What if I already know some Japanese? Can I skip content?
The Phases of NativShark do not correspond with the levels of proficiency used by other educators.
Accordingly, even intermediate and advanced students can learn quite a lot from Phase One.
If you’ve already learned some Japanese elsewhere and are starting with NativShark, we strongly recommend starting right from the beginning, in Phase One.
Skimming through lessons and making lots of use of the “archive” button on flashcards whenever something is familiar (keyboard shortcut “a”) will allow you to fill in the gaps in your knowledge quickly.
Gaps in knowledge
NativShark doesn’t correspond to how other resources use “beginner”, “intermediate”, “advanced” and similar terms to those.
Many things that are used in Japanese extremely commonly can be, for whatever reason, reserved for advanced students. Or never taught at all which leaves us lost when we leave our study environment.
For example, in Phase One alone, you learn 90% of all common conjugations seen in the Japanese language.
Perhaps more importantly, you learn how to use Japanese in natural sentences which is unfortunately very different from how textbooks and many other resources teach you.
Most resources don’t even bother to tell you that they aren’t teaching you an entire side of Japanese- the side that is used in everyday life when talking to friends, family, coworkers, strangers you meet, the list goes on.
NativShark corrects this right from the start and fills in those gaps in your knowledge that you may not even realize you had.
Both Niko and I (Ty) have experienced this when going through Phase One ourselves, and we both passed the JLPT N1 years ago. (Niko passed the N1 in 2014, and I passed it in 2019). It helped us more naturally phrase things in appropriate contexts. And honestly, that’s one of the hardest skills out there for us Japanese learners.
Every NativShark Unit ends with a Dialogue. Dialogues are a culmination of everything you learned in the Units up to the point, and are meant to keep language you’ve learened in your head, and offer new natural contexts in which to use it in.
Here’s an example of the last Dialogue of Phase One:
And here’s the translation for it:
Definitely not the language you would expect to see in a beginner textbook. But this language is used in real life all the time, and that’s why we teach it early when a textbook may have saved it for an intermediate level.
If you’re not a beginner and are not sure if you want to invest the money before you start seeing the gaps in your knowledge being filled in, just send our support an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for an extended free trial.
Is there a “Skip Phase” button?
Not right now, no.
But in general, I would say that anyone N2 or under would find a ton of value in Phase One.
Anyone at N1 and above could potentially start in Phase Two, but when I started NativShark after having passed the N1, I still would tell my past self to just start from the beginning and be generous with the archive button.
Skimming past content you already know
Don't worry, we're not going to ask you to re-learn hiragana and katakana two years after you first learned them.
There is a button to skip kana learning right when they're first introduced.
What about all of the other content I know?
Well, you can just read (and/or skim) through lessons. New sentences will get added to your flashcard reviews, but there is an option to archive flashcards you don't need to study. You can also uncheck the toggle at the bottom of lessons to not add sentence cards to your decks.
Following this approach, you should be able to:
- Get some reminders of things you've learned.
- Not miss things you haven't learned, and
- Remove items you have no problem remembering from your flashcards.
Jumping from learning material to learning material can be exhausting.
A major reason we wanted to build NativShark in the first place is simply that it's too much work to always be keeping track of how you should be spending your precious study time, which resources you should use, etc.
That’s why with NativShark, all you have to do is log in and hit “Study Now.”