Not well. Is how I’d describe how the Japanese studying is going. But it is going. It’s a gradual slow grind that I need to keep on. I wanted to share what I’ve been doing for my Japanese studies lately.

Lessons: I took group lessons with Ako-sensei. She has a variety of types of lessons, but she’s rather popular so it can be tough to get into a class. The group lessons are capped at 4 students which is a good intimate size. In the class we focused on working through the Try grammar books, and we get speaking practice in the class as well. I signed up for a “semester” with her, it was good practice, but highlighted a weak-point of mine which is speaking and listening. I will be trying to review the grammar points we went over by building out my notes section. She has many of her lessons are available on her youtube, but you don’t get the practice and feedback from her youtube.

Currently, I am taking 1 on 1 lessons with another teacher that was recommended by Ako-sensei (Ako-sensei’s 1-on-1 slots are full). In these lessons I am focusing on speaking and listening. We’re working through the Marugoto and Shadowing books. The Shadowing book comes with audio clips of recorded dialog. You play the audio and try to mimic the dialog. It’s fast in this edition. My teacher said it’s really fast for her as well. Though there is a new edition coming out later in this year. Maybe they’ve fixed the audio pacing in the new edition.

Anki: This is something I’m not great with. But I’ve been working through anki content that has audio. There’s people online who’ve created decks that are automatically generated from anime and the subtitle data. It’s a great way to generate content, but you end up with cards that say *car sound* with audio and all.

Youtube: An upside to the corona situation is that a lot of Japanese teachers have been experimenting with lessons on Youtube. There’s a lot more content being generated. I’ve found a few (Japanese, but not teachers) YouTubers that are interesting to watch and get “native content”.

Podcasts: I haven’t listened to podcasts as much since working from home. But there’s a few that I listen to in Japanese.


I need to read more. Here’s a couple of books on my list:

I have a lot more resources available here. The ones listed here have been my primary focus in recent months.