We have standardized the basic pattern for each practice meetup:
-Start by listening to a Japanese pod 101 conversation while trying to understand and follow in real time. Then group discussion of conversation with the translation from Japanese-pod 101.
-We then learn and discuss 1 grammar topic. This will be a concise, but complete topic such as conditionals, making demands, making requests, hypotheticals, etc.
-Next we learn 5 new Kanji including Onyomi, Kunyomi, most associated verbs, and some nouns and adjectives associated with each character. These are the things each person will be responsible for learning by the next meetup. We then quiz each other on last weeks material. This accountability to one another ensures we stay motivated as well as building a common vocabulary for our conversations.
-Finally, we have some conversation with each contributing at whatever level with which they are comfortable. No worries at all if you cant participate. We'll all bring each other along.
This is our general method for now, but this isn't written in stone. This group has no leader, so anyone can suggest anything at anytime for the betterment of our studies.