This guide is intended to supplement to formal classes by introducing streaming media, youtube channels, and other audio-visual resources that will help you to maintain your listening skills and have a good time.
NHK has created a specially curated website of news broadcasts that is a game changer for Japanese language learners. I feel like NHK News Web Easy is so valuable on so many levels. You feel the need for furigana to remind you of how to read kanji, it is there. Feel like furigana is a crutch? Turn it off. Listen while you read, just listen, just read - you can choose what is right for you. The built-in dictionary feature lets you learn words in Japanese and without going to a JE translator.
Feel like you have conquered the segment? Click on the link to 普通のニュースを読む and read it the way it was presented originally. The Japanese news can feel overwhelming, but the scaffolding offered by NHK News Web Easy is brilliant and effective.
When I lived in Japan, I loved watching the NHK educational channel and I am happy to see a number of great programs available on the Internet. They can sometimes be tricky to find, so I will list a few of my favorites. Please note that the programs are aimed at different school levels in Japan, even though the books they are introducing might be the same.
This program is listed for younger children, but as someone who loves storytelling and folk tales, I have seen most of them. Each story is about 10 minutes, and you can read along with the story outline.
Interested in dipping into classical literature? This is a nice way to get a feel for it. Again, each segment is 10 minutes. Aimed at upper elementary students (so juniors/seniors for Japanese language learners).
This program is great for people who are interested in linguistics and dialects. Since we can't travel at the moment, this is one way to get a feel for how people speak in different parts of the country.
Excerpts and background information about some of best known Japanese literature from the modern period. Aimed at Japanese middle/high school students, so a good challenge for Japanese language learners.