So that sort of crept up on me – 100 italki lesson under the belt. Makes me feel good to have stuck to learning Japanese for this amount of time – and during the trying periods we have all faced over the last months/years.


So has it been worth it?

100% percent yes, without a doubt.

Of course this doesn’t come cheap, and yes there are other ways online (e.g. HelloTalk) to get talking in your target language. But for me the structure and baked-in commitment of paying for something definitely helped me stay focused on getting the most from my lessons.


For the lessons to be effective for me, I’ve found the following steps work quite well.

  1. Contact your teacher 3-5 days before the lesson – confirm the upcoming content and grammar points.
  2. Use the days before the lesson to briefly read through the coming modules.
  3. Post the lesson write quick summary from the class in your notebook. Practice any challenging words, phrases or grammar over the coming days.

and repeat 🙂

I also find that as my Japanese improves I spend more time in the beginning of my grammar classes having a general conversation with my teacher about common daily topics. So I have begun adding conversation only slots to my regular classes too – but shorter lengths, usually 30min. Doing this whole lesson in Japanese is still tricky for me – so these ‘general conversation’ lessons requires quite a bit of prep. I try incorporate the grammar from the previous class, and then add new vocabulary too. So work and life depending I aim for one of these type lessons every 2 weeks only.

Keep going

Exam Help?

Due to exam venue cancellations I have not yet taken any JLPT exam, but according to a few sites you would need anything from 150 – 450hrs to pass JLPT N5. So my 100 lessons only get me to ~ 75hrs or so of the goal.

Not a significant amount, but the confidence you get from seeing your language improvement from lesson to lesson – and the tremendous fun of chatting to someone and learning about their culture is incredibly rewarding.