What to look for in a japanese class/tutor

Heya, simple as really, I think individual study is not working for me, i value being given direction a bit too much.

What should I look for in a tutor or class? I have 0 knowledge on what works or occurs in a classroom/tutor situation, so any advice is helpful!

Thanks guys!


First I’d like to ask what is it that you find yourself struggling with the most? Is WaniKani not working for you, are you unable to read well, is it your grammar?
It’s entirely possible you’ve just been going about things the wrong way, or just have the wrong mindset. What have you been doing and how is it working for you?

Classrooms are usually slow and I don’t really recommend them, tutoring is more individualized and can work, but also could be entirely useless, that’s why I’d like to know about how you’ve been doing things, to see if you were just simply lacking a bit of advice.

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I actually really enjoy WK! it has been a major building block in getting me used to studying every day without fail. But I almost got too used to it, to the point where trying to do a textbook now feels alien and horrible. if that makes sense? so I thought maybe a tutor could help with the initial… idk expansion? even if its that reddit course that covers genki 1 and 2

A tutor should:

  • provide a good plan
  • provide good practice activities
  • not just “cover” grammar points but give you ways to acquire the language
  • help you make goals and reach them

I think it definitely depends on what you are looking to achieve.

For example, I’m trying to up my understanding of the style of Japanese used in news reports. Currently I’m working with a tutor simply to keep myself accountable each week and to have someone I can ask questions. For homework I read 4 news articles (she suggests 2 and I pick 2 on my own) and then I read aloud with her in class as much as we can get through (usually just 2) and ask her any questions I have about them. I could probably find articles to read and figure them out by myself, but if I didn’t have a schedule to meet with her each week then I wouldn’t, because I would find other more “fun” stuff to read instead.

If your struggle is also partially motivation and accountability, then just having someone to go through a textbook with you, work on practice exercises, and review your questions with can be very valuable.

That said, if you’re looking for more of an instructor-led course kind of structure, it’s best to be up front about that and look for a tutor comfortable with providing you with full lesson plans, etc.


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