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Has anybody tried the Gold List method?

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 Message 33 of 222
18 March 2010 at 4:18pm | IP Logged 
patrickxb wrote:
I'm trying an experiment of combining the gold list method with the iverson method...I'll report back in a few weeks...

An interesting combination, I look forward to hearing how you're getting on further down the road.

I'm enjoying the free South Park in German by the way, and am considering something like "Phonothek Intensiv" after I've finished the Listening-Reading stage of my German study programme. Is it any good - how are you finding it so far?

Cheers for the links! :)

Edited by Teango on 18 March 2010 at 4:18pm

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 Message 34 of 222
18 March 2010 at 4:41pm | IP Logged 
Thanks! "Phonothek Intensiv" is's a little dull, but the recordings are good. I mainly use it for any
pronunciation that I feel I need work on, and it is very helpful. I should go through all of it methodically someday...
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 Message 35 of 222
18 March 2010 at 9:26pm | IP Logged 
I'm finding that writing down all 25 words takes a fair bit of time, especially since I
need to either select the words, or else write them down (I'm working with Japanese, so
kanji, hiragana, meaning and pitch [which isn't usually indicated]). By the time I'm
done, a big chunk of time has
passed. What
I've been doing is that when I'm done writing it all down, I set it aside for a few
minutes, and THEN I start a 15-20 minutes study period. Anyone in a similar situation?

Edited by Arekkusu on 18 March 2010 at 10:48pm

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 Message 36 of 222
19 March 2010 at 6:17am | IP Logged 
I've never tried any of the list techniques. But I will give it a shot sometime. For the time being however, I remain very skeptical of the true value of learning lists of isolated words.

In my experience, a word by itself is rather meaningless. The real challenge is to learn the word in context. The danger with learning just lists of words is that you end up with lots of words but without the knowledge of how to use them.

I don't want to revisit the debate about grammar vs vocabulary, but I do want to emphasize that many words have multiple usages and collocations. We know that the most common words have the most usages. So a simple word like "get" in English is really more like 30 or more different words masquerading under the same phonetic form.

So, rather than make lists as such, I find myself writing down entire phrases. This way I have something to say that uses the target word. Plus I can see multiple usages. Maybe we should be talking about phrase lists in addition to word lists?
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 Message 37 of 222
19 March 2010 at 6:30am | IP Logged 
I don't think vocab lists are, by any means, a complete "method" in themselves, so I try not to expect that from them. However, I think there can be great value gained from them. I think of vocab lists as one possible way to "bootstrap" yourself to get started in a language. By quickly browsing through a few hundred common words in a new language, you can easily get yourself ready to read actual native content in that language.

Once you can sit down and read through a book and understand even a small part of it, I think you're in an excellent position to continue learning the language really fast and really thoroughly. Vocab lists can be one way of getting yourself to that "starter" position, which is where you can quickly acquire a lot of further grammar and vocabulary knowledge and start learning all those different usages and collocations.

The trick is to not expect the list method at the start to teach you everything about every usage of a word. If you only learn the most basic usages, you are still further than you were before, and you are a step closer to reading real books or watching real movies.
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 Message 38 of 222
19 March 2010 at 9:12am | IP Logged 
I have been using the goldlist method for not quite a year now,for two languages.
Let me tell you that it works phenomenally for me!
No it is no "magic bullet" but it is,IMHO, the best vocabulary learning method I have ever seen.
Before I began,I will admit I had some reservations about it,but after thinking about it and deciding to give it a try,I soon discovered its legitimacy.
Long term memory is where anything one truly learns is at. Simply banging it in the brain for the short term memory,is less than "saving the word to the hard disc".
No I did not think of long term,short term and scientific jargon and the like before all this and I do not profess to understand how all that stuff works.
But I do know that it works FOR ME.
David aka uncle Davey,clearly states that he used the method for quite some time before sharing it it with others for the simple reason that he thought maybe it just worked well for him.After he saw that others tried it with positive results, he decided to give others the info about how to use the method.
He doesn't charge money nor does he seem to desire fame as it were. (it's not called the uncle Davey method).He just wanted to help others.
I for one am glad he did.
As simple as it is do try,I would advise that one should give it a go for a month or two. You may be very pleased that you did.
Happy learning to every body here on the forum.
I don't post much but I do read it everyday and have learned much from every contribution from the members here.
Best forum there is.

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 Message 39 of 222
19 March 2010 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
I agree with Doviende that the prime purpose of learning words from wordlists (of any kind) etc. at an early stage is to give you the vocabulary needed to access genuine texts and genuine speech as fast as possible. However you need to learn a fairly large number of words to be able to understand even a simple newspaper article, so the use shouldn't be limited to the newbie phase. Actually the effect of using wordlist methods is higher when you already have worked some time with a language. You will be accostumed to the sound scheme of the language, you will have a lot of other words to associate to (including derivations), and last but not least: you should have had some experience with actually using the language in the meantime.

patrickxb wrote:
I'm trying an experiment of combining the gold list method with the Iversen method. I'm skeptical as well that just writing a word down once would ever allow me to remember it two weeks later, but I think the activity of the Iversen method of memorizing a group of 5-7 words at a time and converting from
L2 to L1 to L2 could help.

Basically, the gold list method will provide a way to review the lists. I'm doing the Iversen method in groups of 5 since that makes it easy to do the first iteration of the gold list method of 25 words. I'm using the Teutonic word list from The Loom of Language for German. I'm including words I already know.

I'll report back in a few weeks...

From what I have read here about the goldlist method this combination sounds like a good idea. My method gives you a fairly heavy exposure to the words in the beginning, and then a 'repeated destillation process' like that of uncle Davey could make certain that the words stay in your longterm memory. Still, I have personally the experience that doing the first repetition round while you still can remember the original list (for instance one day later) is very important - on that point Uncle Davey and I clearly disagree.

ozeri wrote:
... (it's not called the uncle Davey method)....

Just to prevent myth building: I didn't attach my name to the three-column method - others did because it was simpler to refer to it that way. And the goldlist method has for me already been associated with the name 'Uncle Davey'.

Edited by Iversen on 21 December 2011 at 1:12pm

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 Message 40 of 222
19 March 2010 at 12:48pm | IP Logged 
It's been 2 days and I've made 2 lists so far.

Many of the words I wrote have been popping up in my mind every now and then. I suppose
the brain is still working on them. I probably already know 30% of them.

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