I'm creating a beginners' Japanese tutorial in form of a social todo–list game. It's meant to be supplementary motivational tool and a means for tracking your progress.

I want it also to have an original structure independent of specific educational programs (like 「みんなの日本語」).

The first thing everyone (I mean foreigners) learns is obviously kana. What would be the next reasonable step to make after learning kana?

Does it make sense to start with a small list of simple non-Chinese words to practice kana and get ready for grammar topics? Or would be more suitable to learn grammar (particularly, syntax) right away while picking up the lexicon from the grammar illustration material?

2 Answers 2


What most people do is follow along with a textbook/online course. e.g. みんなの日本語, Erin's Challenge. I always shy away from trying to say you must learn X before Y (number of words, kanji, grammar points in some order) as I think these things should be integrated and learnt concurrently and the exact order depends very much on the priority of the learner.

Looking at your link, I think it's a bit confusing what you're trying to do. If this is supposed to be separate from any particular textbook, then why list things to do with chapters of particular books?

Similarly, lists like "learn 10 kanji of type X" are a bit underspecified in terms of being of assistance to a new learner - ten kanji to do with weekdays? How many does 日曜日 count as? What are you learning? (the endless question: what does it mean to "know" a kanji?)

If you wanted some supplementary goals that could run alongside any beginner course, maybe things like:

  1. Daily/Weekly tasks (post on Lang-8 twice a week)
  2. Specific homework style tasks (write a self-introduction/understand the weather forecast)
  3. Japanese-related computer skills (install/learn to use Japanese IME)
  4. Internet-based activities (sign up for an account on a Japanese website; follow 10 Japanese-language accounts on Twitter).
  • Thank you for valid critique and valuable suggestions! I agree the structure of QuestHub might be confusing – some of these to-do's are my personal ones, some are templates (meant to be textbook-independent). The tasks you listed are cool! I'll add them as templates literally, as well as will use them for further inspiration.
    – katspaugh
    Sep 18, 2013 at 13:50

It is an old text book, and I don't like its romanization, but "Reading Japanese" by Eleanor Harz Jordan and Hamako Ito Chaplin is a good book if you are not going to classes.

  • Thanks, I'll check it out (I go to classes, but those who would use the tutorial might not).
    – katspaugh
    Sep 6, 2013 at 15:58

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