Japanese Mastery Method Review


Japanese Mastery Method uses advanced Speed Learning techniques to turn even complete newbies into conversational speakers of Japanese in just a few months.
PROS: Video-based course. Top-notch instruction. Crystal-clear recordings. Multiple native speakers. Free ‘Success Coaching’ included. Competitive price for a course this size.

CONS: Wish the course were even bigger.


Japanese Mastery Method is a fantastic course. These guys absolutely understand how to teach a language, and the techniques they use are cutting edge. If I could summarize their approach, it’s that they’ve eliminated the need for memorization. With this course, you truly learn a language naturally. It starts by having you learn each new word from context. They don’t simply tell you what a word means. They let you discover the meaning yourself. It’s a powerful approach.

Next, you’re shown how the grammar works by seeing the patterns of how words change. Again, you never find yourself memorizing a rule. Instead, you see the patterns of how word endings change. I found myself applying the underlying rule to new words without stopping to think. Throughout the course, the patterns become ingrained.

Another technique they use is something called SLT, short for Super-Literal Translation. Without giving too much away (I feel like I’m reviewing a movie here), the SLT lets you get to the core meaning of words and phrases. Essentially, they train you to think like a native Japanese speaker. It’s awkward at first, but as you get used to thinking that way, you really feel yourself becoming Japanese. (From here on, I will never take any language course that doesn’t include the SLT for each new word!) The SLT was especially valuable for mastering those tricky Japanese particles. At last! Now I understand when to use wa instead of ga, when to use de instead of ni, and so on.

Japanese Mastery Method uses many more Speed Learning techniques, but at this point I need to mention their inclusion of Success Coaching. As a member of Japanese Mastery Method, you are assigned a Success Coach who you can write to with questions and — more importantly — send recordings to. He or she encourages you to record yourself reciting the material from the course, and then they give you feedback. This really boosted my confidence, knowing that a native speaker understood me. (Thank you, Megumi, for all your help and advice!)

Finally, what I found particularly refreshing is their stance that newcomers to Japanese should focus all their energy on learning to speak, first. When you learn to speak Japanese first, reading becomes much easier because the sounds and meanings of Japanese words will already have been established. You can then focus solely on the written symbols. This is contrary to the general “wisdom” found online, but they are spot on in their reasoning. Children, after all, learn to speak years before they ever learn to read.

Bottom line: Whether you’re a complete beginner, or someone who’s been struggling with the language, Japanese Mastery Method online course is likely to be a game-changer for you and your Japanese studies. This course is without question the best of its kind (or that I’ve tried anyway).


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