When reviewing flashcards, you have to go through them twice in a row in order to get to the cards you have failed on. I’m a bit puzzled as to why you would want to do that. Surely, if you get the card right on the first round, you obviously know the word, so it’s a waste of time reviewing it again that session? What I really want to do is concentrate on the cards I got wrong and not waste time on cards I have got correct. Reviewing cards isn’t my favourite activity so I don’t see the point in prolonging the agony any longer than it needs to! Or is there something I am missing here? Penance?
I hate flashcards personally. I just reread the passages over and over and over and over again.
Besides, as far as I see it: flashcarding doesn’t mean you “know” the word by a long stretch. It’s just an indication of your “word power”. By that, I think it would mean reading only.
You can recognise the meaning of a word when you see it written and may be able to work out what is being said in a passage… when you are going at your own pace and taking your own sweet time.
But then, if you are being “pushed” along because you are following audio, the neural pathways may still be weak and that word fails to “pop” up properly… and if you are trying to follow the rapid speech being produced by a fluent native speaker? Good luck!
I’d give the analogy of a nail and a hammer. Flashcards allow you to get the first few light taps with the hammer on the nail so it stays upright on the piece of timber you want to push it in to. Then, once the nail has stuck you can then begin to really hammer the nail in to the wood with forceful blows. So too, once your flashcards indicate that you “know” a word, you can “hammer” it in to your cranium by your reading, listening, writing and speaking. Thats how I see it anyway!
You have to either fail or succed (preferably succed, of course) to get change the status of the word, just one time won’t change anything. Whatever amount of words you have in the “deck” decreases during the second round - if you get any of them right, and if the box is checked.
25 misses both rounds - still 25 in the deck
10 right first time, plus another 5 the second round - 15 in the deck (25 minus the first 10)
Nothing right the first time, 5 right the second - 25 in the deck
I have noticed that on the first run through of new words, sometimes I get the word right on the first hit, but miss it on the second. I am thankful for the double repetition that is built into the flashcards.
I agree, flashcards are not my favorite thing at this point, but I view them as necessary. I am just starting out in my chinese study and I tend to listen to the same dialogue 30-50 times. While I may think I know a word after having seen it in so many dialogue repetitions, it is not until I see the word in isolation that I realize I may not really know it. Maybe, my experience has been different because I am focusing on the chinese characters, but I have found that the dialogue repetition and flashcard isolation have really complemented each other in the last several days.
For me, the repetition offered by the LingQ flashcard system has been very helpful. I’ve found myself remembering words better and able to produce them when I’m speaking with natives in my target language.
My recommendation is to read the phrase you saved even if you know the word. That reinforces the context in which you originally read or heard the word.
And mja201, I’ve noticed the same thing about knowing certain words the first time and not the second. I’ve found that happens when the “knowledge” is a bit hazy or tenuous; I can almost feel it in my head when it’s at that stage and it feels different than when I really know it. Not sure why it is, but I think it’s a normal part of language learning. I recognize it the next time it appears in a flashcard session, and even if I don’t get it right it starts to stick in my head as a “need to know” word, and eventually I get it firmly embedded.
kgeoghegan what you want is a flashcard software called anki. it is really easy to find just type anki in to google and you will be all set. it supports script for any language so there is no concerns with the font or anything. it is a spaced repetition memory software so it understands your brain and doesnt flash you on the cards you are already familiar with except at specified time intervals in order to put that word into long term memory. Hope this helps. regards.
There are many ways to learn languages, and many resources available in schools, book stores and on the internet.
LingQ is one of these resources. At LingQ we do not consider a spaced repetition system to be a major priority in our development plans, nor a top priority in learning a language. There are a number of reasons.
I do not believe that we know when we know a word. We know words at times and forget them at times. We know them in one context and do not in another. We know some of the meaning of a word but we do not realize other usages. We can recognize a word but cannot use it, or we can sometimes and not at other times etc.
We do not know when we know a word, and neither does any spaced repetition system. The best spaced repetition system is content. That is why we have previously saved words appear highlighted in yellow in new content. That is why I often click on words that I already know, just to confirm my understanding, or to get to know them better.
I believe, and research supports the idea that most time should be spent on interesting content, listening and reading. I also believe, and research supports the idea that the independent study of words in lists or Flash Cards is beneficial, if the words come from meaningful content. The LingQs of the day are reminders to people to review their words, an activity which is otherwise often neglected. However, a more complete review of words, in a variety of ways, is available at the Vocabulary section. I often go there and review hundreds of words, and change their status there, in batches, something I recommend.
So LingQ is content, hopefully an ever increasing amount of content provided by our members. LingQ is a community, something we are working to make better and better. LingQ is a vocabulary learning system where the word count is a key measurable of one’s activity and progress, where LingQing is the key activity around which reading, writing, listening and speaking are integrated. LingQing creates the hooks, or the nails as Roy puts it, that enable us to grab on to more and more words, gradually bringing them deeper and deeper in to our brains. None of this is science, and where it pretends to be science as in the algorithms which justify the various spaced repetition systems, I do not believe that science.
Still, once we have all the pieces of LingQ put together, we may look for ways to accommodate the desire of some of our learners for a spaced repetition system more similar to Anki or Supermemo.
I agree with Steve. Three years ago, the time I have started to learn English with the Linguist (today Lingq), I tried to put all my vocabulary into Supermemo (Software like anki, I think). This was a waste of time. No fun, only drilling and I could not explore more meaningful content. Sure, everybody has other learning preferences, but for me, it did not work. In addition, the first time, I always would short vocabulary lists and I repeated and repeated again. Today I know, this is not the sense and I have no problem to see a lot of words in my texts yellow. (Not in my English texts, but in my French texts). Fortunately, at the last years, Lingq has supported a lot more functionality for all important tasks.
I used to flashcard only Priority LingQs, i.e. 25 per session for each of 3 languages if I had the time. Of course all LingQs didn’t come up in Priority LingQs, so I missed to learn some words or phrases.
With the arrival of LingQs of the day I was more or less overwhelmed in June as I didn’t have the time to deal with between 40 and 100 words for 3 languages. I kept the emails for later reference.
In July I finally had more time and started working through the lists for Russian. Now I’m doing this for French and next I’ll revise Swedish using LingQs of the Day. As I did several lists per day I noticed some interesting things:
- Working through a list of 70-100 words and phrases, when most of them were in stage 1, took me up to an hour, going through the whole list again and again.
- Shorter lists of 25-40 could be done in comparatively shorter time - short-term memory seems to help more in this case.
- I started to subdivide long lists, doing 10 LingQs and then going back to number 1 to see the total decrease sooner, thus making it less intimidating. This would leave maybe 3 or 5 harder ones and I went on to 20 and back again to the beginning. That way I would repeat the harder ones in the list at shorter intervals, which seems to result in better retention.
With Russian though there are some words that need more repetition even when they are at stage 4. Now I love LingQs of the Day lists because you see words more often even when they are already at stage 4 (and there are some that I have a hard time remembering even then).
I know the words will only stick when I have used them in writing. So I know which ones I should concentrate on in active use.
Nobody is forcing anybody to study the flashcards - however, I haven’t had better retention since I started with SRS (Anki in my case). This being said, I still save words here (and check the latest ones once a day while I listen to a lesson - from one day up to a couple of days depending on the content).
Until I get to a decent level in my target languages, Anki will be my main method for reviewing vocabulary. By the way, it’s a “neverending” journey, since the program will keep testing all the words (but it will take longer and longer before they show up again).
The main difference is that the program itself picks the words for me (forever), while I have to batch-move everything myself here (not necessarily a bad thing, but I like to save time).
I’m still not too positive about the 4 levels here (too easy to “learn” and definitely too easy to forget).
So, to say that Supermemo was “a waste of time” is something I find very strange. Everybody knows that it’s only drilling (and the vocab tool here isn’t anything else, except for the fact that everything is more obviously tied to what you are reading/listening to - but nobody is stopping you from opening a book or listening to a podcast if you choose to use SRS, right? You could choose to save phrases there as well…).
I don’t really understand the arguments against an SRS system, but I excpect to be in the minority here.
Hi guys. Sorry I’m a bit late replying. Thanks for all the answers. They made some good reading. Unfortunately, nobody really tried to answer my question, which was “Why do you have to get a flashcard correct twice to have it removed from the list? And shouldn’t once be enough?”
What I’d like to see is an option on the flashcards page that says:
“Remove flashcards from this session after they have been successfully tested” in addition to the existing option for people who like the system the way it is.
“I hate flashcards personally. I just reread the passages over and over and over and over again.”
That’s basically similar but probably better because you’re seeing the word in context. OTOH flashcards make you stop and think about individual words and phrases.
“Besides, as far as I see it: flashcarding doesn’t mean you “know” the word by a long stretch. It’s just an indication of your “word power”. By that, I think it would mean reading only.”
Yes I agree there. Words can have many meanings and be used in different ways.
“You have to either fail or succed (preferably succed, of course) to get change the status of the word, just one time won’t change anything.”
That’s precisely what I was moaning about
“Whatever amount of words you have in the “deck” decreases during the second round - if you get any of them right, and if the box is checked.”
Yeah but I don’t want to answer them twice correctly. IMO, it’s a waste of time and effort. Others might not agree. To me, very close repetitions only strengthen your short term memory. I guess I could always ignore the word rating system but then LingQ would never know I knew those words - unless I manually set them to 4. Which maybe I should just do.
The LingQs of the day is only a reminder and a prod to review your words. You can do it any time in the Vocabulary section, or just before or just after reading an item.
It is not as much fund as reading, but I think it is useful. You have no context to help you. You are forced to focus on the words, typically words that you have not yet mastered. It is a more concentrated review of these words than reading provides. It is another form of exercize for the brain. I believe it is helpful.
I do not rely on the daily LingQs. I do not mind Flash Carding. I find it relaxing and it do it quite quickly. It does not take me long to go through the cards twice. Any words that I already know go by me in less than a second.
When we get past the many other things we have on our plate we will look at options for Flash Cards. All suggestions are welcome. Although you may want to wait on this for now.
I should add that most of my status 4 words I probably move there manually in the Vocab section, when I deal with batches of 100 LingQs at a time. Depending on whether I know most of them or not, I either select all and then uncheck the ones I do not know, or check the ones I want to move to 4 and then move them all to 4.
Partly it’s because we have to have a set number of correct responses to determine the removal of a card. If it’s set at one time, this is fine for the words that you know but less good for the words that you have trouble with. For the words that you struggle with, being forced to get them right a few times is helpful.
The reality is that the words that you know can be whipped through in seconds so this is not that much of an inconvenience and my LingQs of the Day usually contain close to 100 words each time. The thing is not to worry too much about the flashcards. Just get them done and then go back to creating LingQs and listening and reading.
“I have noticed that on the first run through of new words, sometimes I get the word right on the first hit, but miss it on the second.”
Yes, I noticed that too surprised I think that is due to interference in recall though and not due to forgetting the cards in between tries.
“I am thankful for the double repetition that is built into the flashcards.”
That’s great if it works for you but I’d rather pick it up again the next day or whenever. I’m not convinced that double repetition does anything significant for your memory. But I stand ready to be corrected!
“I agree, flashcards are not my favorite thing at this point, but I view them as necessary. I am just starting out in my chinese study…”
I think flashcards are indispensible for beginners. Learning in context is better but beginners have no context to learn from anyway, so learning out of context with flashcards is probably the easiest way to pick up a lot of new vocabulary.
“…and I tend to listen to the same dialogue 30-50 times.”
Wow, you really have fantastic patience! Don’t you get bored?
“I should add that most of my status 4 words I probably move there manually in the Vocab section, when I deal with batches of 100 LingQs at a time. Depending on whether I know most of them or not, I either select all and then uncheck the ones I do not know, or check the ones I want to move to 4 and then move them all to 4.”
I’ll probably just do that Steve. Thanks.
“Partly it’s because we have to have a set number of correct responses to determine the removal of a card. If it’s set at one time, this is fine for the words that you know but less good for the words that you have trouble with. For the words that you struggle with, being forced to get them right a few times is helpful.”
Yes I can see some people might appreciate that. I’d rather spread it out over more days. Say rather then moving a card from a 1 to a 4 in possibly 4 days, I’d prefer moving it from a 1 to an 8 say, over 8 days without the double repetition. Same amount of work but I think you’d remember the words easier.
In any case, it would have been nice if the number of times you had to get the item correct was adjustable - to please everybody of course
"The reality is that the words that you know can be whipped through in seconds so this is not that much of an inconvenience and my LingQs of the Day usually contain close to 100 words each time. The thing is not to worry too much about the flashcards. Just get them done and then go back to creating LingQs and listening and reading. "
Well I don’t know about ‘whipping’ through them. I also read the in-context phrases out loud as well, so I guess that slows me down a lot. The double repetition thing isn’t so much a deal killer as more of an annoyance. I guess I was just irritated the day I made the post!
“My recommendation is to read the phrase you saved even if you know the word. That reinforces the context in which you originally read or heard the word.”
Yes thanks, that’s good advice. I already try to do that. In fact I was toying with the idea of saving the whole phrase as a LingQ instead of a single word as I find it a lot easier to guess the meaning of a phrase than a word out of context. The only problem with that is you don’t get much in the way of dictionary help if you do that.