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Has anybody tried the Gold List method?

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LangOfChildren
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 Message 145 of 222
02 November 2010 at 12:46am | IP Logged 
Huliganov wrote:


If you can only delete outright 10% not 30%, you can also use combination to reduce the lines on the next distillation. This act of combining words is also a natural way of remembering them to the LT memory.


That's what I meant by "fusion". Sry for not being precise. What I meant to say was, that combining words in a meaningful way requires some grammatical knowledge. For example, I found that just turning two seperate nouns into one single compound didn't really help. So I think one needs to know more interesting ways to construct combinations.
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mrwarper
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 Message 146 of 222
02 November 2010 at 5:19am | IP Logged 
Actually, I can see nothing counter-scientific or even counter-intuitive with the golden list method, in qualitative terms.

Please correct me if you see I didn't get this right:
-You make lists of things (words) you want to memorize.
-You go trough them without really trying hard, hoping that some will stick and knowing that some won't.
-Some time later, you check yourself and discard the things that stuck.
-Merge lists when/if they become too short.
-Do another (light) pass on the remaining things: the ones that didn't stick.
-Repeat the process.

To me it is very like the spaced repetition method, only without rescaling the time intervals between passes. With long enough intervals to ensure long term memory you're already weeding out what sticks to your memory and keep working on what doesn't stick so easily until it finally does at some point.

Obviously the length of lists and time interval between passes would need to be adjusted to every individual, since we're all different within margins.

So, almost by definition, this method is probably way less effective than other memory techniques in the short term (you learn less words), much more efficient in terms of effort (you don't waste efforts on things that somehow stuck already), and less stressful anyway (which is always a plus). It basically boils down to how good you are at memorizing things without trying hard or, just in general.

It is interesting and I'll definitely try it out before writing my own book about learning languages.

We can go through greater lengths analyzing how memory does or does not work but I think that would belong in a new thread.

Edit: style.

Edited by mrwarper on 02 November 2010 at 5:22am

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Huliganov
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 Message 147 of 222
02 November 2010 at 7:23pm | IP Logged 
mrwarper wrote:
Actually, I can see nothing counter-scientific or even counter-intuitive with the golden list method, in qualitative terms.

Please correct me if you see I didn't get this right:
-You make lists of things (words) you want to memorize.
-You go trough them without really trying hard, hoping that some will stick and knowing that some won't.
-Some time later, you check yourself and discard the things that stuck.
-Merge lists when/if they become too short.
-Do another (light) pass on the remaining things: the ones that didn't stick.
-Repeat the process.

To me it is very like the spaced repetition method, only without rescaling the time intervals between passes. With long enough intervals to ensure long term memory you're already weeding out what sticks to your memory and keep working on what doesn't stick so easily until it finally does at some point.

Obviously the length of lists and time interval between passes would need to be adjusted to every individual, since we're all different within margins.

So, almost by definition, this method is probably way less effective than other memory techniques in the short term (you learn less words), much more efficient in terms of effort (you don't waste efforts on things that somehow stuck already), and less stressful anyway (which is always a plus). It basically boils down to how good you are at memorizing things without trying hard or, just in general.

It is interesting and I'll definitely try it out before writing my own book about learning languages.

We can go through greater lengths analyzing how memory does or does not work but I think that would belong in a new thread.

Edit: style.


I think you basically got the main features of it, there. It really is a manually written staged repetition system that first gets the learner to turn his course into short line items, which could be words (together with the grammar which attached specifically to them, ie, the bits that aren't obvious from the regular paradigms) as well as the regular paradigms and typical sentences and phrases.

The compaction, or fusion as it has been called in this discussion is an additional aid to distillation, and by using a simple easily obtainable item like an A5 lined book with 40 lines in it, and keeping separate counted lists in the top left, top right, bottom right and bottom left respectively, and then going to the next books once these are done, as well as by not coming back to the words sooner than 2 weeks (which means remembering to note when it's a new day), I believe that the process of language learning as far as writing and reading applications are concerned - and really only thinking of the alphabetic languages as I'm still working on a way to do hanzi with it - the system should be an optimal help to many learners.

If someone wants to go ahead and do a Pimsleur or a MT at the same time then these methods may be effective but they do not enable the person to know how the language is written, and it's important for many of us to be able to visualise the written word. Personally, I can often see with my mind's eye the words I am saying as I say them, or I get little subtitles to read in my inner eye when people speak, and they don't happen if I cannot spell the language. In order to get the full effect I can't rely on these audio-only methods.


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Huliganov
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 Message 148 of 222
03 November 2010 at 12:28pm | IP Logged 
plaidchuck wrote:
I'm trying this method as well for Spanish. I started on the 28th of September and I'm up to about 550 words. I'm mostly using words I didn't know from a book I'm reading, and sometimes I make a 25 word list of idioms and other vocab from videos/movies/assimil/etc. I usually do about 3 lists or so a day, depending on time I have to kill. Writing the list does take a bit of time, usually about 30 minutes, so sometimes I'll actually write half of the list and come back later and finish it.. so as a disclaimer that may skew my results somewhat in one direction or the other.

Either way the 14 days will be up for the first day of lists this week, and the question will be how soon do I check them and the subsequent days of lists...


I've been thinking more about your case, and one useful thing if you prefer to work more slowly would be to reduce the headlist words per double page down to 20 from 25. In this way in many books it is also possible to get 6 rather than four iterations in, working round clockwise from the top left of the double page.

For some people this may be more effective and I may start it myself for my next language to see how it goes.

It is not good to work on language without any break for more than 20 or 25 minutes for the purposes of long-term memorisation. The long-term memory is subconscious, so therefore we don't feel when it gets tired or reduces its sampling rate. It's part of the discipline to do a certain portion, go away and forget about it, then come back. For some people it could be fit in around mealtimes, with one session before and after every meal.

For short term memorisation, such as before an exam, or for the pirposes of activation, you don't need to observe such strictly short study times. In these cases you have short-term mode switched on and will feel yourself get tired.


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plaidchuck
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 Message 149 of 222
07 November 2010 at 5:54pm | IP Logged 
Huliganov wrote:


I've been thinking more about your case, and one useful thing if you prefer to work more slowly would be to reduce the headlist words per double page down to 20 from 25. In this way in many books it is also possible to get 6 rather than four iterations in, working round clockwise from the top left of the double page.



Hello there,

Thank you very much for the suggestions. I do think shortening the first list down to 20 will be a little more manageable time-wise for myself and perhaps others. I think I will try this with my next few lists and see what happens. Not that I've had bad results with 25 word lists, but sometimes I do find myself wondering "would I REALLY be able to recognize these 7-8 words I am discarding?" Other than that though, so far so good.
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Cainntear
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 Message 150 of 222
07 November 2010 at 8:48pm | IP Logged 
Huliganov wrote:

If someone wants to go ahead and do a Pimsleur or a MT at the same time then these methods may be effective but they do not enable the person to know how the language is written, and it's important for many of us to be able to visualise the written word. Personally, I can often see with my mind's eye the words I am saying as I say them, or I get little subtitles to read in my inner eye when people speak, and they don't happen if I cannot spell the language. In order to get the full effect I can't rely on these audio-only methods.

I've personally found that the majority of people who say they need to see the written word have very poor pronunciation. This doesn't go for a polyglot though, because after you've learned a couple of languages, you lose the tendency to think in terms of inflexible letter/sound correspondences.

So while many of us come to the conclusion at a later stage in our learning that written words help, we ignore the fact that we couldn't have learned well that way when we started. It's important to distinguish between skills we've developed through our learning and strategies that absolute beginners can employ.
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Huliganov
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 Message 151 of 222
27 November 2010 at 7:16pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
Huliganov wrote:

If someone wants to go ahead and do a Pimsleur or a MT at the same time then these methods may be effective but they do not enable the person to know how the language is written, and it's important for many of us to be able to visualise the written word. Personally, I can often see with my mind's eye the words I am saying as I say them, or I get little subtitles to read in my inner eye when people speak, and they don't happen if I cannot spell the language. In order to get the full effect I can't rely on these audio-only methods.

I've personally found that the majority of people who say they need to see the written word have very poor pronunciation. This doesn't go for a polyglot though, because after you've learned a couple of languages, you lose the tendency to think in terms of inflexible letter/sound correspondences.

So while many of us come to the conclusion at a later stage in our learning that written words help, we ignore the fact that we couldn't have learned well that way when we started. It's important to distinguish between skills we've developed through our learning and strategies that absolute beginners can employ.


I think I probably agree that accent is something which will not necessarily come optimally with mainly writing based study approaches.

Personally I don't have an issue with accents as I've always been a reasonable mimic. I don't on the other hand find perfect reproduction of sounds a particularly high level linguistic skill. On the one hand you have to be decipherable, so wrong stress in Russian, wrong tones in Mandarin or too many whiskies in Lowland Scots can cause miscommunication, not to mention the occasional punch-up. On the other hand a good command of grammar, a ready recall of the regular grammar paradigms and examples of syntax, backed up with a good vocabulary of words and phrases linked to any exceptions to regular rules which may attend them is far more important to get any kind of advanced utility.

These days (if I may be forgiven a "these days" - there are those that say that only the desperately sad use that phrase, but I'm sure it must have a role somewhere...) people read as much as they hear, and some people even write as much as they speak. Or more. A person doesn't have an accent if they write correctly. A person doesn't have an accent, neither do they need to have tongue-tip level activation when they read a menu with anything but the target language and service charge excluded, or when they want to catch up with the news and ask the taxi driver on the hour to bump up the volume as he's driving them around some remote town.

Having a nice accent may add a certain 'je ne sais quaaaah' when polyglots succumb to temptation and do the performing seal bit on YouTube, with videos containing little more than "listen to me regurgitate some boring spiel in 15 languages" - which I've tried until now to avoid doing, but it's not really the be all and end all, and I don't think it reduces the usefulness of the way I do it.

That having been said there's no harm in doing a MT and/or Pimsleur at the start and then, when that inevitably comes to an end and you have to start the nitty gritty, that's a good time to open a new big fat notebook and get goldlisting!



Edited by Huliganov on 27 November 2010 at 7:18pm

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Huliganov
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 Message 152 of 222
27 November 2010 at 7:20pm | IP Logged 
plaidchuck wrote:
Huliganov wrote:


I've been thinking more about your case, and one useful thing if you prefer to work more slowly would be to reduce the headlist words per double page down to 20 from 25. In this way in many books it is also possible to get 6 rather than four iterations in, working round clockwise from the top left of the double page.



Hello there,

Thank you very much for the suggestions. I do think shortening the first list down to 20 will be a little more manageable time-wise for myself and perhaps others. I think I will try this with my next few lists and see what happens. Not that I've had bad results with 25 word lists, but sometimes I do find myself wondering "would I REALLY be able to recognize these 7-8 words I am discarding?" Other than that though, so far so good.


I will try the same suggestions myself on the next time I start a goldlist. I'm glad you got some mileage from my ideas.


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