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Has anybody tried the Gold List method?

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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Pyx
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China
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 Message 1 of 222
15 March 2010 at 9:50am | IP Logged 
In one of the recent posts I saw a reference to the
Gold List system. I just watched
the videos and am intrigued. Has anybody here tried it out for him/herself? I saw it
being mentioned here and there after searching for it on the forum, but has anybody
here actually tried it? Is that a fact with the 30%, and does the system therefore really
work? How does it compare to Iversen's word lists?
Thanks!

Edited by Pyx on 15 March 2010 at 9:51am

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Woodpecker
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 Message 2 of 222
15 March 2010 at 11:56am | IP Logged 
Well, what I could understand of that was very interesting, but I have to admit, that was a fairly disjointed presentation. I have no idea what he actually does with the words when first starting and then distilling the list. Write them out once and read aloud, then see what you remember two weeks later? That seems pretty absurd. And are you supposed to remember from the teaching language or the learning language? Also, I can't find the spreadsheet he keeps referring to anywhere.

If what he's saying is true, that would be a very useful method. By my math, you could learn 10,000 words in 8 months if you spent an hour or so a day on vocabulary. I would definitely give it a go with a list a day for a while if it was explained better, but I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to do.
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Pyx
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 Message 3 of 222
15 March 2010 at 12:10pm | IP Logged 
Yeah, just write them and read them out, and two weeks later you'll remember around 30%. Then you make another list with the words you didn't remember, and then you'll remember another 30 % of those, and so on. His presentation skills definitely need improvement, but from the 3 videos you can piece together how the method is supposed to work. In the description of one of the videos it says that the excel sheet link doesn't work anymore, but since you see it in the videos anyway, it's not needed.
Also, my math seems to work slightly different than your math - according to mine you'll get around 8000 words per year, at 25 words per day. Still not bad! ;)

It does sound quite preposterous: 'do nothing and still retain 30% of the material'. On the other hand, this might explain how I learnt English :)
I don't know, that's why I was asking if anybody tried it. I guess I'll give it a try for a month or two and see how it goes..
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Woodpecker
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 Message 4 of 222
15 March 2010 at 12:39pm | IP Logged 
Hmm, that's about what I gleaned from it too, so I suppose that's good enough to give it a try. I have a big thematic lexicon I've been wanting to play around with for Arabic, and I think that would be about perfect for this sort of thing. I'm still not completely sure what I use as the prompt when checking to see how many words I remember though. Am I trying to remember the English translation, or produce the new words from the English?

Nerdy aside:
Here's my math. I'm assuming 1 hour a day is 3 lists, or 75 words. At that rate, all words will be in play after 4.5 months (4.5 months * 30 days/month = 135 days, 135 days * 75 words/day = 10,125 words), and assuming 7 * 15 days, or 3.5 months, to completely finish the last words added at the end of that 4 month period, you end up with 10,125 words in exactly 8 months. Obviously in the middle section, when one is both still adding new words each day and distilling older lists, more time will be required. Likewise, towards the end, when no words are being added, and only distillations have to be taken care of, less time is required. In effect, though, it averages to an hour a day, and at that rate you get 10,000 in 8 months. However, according to the comments on the videos, most people are most successful if they do 1000-2000 words in a block and finish them off completely before starting a new block, so this is all kind of irrelevant.

Well, I guess I'm curious enough to try it. Does anyone want to make a forum experiment out of it?
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Pyx
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 Message 5 of 222
15 March 2010 at 12:55pm | IP Logged 
If you look closely, you'll see that the first column consists of the L2 word, he also talks about it being useless to cover the right half, and about activation in-country, which leads me to believe that you just 'passively' prompt yourself on the L2 word and see if it makes sense to you.

If you're interested in my math:
It takes the initial 14 days + 2 rounds a 14 days plus a last writing-downn to mark a 25 words list as 'learned' (at least in my purified math theory). Therefore a total of 14*3 = 42 days. The year has 365 days, subtract the 42 days (so that we'll only talk about "really learned" words), that makes 313 days. 313 days times 25 words per day (plus a maximum of 3 additional wordlists with 30% less words each), gives you 7825 learned words in a year. Depending on how you treat 'half-baked' words, you may increase this figure.

I'll make a private experiment out of this, unless somebody chimes in and tells me all the good reasons why that won't work :)
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Teango
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 Message 6 of 222
15 March 2010 at 1:04pm | IP Logged 
An interesting idea, I remember reading about this quite a while back on Uncle Davey's blog. It looks like Uncle D's made even more success of it since too :) I felt very tempted to try it out myself a couple of years ago but never actually got round to doing it, more's the pity. As his videos are quite long and meandering, here's a brief summary of the gold list technique to get straight to the main method.

I also remember that he or someone else using the method had a basic website with lots of photos of the different stages of the "vocabulary distilling" process, and the technique was laid out in much more systematic detail. If I recall correctly, he would use a big notebook and divide it into 4 sections for each new review (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right - successive distillations of the original list reducing in size each time). After doing this for several days, he'd start a new page, and add the remaining problem words to a new word list.

There may have also been some experimentation with spaced repetition (e.g. 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, etc) and incorporating far more reviews than just the 3 or 4 we see recommended in the link, both sides of each page eventually being filled up for each new list. If I find this other link again, I'll be sure to post it up here.


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Arekkusu
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 Message 7 of 222
15 March 2010 at 3:23pm | IP Logged 
I never learned a language by studying word lists (and I've studied a dozen), so I'm enclined to agree that much of our learning is done passively.

In fact, whenever I can't just remember a word on the spot, I assume that if it's important enough, it'll pop up again and that over time, I will remember it. And it's worked for me so far.
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Pyx
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Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 8 of 222
15 March 2010 at 3:48pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
I never learned a language by studying word lists (and I've studied a dozen), so I'm enclined to agree that much of our learning is done passively.

In fact, whenever I can't just remember a word on the spot, I assume that if it's important enough, it'll pop up again and that over time, I will remember it. And it's worked for me so far.

That worked for me for English too, but I'm having a hard time with Mandarin. How's your experience with Japanese there?



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