What resources can I use to improve my speaking?

As the title says I’m looking to improve my speaking!

I have tried hellotalk and Tandem but they both haven’t helped much. iTalki I have also used but I don’t think I have found a good enough teacher for me! So any advice?? Or maybe any good teachers on iTalki? Thanks!

1 Like

Finding people to talk with is the only really effective way to improve spoken communication skills, sounds like you’ve tried the usual options so maybe you just have to keep looking for the right person.

Personally I do online classes twice a week at genkijacs but it’s a full blown language school so the price could be high (it’s 2 hours a day twice a week, so 16 hours a month costs ~$200 USD)


I tried reading NHK easy out loud for a while but I did that for practicing reading skills.
Speaking with others is the way to go. You could also use voice chat in Japanese discord servers.

1 Like

Depending on where you live, there could be a japanese studies institute or maybe an association of japanese exchange students in your town.
A lot of those organisations/associations organize tandem-talk-events (you speak japanese for half an hour with a JP native and in exchange you then switch to english to give them an english speaking opportunity).
In my city the student association of the japanese student department organized a simple 飲み会 every week where japanese exchange students and learners of japanese came together. It’s much nicer to talk about random stuff while having drinks than a often stiff online-session. And after the 3rd beer your japanese will magically improve a lot, too :wink:

I wouldnt say that its the only effective way, but rather the most convenient way, because at a certain level you can train it passively this way. Sure, if theres a teacher dedicating his time only for you, of course it would be more effective.

What issues did you have with hellotalk, tandem, italki? Knowing what prevented them from being effective for you might help others suggest solutions, or alternatives that avoid the same issues.

1 Like

I really enjoy using iTalki because there are a number of teachers to pick from and the non-teacher tutors are relatively good and cheap.

I’d also recommend starting a 10 minute timer and talking to yourself every night or morning in Japanese. You can talk about your day, explain a book or show you are watching, or explain what your plans are for the week.

I find that a hidden benefit of practicing speaking, whether by yourself or with a partner, is discovering what topics you want to speak about, and hwat vocabulary is useful to you. Once you discover what the topics and vocabulary you want to use are, you can study them, and then reinforce them by using them again in future conversations.

Good luck!

1 Like

Check if your city has any Japanese conversation classes/meet-ups! I run one in my city which meets once a month and it’s really great for people wanting to keep up their Japanese.

Listening to Japanese materials such as music and television plus talking tends to help the most.

I know this area has been a struggle for me, but my teacher gave me a suggestion that I now do daily that probably helps me the most: 聞き取り.

Essentially, it’s listening to a small bit of dialog (one two two sentences) and writing it down as you hear it. You have it played three times ideally with the second time at a significantly reduced speed, and then once you’re done with three times, you check with the script to see your accuracy.

For myself, I go through it usually a little more than three times because my writing isn’t as fast, but I’ve gotten so much better at picking up words as a result making me much more effective at understanding my conversational partner, allowing me to focus more on what I want to say instead in a smoother fashion.

Here’s a starter list to go through https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSTleOVAvEdqontIJWYKcETdxUvVY_47p


Always enjoy the Grammarly adverts when I’m going to youTube to study some Japanese. Find them kind of ironic for some reason.

I haven’t used any other platforms, like iTalki, so I can’t compare, but I am having really good lessons at japatalk.com

The lessons are held on Skype and you have plenty of teachers and lesson styles to choose from.

Also I would recommend keeping a daily journal in japanese where you would write a few sentences each day about what you have done/will do that day, how’s the weather or other common topics. That way when you do speak with somebody in japanese you will find the words much easier.

I hope this helps :slight_smile: