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Storylearning Japanese Uncovered Review

Story Learning Review Japanese

StoryLearning Japanese

Rating 4.0


StoryLearning Japanese Uncovered comes from Olly Richards, the creator of the super popular polyglot blog. It’s quite a bit different than most courses as it revolves around an engaging story. It can be a bit more challenging than other courses, as you begin reading somewhat long texts right off the bat. Overall, I found it to be a more fun way to approach language learning that will be great for some but not ideal for others.

Quality 4.0

The instruction is clear but can have too much information crammed into a single lesson.

Thoroughness 4.0

You’ll practice every aspect of the language.

Value 4.0

It has a pretty high price, but if you stick with it, you’ll get good value from it.

I Like
  • Centering the lessons around a story makes learning more fun.
  • Good clear instruction with lots of opportunities to practive what you’ve learned.
  • Gets students to actively participate and take control of their own learning.
I Don’t Like
  • Too many unrelated grammar points are included in the grammar lessons.
  • The review quiz is too short.

$397 with a risk free 30-day money back guarantee.

The StoryLearning Method involves teaching grammar, vocabulary and writing in context. Stories weave Japanese vocabulary and grammar points together so that connections can be made between what a word means and how it is used, which research into language development shows is more useful than learning random, individual words from a vocabulary list.

Japanese Uncovered Course Structure

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Each course is based around a story, with each section taking you through a chapter. Within each section, you have six separate lessons:

1. Story Chapter: Not included in the lesson count, you will have access to both an audio and text version of a chapter from the story. This allows you to engage with the content in different ways and improve your reading and listening skills.

2. Vocabulary Lesson: This lesson breaks down the important new words introduced in each chapter. This lesson helps you expand your vocabulary and understand the meaning and usage of these words in context.

3. Grammar Lesson: Here, you will cover the most essential grammar concepts from the chapter. By focusing on these key elements, you can enhance your understanding of the language’s structure and improve your overall proficiency.

4. Pronunciation Lesson: This lesson concentrates on the specific sounds of the language and provides guidance on how to correctly pronounce words from the chapter. Practicing proper pronunciation enhances your speaking skills and helps you sound more natural.

5. Communication: In this section, you’ll explore how the language is used in real-world scenarios. By immersing yourself in authentic language examples, you’ll enhance your comprehension skills and gain guidance on expressing yourself more naturally in conversations.

6. Culture Lesson: With each chapter, you’ll discover interesting insights about the culture related to the language. These lessons, conducted in English, offer valuable knowledge that will benefit you throughout your language learning journey.

7. Speaking Activities: These activities are designed to be used with a speaking partner or tutor, but you can also use them independently. They provide opportunities to practice speaking the language aloud, enabling you to become more comfortable with forming words and phrases.

Once you have progressed through the lessons, you can take the time to review your progress and identify further areas for improvement.

Lesson Structure

Story Learning Uncovered has been meticulously crafted to provide a comprehensive learning experience through a diverse array of resources. A typical lesson incorporates video lessons, self-study materials, brief quizzes, and engaging speaking activities.

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This deliberate combination of activities aims to facilitate the development of various language skills while optimizing your learning time, ensuring that your progress through the course remains steady and efficient.

It is understandable that some learners may be inclined to solely watch the videos, complete the quizzes, and swiftly move on. However, the more you engage with Japanese, the better your Japanese becomes. So, working through all the activities will be better for your long-term language learning.

Things to consider before buying Japanese Uncovered

Before purchasing the StoryLearning Uncovered Japanese Course, there are several factors you should consider:

Your Learning Style

The StoryLearning Uncovered Japanese Course focuses on using stories as a primary learning tool. If you enjoy narrative-based learning and find it engaging, this course may be a good fit for you. However, if you prefer a more traditional instructional approach or need more visual aids, you might want to explore other options.

Your Commitment and Time Availability

Assess the amount of time you can dedicate to the course. The StoryLearning Uncovered Japanese Course likely requires a consistent commitment to studying and completing the various components, such as video lessons, vocabulary exercises, grammar lessons, and speaking activities. Ensure you have the time and motivation to fully engage with the course materials.

Your Budget

Consider the cost of the course. Evaluate the price of the StoryLearning Uncovered Japanese Course and compare it to other Japanese language learning resources available. Assess the value you expect to gain from the course in relation to its cost.

Features and Benefits of Storylearning’s Japanese Uncovered course

StoryLearning Uncovered Japanese offers access to its private Community Group (accessed using your StoryLearning Uncovered account). Here, you can talk to other Japanese learners as well as StoryLearning’s teachers, who are willing and able to answer any questions you may have. Quite often, learning a language online can feel isolating, and so taking advantage of a group of learners will give you ways to feel less alone in your learning journey.

Vocabulary is covered thematically, giving you a context for each new word. Words are explored via a video, where they are pronounced so that you understand how to say them, and then English translations are given. Where the course assumes prior knowledge, it points this out (as in the screenshot below, where the two underlined kanji are assumed knowledge and the circled kanji is assumed to be new) to help reinforce the meaning of new items of vocabulary and to revisit things you already know.

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While most of the lessons are delivered by a native English speaking teacher, the pronunciation videos are presented by a native Japanese speaking teacher, giving you an authentic voice to copy as you practice your pronunciation.

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Olly, Story Learning’s founder, has also produced videos to help navigate some of the pinch-points of language learning. Many are familiar with the ‘Intermediate Plateau’ where it can be hard to motivate yourself over the edge of being an intermediate learner and work on your advanced knowledge. But Olly’s video on “Language Mastery” is helpful in giving tips for pushing through to the next level.

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Cost and Payment Structures

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Full access to Japanese Uncovered costs US$472, which can be spread over four monthly payments of US$118. However, if you choose to pay for the whole course up front, you can save US$75 and only have to pay US$397.

You also get a risk free, 30-day money back guarantee, should you find the course doesn’t work for you.

Alternatives to Storylearning’s Japanese course


If you like the variety of activities of the Story Learning course, but don’t feel the story method works for you, then you might try Japanesepod101. JapanesePod101 is an online platform that offers comprehensive Japanese language learning resources for learners of all levels. It provides a variety of engaging lessons, audio podcasts, videos, and interactive materials to help users develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Japanese. The platform offers a vast library of lessons covering various topics, grammar points, vocabulary, and cultural insights. The lessons are presented in an accessible and engaging manner, allowing you to study at their own pace and according to their specific needs.

Pimsleur Japanese

If the variety of activities is overwhelming for you and you want to focus on oral proficiency and conversation skills, the Pimsleur Japanese app could be a good choice. The app offers a structured and systematic approach to language learning, utilizing audio lessons that guide users through a series of spoken exercises. Each lesson presents new vocabulary, phrases, and grammatical structures in a gradual and repetitive manner, allowing for effective language acquisition. Please note that the Pimsleur Japanese app is suitable for beginners and intermediate learners who want to focus on developing their conversational skills in Japanese. It is not currently suitable for advanced learners looking to progress their skills.


The StoryLearning Uncovered Japanese Course is a highly engaging, effective method for learning Japanese. While its price point is high compared to other platforms, the length and depth of the teaching (coupled with the contextualised teaching) makes it far cheaper than hiring a tutor for the same amount of time. The online group is also a nice feature, which gives you opportunities to practise your new language skills with other learners and make brand new friends from all around the world.

Check out other methods of learning and recommendations in our “How To Learn Japanese” article and “The 16 Best Online Japanese Courses“.

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