Is StoryLearning Legit?

Can Olly Richard’s “StoryLearning” online courses like Japanese Uncovered actually teach you a language?


Photo by Sofia Monteiro on Unsplash

What Is StoryLearning?

Olly Richards is a popular YouTube polyglot who created a series of online courses for learning languages called StoryLearning. Japanese Uncovered is, of course, his set of online courses to teach you Japanese.

He’s also got courses for other languages like Spanish, German, French, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Turkish (more about them near the end).

Now, his StoryLearning approach is not just a book—it’s an entire methodolgy to help you internalize vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and culture (!) using the power of narrative.

Here’s how it works: each chapter of the short story is read aloud by a native speaker, and then there are video lessons explaining the vocab, grammar, pronunciation, and culture.

That way, you get immersed into the language without feeling lost and can learn at your own pace through an interesting narrative.

Screenshot via the author

Recently, Olly and his team split his first course for Japanese into two levels: Beginner and Pre-Intermediate. I’ve completed the Beginner level and have started the next course, Japanese Uncovered Level 2.

Course Split

Before I get into the highs and lows of the course, you might be thinking…why did they split up the course? Is it just to make more money? I don’t think so, and here’s why:

Since I bought the course before the split, I was grandfathered in. It was more than a split — it was an upgrade in content.