Can I study new material while in avalanche recovery mode?
Yes, you can still study while recovering from an avalanche, but it does take some configuration.
If you haven’t studied in a while, then your flashcards have probably built up and caused what we call an “avalanche”.
Using the avalanche recovery option can be helpful to create a manageable amount of reviews to do per day.
That said, depending on how long your break was and how much you may have forgotten, it can also be demotivating looking at everything you used to know and now struggling to remember it.
Why study new things while recovering?
In cases like the above, it can often be very helpful to simply keep progressing and slowly remember things naturally as you go, and do focused reviews on the side while continuing to make progress.
This is because making progress feels more rewarding, and trying to remember something you know you’ve forgotten often feels demotivating. Not to mention how learning a wide variety of Japanese at a somewhat shaky level is much more helpful than memorizing a small set of things really well.
This is covered in further detail in this help article, which we highly recommend reading if you’re considering resetting and starting from 0.
How do I study while avalanched?
After setting the amount of cards you want per day in your avalanche, all you need to do is configure your review threshold to be above the number of cards you set on your avalanche.
You can learn how to configure your review threshold here.
Of course, if you study a lot of new material, you’ll have a lot of cards to review so do be careful when setting this, and make sure you have time to go through everything on a regular schedule.
Another option is to choose to not avalanche your cards, and just spam the “smiley face” button (spacebar on desktop) through your reviews, paying only half-attention.
This is not only an acceptable, but helpful, thing to do because you will be seeing all of the language again in the future, so you don’t have to worry about memorizing everything perfectly.
In fact, we would recommend going very fast through your reviews that are piled up whether you use the avalanche feature or not, especially in cases like this.