fast enough so I pushed it to around 150 I currently have. But I have like 76% to next level and while some kanji are quite low lvl, it won’t take long to get there. But I still have 200 lessons of vocab over 2 levels left. So currently I see two possibilities:

  1. prioritize Radicals and Kanji like until now, but over time I get to the point, where I have ton of surplus vocab from several levels, because I feel like keeping my apprentince at 100 is too slow to be able to knock them out before next level
  2. finish levels and then go to radicals/kanji of next level, but then I feel like I am doing one level too long. And I know this is marathon not sprint and I am not speedrunning levels with most effectivity, but I don’t want to spend 5 years getting to level 60.

I only recently raised my apprentince bar to 150 so I will see if it will help lowering my lessons amount. Now that I think about it, there is 3rd option, that is to take a break of kanji lessons every few levels, and just reset my vocab counter to 0. It will take few hard days to get back on track, but I noticed that vocabulary tends to be easier to knock down than kanji asi lot of it can be guessed just by kanji if you know them.

But I noticed you didn’t say much about kanji so do you prioritize completion of levels, or you want to get highest level possible?

Mnemonics eventually get pushed aside because we realize they aren’t necessary to use anymore as we get more exposure. I’m not trying to hate on your method, I personally think you are making a mistake and viewing how learning actually works the wrong way, but I can understand where you are coming from. Good luck, I’m curious to see your progress and how things are coming later on down the road.

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My personal rule is to do lessons as soon as they are avaialble, within reason that is. Usually lessons unlock after I’ve done a review session so sometimes I take a few hours break.
if there’s like 20+ lessons I might break it down into two or more sessions.

I also give much higher priority to kanji lessons than vocab. Kanji lessons pop up after levelling radicals to guru or when a new level is unlocked.

The reason I do this is faster I do the lessons, faster the items are available for review and faster I can level up. Ofc this is valid only for kanji, not vocab.

I did an exact number of lessons every day, though over time that number increased. I had my lessons set in batches of six, and I usually did 12-18 in the morning at a time that I would be sure to hit the first two review intervals throughout the day. Later on, I would do 12 in the morning, and another 6-12 in the evening, at a time that I would hit the +4h interval before bed, and the +8h interval when I woke up.

I also limited my apprentice count to 100-120 max. A very steady number of reviews every day, to keep coasting in that rhythm, and not have times where I had to do a lot more than other days. I could spend a samey, predicatble amount of time on WK every day, which helped my consistency.

If you always level up in the exact same amount of days, doing bulk lessons means all those session start stacking on the same days. I’m not saying it’s wrong, and it works for some people, but doing WK every day for a year+ gets very grating even for the most motivated and dedicated people. If I had been in a period of lower motivation and suddenly have a day with 700 reviews, I wouldn’t have had the patience (or time) to devote to getting it done properly. I would have either ended up rushing, or not finished off my reviews for the day. I always went to bed with zero reviews.

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For me it makes a big difference what type of lesson it is. I find vocabulary lessons to be quite easy, because the meaning is usually obvious and the reading I often already know (through studying vocabulary) or it’s obvious. So in general I breeze through these and can do fifty in a row and still be able to get most of them correct later.

Kanji lessons on the other hand take me a while, since I really try to memorize the mnemonic and reading, and especially since recent levels I don’t know most of the Kanji and their readings. Similar for radicals.

I’m a speedster, so I do my reviews and lessons at planned and set times every day. Currently I use the reorder script to knock out new radicals and kanji right away, and then wait a few hours before tackling vocab. That way, reviews for kanji and vocab are always offset from each other and I can keep my speed up, even if I don’t have time for all my reviews in the morning.

I have to agree with the bombardment method of language learning, at least for myself. I don’t care if I don’t remember a word right away when I learned it in a massive vocab dump. Eventually it will stick. If I go slow I’m afraid I’ll become bored and lose my routine. The risk of burnout on the other hand inspires a “oh yeah, bring it on!” attitude. Keeping my speed up is fun for me and what motivates me to keep going strong.

Whenever I arbitrarily feel my apprentice level items are too many, I start writing down my mistakes onto a flashcard ring and practice outside of WaniKani. This method helps me to cut down on some of them.

I do 6 lessons everyday, 3 kanji and 3 vocab. When I run out of kanji, it’s just 6 vocab. If I have radicals I do them all at once. I might do more eventually but I’ve been working on grammar more instead of just using WK.

Doing a mix has worked out well for me so far. Even though vocab is more important, the big block of vocab after kanji has always felt like a wall keeping me from next level stuff.

Wouldn’t reviewing outside the review time defeat the whole purpose of the spaced repetition? The whole idea of the srs system is to learn it first and get it in your mind, and then to stop thinking about it and come back to it later and bring it up again so many hours/ days later so it solidifies. Kind of defeats the point of the srs system tbh.

I do all the kanji and radical lessons as soon as i get them and then to do between 20 - 30 lessons of vocab every day! Just a tiny bit proud of my consistency at least :’)

Sometimes it’s necessary to repeat some words until you feel they stick. If you at the end of the day are able to remember them (and get them out of your short term memory) and level them up to guru/master/enlightened/burned then whatever method was used is still valid I’d argue. With Kanji I’ve sometimes had to just practice them time and time again within a short span, quit the program, and then got them all right in the following reviews (even for longer periods of time)! Whatever works for the person, as long as you’re learning it :’)

I go along these lines XD
if(Lessons have new radicals) do all the radicals
else if(Lessons have new kanji) do all the kanji
else do vocab that is left in 24 hours max

But lately im kidna sad couse i dont have 200+ reviews a day ;(

The problem with this phrase is that it’s easy for lots of people to say “oh it’s just how it works for me” only for it to not work. It’s the problem with stuff like anki where you are lenient on how easy it was to recall, or with the script that forgets your mistake, it’s easy for people to go “oh I knew it, I’ll just undo the mistake”
I definitely think it can be counterproductive to chuck your apprentice items into another study program, specially since they said it was just to get them out of the way of too many items…

Sounds like a short term fix that you can then say is just “whatever works for me”

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yes, of course but that depends on the person! I completely agree that it’s easy to be too lenient, but to consider using other means of remembering some vocab or kanji that just wont stick to be “defeating the whole purpose of srs” felt a bit exaggerated. If the person is legitimately learning it (and not just saying it), and then uses srs to make sure it stays in the long term memory (after getting it out of apprentice), it’s definitely an effective method to use!