June 2, 2022
August 20, 2020

NativShark Methodology

How does the NativShark teaching method work?

What drives our decisions to build the platform in the way that we do? Why did we think that it was necessary to build such a platform in the first place?

Effective learning methods

Effective learning depends on three factors:

  • Content — What you study
  • Approach — How you study
  • Consistency — How much you study

If you misstep with any of these three factors, the likelihood that you will achieve your learning goals drops dramatically.

Let's start at the last one and work our way backward.

Consistency — How much you study

The primary reason anyone fails to learn anything is that they stop learning it. The reason they stop learning may be highly variable.

The higher the volume of content you're trying to learn, the bigger this problem becomes. If you're trying to learn something that only takes 10-20 hours of studying, consistency isn't all that important. You could plow through study materials in mere days or weeks.

This doesn't work when you're learning something that requires hundreds or thousands of hours of study time. A great example of this is Japanese. You can accumulate 100+ hours of frenzied studies in your first month and still fail to reach your proficiency goals because you burn out, can't keep up with your reviews, or just start feeling generally overwhelmed — exactly what happened to our founders.

Learning a language — especially one that greatly differs from your native tongue — is a marathon, not a sprint. And you can't run a marathon unless you pace yourself.

The challenge, then, becomes this:

How do you make it simple to show up and progress in your learning consistently?

This is very difficult to do on your own. You have to think about which resources you should use in general, which ones you should use at this moment, the way you should be using them, what you should be learning, what you should learn next. After thinking about all of that, you have to actually go and do all that stuff. And depending on the resource, the activities necessary for learning progress might require so much effort that doing them consistently day after day starts to feel like an impossible chore.

But what if you didn't have to think about how to learn? And what if the learning process didn't involve juggling a bunch of resources? What if you just showed up, clicked a button, and then learned whatever it was best for you to learn at that moment?

If such a thing were possible, that precious 30 minutes to an hour that you have available to learn each day could actually be spent learning.

This is what we want to provide with NativShark, and this focus on encouraging consistency informs the majority of our design decisions.

  1. You tell us what your goal is.
  2. We give you a button to click each day.
  3. You reach your goal.

It's like having a professional running coach right there alongside you for the duration of the marathon. You don't have to think about how fast you're running each minute. You don't even have to pick out the right running shoes. You just put one foot after the other. And if you feel like you're getting too tired or going too slowly, you tell the coach, and they adjust your pace if it's the right thing to do for your particular circumstances.

What happens when life isn't consistent, though?

This is a reality that must be addressed. There are some days where you will have the time and energy to learn more than normal. And there are some days where you'll only have the bandwidth to do the bare minimum. Every now and then, there will even be days that you can't show up at all.

Accordingly, we've designed the platform so that:

  • There is always more to learn — without messing up your consistency
  • You can have days where you do less — without losing your progress
  • Missing the occasional day is not the end of the world

Friction is the enemy of consistency

At NativShark, we very carefully divide what we call Core Path study materials from Non-Core Path study materials.

To qualify to show up in the Core Path, a study material or activity must fulfill two requirements:

  1. It is crucial to reaching one's learning goals.
  2. It is not a hassle to complete.

Cultivate Desire

Removing friction alone is note quite enough though. One must also cultivate desire. The want to do the thing, to succeed. That said, desire doesn't always come before you start. Sometimes you might just be a little bit curious about something but the more you learn, the more you enjoy what you're learning. This is the "desire cultivation" loop and is crucial to you long term success in what you study.


TO NIKO: this is ref on that idea --> 1:03:24


And also this tweet from Wes:


And i had a tweet on it as well:



Content — What you study

What you study

A base assumption of NativShark is that you are capable. By being a human you have the capacity to learn. We believe in you. We believe you are intelligent and you can do this. You can learn the thing.

The most important thing is sticking to a proven method over a long period of time. High proficiency doesn't come quick, and it doesn't come easy. But it will come. The most important part is not giving up.

What research influences the NativShark Methodology? Is there any science in it?

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