It's been a long time since I posted... Oops...
School has been unbelievable recently since I'm in my last year everything just piled up T_T
This post will be dedicated to my journey in learning Japanese before going on exchange and I hope this will help you!
Here's a video if you don't like to read and please don't mind my hair...
I started learning Japanese in grade 7 and continued until grade 10. It was a good four years of in class learning in my life. I went to two different Japanese schools for two years each. The first one was during Saturday mornings from 9 to 12. This is where i began to learn Japanese in a classroom as I pretty much self studied it before this.
In that school, a lot of students were Canadians wanting to learn Japanese as a second or third language out of interest and it does go up to a pretty high level. We used GENKI I as the textbook for the first year to start us off with the basic reading and writing skills along with fundamental conversational skills. It also teaches you Kanji! I think this is a pretty good book since it has both English and Japanese text which is much easier to understand. I think it works best in class though only because there would be a teacher to help you out when you have questions. It explains a lot of the easier grammar rules in the language in English but I find it a bit confusing sometimes. My second year there, we were using GENKI II which is essentially the part2 in the GENKI series, with slightly harder grammar and Kanji.
The second school I went to was organized by our school board to encourage international language learning. It's free but if you don't have the textbook, you need to borrow one which needs a 60$ deposit. It counted as a school mark and credit so it was more serious. Many of my classmates were either Japanese or half Japanese because they would get a free mark booster through the course. It went by school grade opposed to levels so I was put in the beginner class for the first few weeks but I soon begged my way out to the grade 11 level. They started to use GENKI II in that level while I was already halfway through so it was still very easy for me. The next year, they tried to finish the book and at this point you should be at a certain level of fluent in the language. Again, this depends on the person since we all learn differently.
I find I learned most of the useful conversational stuff by watching animes, dramas and TV shows in Japanese. That's just how I learn, I imitate what I hear and see.
I hope this post was somewhat helpful to you. If you have any further questions please leave it down below or you can contact me by...