Your second study day
Welcome back to your second study day!
Whether you continued on with a few more Units, or ended in the same place we did, great job yesterday.
Before we get started.
Some things to note about NativShark:
NativShark is a mastery-based system.
This means that the system will match your pace. You can continue on until you hit your Review Threshold, which is found on your “My Journey” page.
You’ll see “Tomorrow’s Reviews” set to a certain number.
If the number on the left is green, then you can continue progressing and getting new Japanese into your brain. You can stop anywhere between now and until it fills up all the way:
If it’s red, that means you’re going to have a good amount of reviews tomorrow, so it’s a good idea to stop progressing so you don’t overwhelm yourself tomorrow.
There will also be a message saying you’ve hit your threshold:
Please be aware that you do not have to keep learning until you hit the cap. It’s just there to help you from getting overwhelmed by a ton of reviews on a single day.
You can decide to:
- Take a day doing only reviews
- Do a single new Unit
- Do any number of new Units up until you hit the Review Threshold.
And all of these are great options depending on what your day looks like. Many students find themselves doing review-only days or just a single Unit on most days.
What if I have extra time and want to keep studying today?
There are two answers depending on where you are in your studies.
First, if you find that the Review Threshold is currently too low and you have the consistent time every day to spend learning more Japanese, you can adjust your Review Threshold by hitting “Adjust Threshold”:
We’ll then see this screen:
For beginners and anyone who doesn’t want to go crazy reviewing, or just doesn’t have a ton of time to commit everyday to studying, we recommend going with the Relaxed setting, which sets the Review Threshold to 50 cards.
This means if tomorrow you’ll be reviewing 50 cards or more, the system will stop you from doing more Units today.
If you have lots of time you can and want to dedicate to studying on a daily basis, then feel free to adjust that or set your own custom threshold.
Keep in mind: you should only be doing this if you can spend that much time the next day reviewing the extra flashcards as well, or are okay with a review-only day the next day.
We recommend not adjusting this too much once you’ve found a pace that works for you.
Second, if you’re further along in the system (starting at about halfway through Phase One), you should start trying out native materials when you have random extra study time on a given day once you hit the Review Threshold, instead of temporarily increasing it and piling up too many reviews for you to handle the next day.
Native materials will be talked about in depth later, but basically just go find a book you’re interested in reading, a game you want to play, or a movie or anime you want to watch and just absorb some Japanese from it. You don’t have to worry about understanding everything, just getting a few words here and there is plenty.
If you want a recommendation from other students that can also be based on where you are in the system, come ask in the NativShark Community.
Time to press Study Now.
Note that while your reviews may not look the same as this guide today, we should be seeing some number of reviews if we completed a Unit yesterday and did not archive everything.
Like yesterday, you can see a kind of forecast of what’s coming up in your studies today on the “My Journey” page.
That said, you don’t have to worry about what your reviews or forecast should look like.
NativShark is designed so that you don’t have to think about what to review or what to study — it will just show up in your stuff to do when you press the “Study Now” button.
So let’s hit it and get more Japanese in our brains:
When we do so, we’ll be greeted by lovely Overlay-chan.
She’ll give us some info. Here it is in images for reference:
Once we click show answer (or the space bar on desktop), we’ll see:
Before we go too far into our reviews…
A very important note:
Reviews are very helpful for solidifying knowledge, but they are not the end-all-be-all of Japanese learning.
At the start, it’s completely understandable to take a good amount of time going through them. But keep in mind that you should be aiming to get these completed on the faster side.
Don’t stress about perfectly memorizing every single word.
If you do, it can likely lead to burnout, and you not reaching your goals.
And we’re here to help you make sure this doesn’t happen.
So if the card even feels slightly familiar to you, feel free to hit at least the middle face. If it feels mostly familiar or completely familiar, hit the smiley face on the right.
If it feels like you’ve never seen this card in your entire life, then maybe consider hitting the crying face on the left, but do keep in mind that everything important to you learning Japanese will be seen again.
So there’s no need to hit the cry face too much.
It’s likely better to hit the middle neutral face and keep progressing in your studies, and doing native materials instead of hitting the crying face and spending more time stressed in your flashcards, not enjoying the reasons you began studying in the first place.
After we complete our reviews, we’ll be back on our main page.
On any day, you could always call it here because completing reviews is a victory. It helps adds to your study consistency and cements the Japanese you’ve been learning recently firmly into your brain.
But if you’ve still got time and even just a bit of brain power left (you don’t always need a lot. Consistency is key!), then feel free to keep going.
Since it’s our second study day and for the purpose of this guide, let’s keep progressing.
To do so, we’ll have to click the “Start Unit” button, which has transformed from the “Study Now” button:
Into the new Unit
In this case, the first thing we have to do is learn more kana (you can press “skip this set” if you’re familiar with it already):
The kana introduced today have some interesting ways to make new sounds, but I’ll let the lesson explain that.
Once our set is finished, we move onto our lesson:
This lesson covers some more travel phrases and begins to introduce kanji.
Don’t feel like a failure if you have trouble memorizing the kanji. Odds are there isn’t anything really similar to them in your native language, so it’s natural to feel a bit intimidated by them.
You will learn to recognize them with time and exposure, just by going through NativShark.
You DON’T have to learn how to write them. And if they just look even vaguely familiar then you’re learning so just trust the process and keep progressing in your studies^^
We’ll talk about kanji more in depth in the next guide, so let’s just keep moving for now and check out the notification:
And in our third Unit, we’ll get another dialogue:
Once we wrap up our dialogue, we can hit “Next” in the top right and decide to wrap up our studies for the day, continue progressing until we hit our Review Threshold, or anything in between.
Let’s reconvene tomorrow with our guide on how to handle the next study days.