Recommended Tools: Rikaichan, KanjiBox, Keyhole TV, Wordchamp, Lang-8, The Mixxer, Quia, Quizlet
Stage 2 is intended for those who have studied Japanese for a decent amount of time or around two to three years of college classes. The majority of the websites are written in English, whereas the websites in Stage 3 will increasingly be written entirely in Japanese. Because of this, the Grammar resources are not much different from those in Stage 1, as the more advanced the grammar, the less websites there are available in languages other than Japanese. Vocabulary should be studied in context at this point (and so the Reading section is much more important here), rather than from lists of simple words, but websites with words that won't be found in textbooks are listed here. Kanji are more important to comprehend at this stage, and so there are more resources available for that category. A new section, Listening, is also introduced at this stage, as understanding naturally spoken Japanese is increasingly important at this point. Furthermore, JLPT reference websites are also available, and at this point, taking a lower level (such as N4) is most likely viable at this point.
* Sites that are introduced in Stage 2 but are not in Stage 1 are marked with an asterisk.
This website has many basic Japanese grammar lessons, which you can use to study on your own. Lessons are arranged in a textbook-like format for easy reference.
Concise and informative guide to Japanese grammar, with vocabulary lists and practice exercises to use with the lessons. PDF and ipod touch/iphone versions are also available for portable studying.
Visualizing Japanese Grammar is a website that uses animated flash videos to explain basic to intermediate Japanese grammar. This website is helpful to those who are studying without an instructor, but it may even be useful to those studying with an instructor, especially students who need more visual aids in their studies.
This website is meant for Japanese elementary and middle school children, so it contains a lot of vocabulary you may not find in textbooks written in English! The lists have pictures near their readings, so even without a dictionary you will probably be able to understand what the words in the lists mean.
Eijiro on the Web is ALC's dictionary tool that uses real newspaper or other articles to create a searchable database. Enter the word that you want to see in either English or Japanese in the bar at the top of the page. Note that conjugated verbs do not appear if you enter dictionary form verbs, so vary your search if you are unable to get any results.
With this website, you can practice your kanji while practicing your reading! Click on a kanji to read a short article about the kanji and what it means. At the bottom of each story is a vocabulary list that you can use to help read the article.
Pera Pera Penguin's lessons are mini-articles about various topics in Japanese. The articles themselves are written in English, so even if the grammar or concepts are high-level ones, intermediate students should still find the articles very fun to read.
Learn Japanese through fairytales! With this website, you can practice your reading skills by looking at these traditional Japanese stories and folktales. English translations of each story are available, as well, so you can check your comprehension of the Japanese tales. Use with Rikaichan is recommended.→ Students' Comments
♥ One good way to check your understanding is to write your own translation of a story, then see how it compares to the website's creator's translation (although keep in mind that the website's creator isn't a native English speaker so not everything will match, of course).
List of kanji radicals, with example kanji and explanations for shape, origin, etc. [site in Japanese]
Organized list of the Jouyou kanji, complete with example compounds and notes on special readings.
Kanji drilling applet, based off JLPT levels or Jouyou kanji. You can click the various parts within the applet to show/hide them, so that you can use the program like you would use flashcards.
Kanji radical identification game! Good for improving recognition of the various parts of kanji. To play, just select that kanji that has the radical at the top of the screen before time runs out.
Practice drills for the Kyōiku Kanji! Select a grade, then you can choose whether to practice reading (よみかた) or writing (かきかた).
Yamasa Online Japanese Dictionary. Includes great kanji stroke-order animations!
This website has a collection of videos that you can watch in order to practice your listening skills. Levels are from intermediate to expert, so you can try to challenge yourself with higher levels after finishing the intermediate ones.
Updated daily, on this page you can listen to the day's news in Japanese to practice your listening skills! In addition, you can first choose the speed that you'd like to hear the news spoken at (normal, slow, fast) to adapt to hearing spoken Japanese at various speeds. (Also available as a Podcast.)
Japanese study materials website. Includes many different flash quizzes to help improve your vocabulary, reading, and more!
Japanese Language Proficiency Test resource site. Includes kanji, grammar, and vocabulary resources!
Mock JLPT practice tests, in multiple-choice format for easy scoring and evaluation.
Meguro Language Center’s free online Japanese resources. This website also has a level checking page where you can get an estimate of your JLPT level!