My Tool box

So in getting ready for the test I know i will need to know quite a bit of kanji, vocabulary and grammar. All of this is expected. Because I am skipping the first level test I will need to add in loads more then I have been pushing on myself in the past. Which is kinda the whole point.

So in order to get ready for the test I have compiled all my textbooks and programs and will list a few of my always opens and some of my thoughts on each.

General Knowledge:

  • Instant Immersion Japanese the Deluxe Edition Workbook.I picked this one up from Half priced books for 4 bucks. It isn’t super great about hitting the points I need to know about grammar but has been very good at giving my mind something to work on when I have some free time. It also gives me more confidence in my speaking skills as it uses romanji and I read the little stories in it to my husband and we figure out what it says together.
  • Genki 1+Workbook. This seems to be a common one that came up all the time on several sites about learning grammar and reading practice. I have started on it but I am not one to push myself normally, so it has been hard on me. I have plans to finish this workbook by April and be on to Genki 2.
  • Daily Journal. Picked up a journal from my local store and have started to use it to write down my vocab or thoughts on the day’s learning. Slowly putting more and more Japanese words in as I go.
  • Mobile apps. There are soooo many of these I think I will have to do a post on it’s own!


  • The dreaded kanji is something I feel like has a lot of new learners scared, but really for me, I enjoy kanji and I feel I have a better understanding of my studying when I know the Kanji that goes along with it!

Wanikani. Super big one I have read about that people have used very successfully. Slow to start as they use the SRS method, but once you get going it is scary to step away… That being said… I was using this on and off last year… I started again last night and here is what I got with all my reviews that awaited me.

doom box


However… shortly after

1yr no wanikani


It took me quite a while to get there but I finished all my reviews on day one. The biggest suggestion was that you don’t do them all like that and just ease yourself in, but I don’t get a lot of quite time to myself to just relax and work. So one night there ya go! I got a 54% and I think that is amazing considering I haven’t touched it in almost a year. That means I retained somewhere in my brain 54% of the words and vocab and radicals that I had learned! That is amazing!

Wanikani also has a great E-textbook called Textfugu. I have a lifetime membership to it but… I never really got into it. However, as I am trying out new things I may go back and try it out again. Time will tell.

Listening practice: YOUTUBE!!!

I love watching youtube to get my fix of natural Japanese that doesn’t come from a cd. Here are a few of my picks for just listening to, some have captions but I tend not to listen as much and just read…

  • Bai Ling Girl English Chika’s English Lessons: Okay okay okay, hold up. Learning Japanese… I know it says English Lessons but she teaches English and american culture to Japanese people. So listening to her speak Japanese is awesome! Using subjects we may already know we can hear some words we might want to talk to someone about. Plus, if you are going to be teaching English, she brings up some points you might need to keep track of when teaching in Japan.
  • Kemushi Chan : This girl is full of spunk. I love watching her videos and have picked up more then one of the books she talks about. I aspire to have her level of Japanese!!! She is amazing in explaining things with such a bubbly personality. Cons: She doesn’t post very often now a days. She seems to have gotten quite busy with her life and that is okay! She has a library of videos to get you started!!!
  • Gimmeaflakeman : Victor uses a lot of non common words that textbooks don’t seem to look at. He uses words from viral Japanese videos, news sites, and just his everyday encounters to show some more flavor to your vocab. I love watching this self proclaimed “King of the Morons”.
  • JPCMDH : I love love love this channel, they put up videos of Japanese commercials. No subs here, and I love getting to guess what the ad is for before they show it!

Okay okay okay, it is like 3am here and I have to get up with the young one in like 4 hours! Good night! Good luck! And stick around for my next post!


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