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Strategy: Learn 600 words a week.

 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5460 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 41 of 167
06 October 2007 at 4:24am | IP Logged 
M. Medialis wrote:
Leosmith: That little revised method of yours, have you tried it yourself? How can you know that reviewing more than twice a day is a waste of time?

Yes, but with fewer cards (40 is the most I've done in a day). I've found that 1 rep per day gives me 60-70% recall on day 2. 2 reps, if spaced several hours apart and not done too close to bedtime, gives me 90-100%. 3 or more makes no improvement over 2. I encourage anyone to try this themselves with 10 or more cards - it's a quick check to see if you can eliminate a ton of unnecessary reviews.

If you don't care about getting a low percentage on the 2nd day, then 1 rep is actually the most efficient. That's what all the spaced rep. flashcard programs that I know about use. I just hate the feeling that I get when I only recall 60% on the 2nd day. I usually do 2 reps on the first day, 2 on the 2nd, then drop down to 1.

M. Medialis wrote:
BTW, I personally can't stand learning vocab from a computer screen. I have a hard time concentrating.

Me neither. I'd rather do all my learning away from the stupid computer. But I'm addicted to supermemo and here's why. It manages huge numbers of flashcards down to a gnats ass, something that would take more hours than there are in a day with paper. It only makes me do the bare minimum of what is necessary in order to maintain 90% recollection.

These days I've made a compromise, and learn words in paper lists, review them for 4 days, then dump them into supermemo. This keeps the intense "learning" period off the computer, and the supermemo session to a minimum. Essentially I use supermemo as manager of my long term memory.

Edited by leosmith on 06 October 2007 at 10:49am

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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5460 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 42 of 167
06 October 2007 at 4:40am | IP Logged 
xtremelingo wrote:

I would recommend review as much as possible, there's really no limit to review.

So 24 hours of review is better than 1, even if you already know the material after 1? Nice bit of advice, professor.

xtremelingo wrote:

Yes it is important to combine decks.

A sample size of 10 is plenty big enough. I never used to believe this until a certain vocabulary guru on this forum showed me the light.

Edited by leosmith on 06 October 2007 at 10:41am

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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5460 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 43 of 167
06 October 2007 at 5:12am | IP Logged 
xtremelingo wrote:

I clearly spelled out in the very first paragraph of this thread, that it requires inital preparation.

After reading your first paragraph, I came away thinking that you can learn 100 words per day in 30-60 min. Add some numbers for card preparation and review, and you'll have a legitimate estimate; anything else is misleading.

xtremelingo wrote:

For many of us, that have stacks and stacks of flashcards
prepared.

You lost me. There are many of you who have stacks of unlearned flashcards? Sweet.

xtremelingo wrote:

Developing 100 flash cards is not a difficult thing to do,

Some people equate time consuming to difficult.

xtremelingo wrote:

you will actually get so much review just by actually making the cards themselves

Agree 100%. But some language learners like to know how long things are going to take, so for them the preparation time can't be ignored.

xtremelingo wrote:

The 30-60 min is time you would use going through the flashcards, not making them.

I've found the initial pass takes about 1 minute per word. Additional reps are certainly faster, but 30-60 min to do 440 reps is a little ambitious, don't you think?

xtremelingo wrote:

A) Try to do both 1st and 2nd item at the same time, and only proceed to the next deck after you got 100% on both.

B) Focus on the 2nd item, if you get it correctly, then focus on the 1st item and give yourself a bonus point. If you get the 1st item wrong more than 80% of the time, then re-do the whole deck again, until you have 80% on the 1st item and 100% on the 2nd item.

C) Focus on the 2nd item only, while only glancing at the first item (fastest way).

I find these vague. The difficulty in learning 100 words per day is not so much learning 100 on the first day - it's maintaining it. What is your long term plan?
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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5460 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 44 of 167
06 October 2007 at 5:19am | IP Logged 
apparition wrote:
I was able to write out 86 flashcards in about 50 minutes this evening. And that's in Gujarati script, something I just learned. I could probably get 120-150 in an hour in, say, Icelandic or Spanish.

Well done. You might want to try lists sometime too, if you haven't already. I sometimes take a folded up list around with me, which is pretty conveient.
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apparition
Octoglot
Senior Member
United States
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600 posts - 667 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written), French, Arabic (Iraqi), Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Pashto

 
 Message 45 of 167
06 October 2007 at 9:27am | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
apparition wrote:
I was able to write out 86 flashcards in about 50 minutes this evening. And that's in Gujarati script, something I just learned. I could probably get 120-150 in an hour in, say, Icelandic or Spanish.

Well done. You might want to try lists sometime too, if you haven't already. I sometimes take a folded up list around with me, which is pretty conveient.


I'll give it a try with Icelandic verb forms, since I want to get a solid understanding of the types of conjugation.
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lloydkirk
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5323 days ago

429 posts - 452 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 46 of 167
06 October 2007 at 9:43am | IP Logged 
xtremelingo wrote:
Lloydkirk,
Quote:

Rubbish. Books in parallel text format are an excellent source for vocabulary acquisition and many forum members can attest to that.


Reading parallel texts, you are actually comparing and memorizing vocabulary. So you are actually studying vocabularly whether you like it or not.

Quote:

way to truly grasp words like these is to see them in context, either through books, newpapers, tv,etc..The script of language is irrelevant. Once your able to read the script,


Yes, in context is important. But reading parallel texts is still using comparing/memorization of target and native vocabularly/phrases.

I find it interesting that you are trying to promote that you can't study vocabulary, when you are actually doing just that.

The script of a language is very relevant! The only way to become better at reading script is by reading alot of the script. However, reading a script and not understanding what you are reading can make it very demotivating to actually learn how to read the script itself -- knowing a handful of words can make quite the difference! This is why knowing vocabulary is important. Read a book in Arabic to learn script, without knowing any vocabulary. I can bet you will get pretty tired of doing that after a while.


The difference is I'm not solely focusing my time on vocabulary. Reading parallel texts I'm learning grammar and also accomplishing something new, like reading a book about my target country. It is a much more interesting method for vocab inquisition than looking at flash cards.
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William Camden
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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1936 posts - 2333 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, French

 
 Message 47 of 167
06 October 2007 at 10:01am | IP Logged 
I found paper flash cards useful in learning basic German a long time ago, when I was still at school. I worked my way through a box of 1,000 Vis-Ed vocabulary cards over a summer holiday. I averaged 10 to 20 cards a day, reviewing the previous day's cards the next day and reviewing again every 100 cards or so. I don't think learning in context is vital with high-frequency words. Because they are high frequency, the chances are that you will encounter them when you read a text or hear someone speaking in the language. As you get deeper in a language's vocabulary then learning in context is more important, I think. When I finished the box, my German was not fluent but when I went back to school what I had done markedly improved my classroom performance in German.

I like the flexibility of paper cards though I don't think alone they are enough. I like being able to review words using cards in my pocket while waiting for a bus etc.   
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xtremelingo
Trilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
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398 posts - 515 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hindi*, Punjabi*
Studies: German, French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 48 of 167
06 October 2007 at 11:20am | IP Logged 
Leosmith,

Quote:

So 24 hours of review is better than 1, even if you already know the material after 1? Nice bit of advice, professor.


Please don't take me out of context. I never said to review 24 hours. But I will suggest the more review the better. The more you see this word, the more you will think about the word and the greater likelihood you will use the word in your language, instead of only understanding it passively when it is prompted to you by a computer (utilizing spaced repetition only).

This is the problem with spaced reptition. Yes, it will commit words to your long-term memory, so when you see them after a while you will remember them. However, spaced repetition will not develop a strong command of that word in actual usage (output active vocabulary), but only strengths in understanding that word when it appears (input, comprehension/passive vocabulary). It will actually develop active vocabulary very slowly for that matter, but passive vocabularly very well.

I don't know how to explain this phenomenon, but think of it like this.

Try to write down ALL the vocabulary words you have learnt using the spaced repetition method without any aids or references. Just directly from memory. You will find that when prompted to write down all the words you have learnt, you may have difficulty remembering all the words, even though you may know hundreds if not thousands. However, when you see these words prompted by computer, or in text you have no problem remembering what they are -- when they appear. But if someone were to write down all the words directly from memory -- this might be more challenging than expected! This is one of the fundamental problems in speech with those whom can comprehend a language very well but have difficulty speaking, particularly those that need alot of time to think about the words they use in speech. They know the language enough to understand it passively when they are prompted by computer or in static text because it could be easily synthesized, however when they speak -- they are at loss for words. They have not simply seen or used the word enough to make it active.

So what is my point? Use spaced repetition only to commit words to long-term passive memory. However, this does not give you the excuse to ignore the word until it re-appears again. There's no vacation-time in vocabularly world. You should still make efforts to see and use these words (as much as possible) before they appear again by computer (spaced rep) prompts in order to convert this passive vocabularly to active usage vocabulary.

Quote:

A sample size of 10 is plenty big enough. I never used to believe this until a certain vocabulary guru on this forum showed me the light.


Yes, 10 is big enough. However, you need to increment this size gradually in order to challenge your memory. The only real way to learn is through progressive challenge and difficulty. Inadequate challenge will actually hinder your performance. Your ability to pick up new vocabularly as you learn vocabulary will increase and not plateau if you learn how keep yourself working at optimal levels. In learning, our abilities are usually never fixed, with more practice not only do we learn more, but we actually can effectively improve our ability to learn as well.


Edited by xtremelingo on 06 October 2007 at 11:21am



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