Goldlist method and LingQ?

I’m sure many of you know the Goldlist method.

I was wondering if you have tried it and if you think it could be useful added to the regular work with LingQ?

And I’m not thinking about isolated words to add to the method but mostly simple phrases, so always words in context.

Do you think it would a waste of time or do you think it’s really effective?

Have you ever used it?

I’d appreciate your insight, thank you.


Yes I tried it for 3 months. It works. The art of writing words down kind of cements them in the long term memory. However, there is not enough space to write down a sentence in which a word is used.
I stopped using it; as I notice that I need “full” sentences/context to deeply understand the meaning of a word not just recall meaning of individual words/phrases from my memory. Using “Sentence Mining” in Anki is a better option for me as there is no question of lacking space.
I feel like it follows the same spaced repetition formula of any SRS; it is just that you have to “write” only those words you have forgotten in your next review after laying idle for 2 weeks until they are ticked off completely from the list. My humble opinion.

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I actually saw probably a rethought version of it where the person doesn’t write single words but sentences. So she writes only words in context as you were mentioning.

I don’t understand though when you say there is not enough space. You can use any notebook you want to so you have all the space you want to, right? Am I missing something?

What I like about this method is that we don’t repeat what we remember anymore. But is it really possible that our brain remember the 30% even after months and months by just watching it once? or twice?

That would be a definitely better option than Anki, in this case.

I created my Goldlist by following this video.

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It is one of those unexplainable power of our subconscious minds at work; I was remembering 14/15 words out of 20 words per day review just by writing one time and seeing them once.
Remembering the word in isolation does not equate to a deep understanding of the word. Each word has so many shades of meaning and only proper context provides them a supporting hand. That’s why I stopped using it.

Give it a try for a couple of months and see if it fits well with your learning approach. I tried it with an open mind and when I was into 3 months of using it; I could see that it could not teach me how to use the words correctly. A deep understanding of the word was missing, in my opinion.


I don’t know about the goldlist itself, and I am seeing people have some physical limitations with it.

However, I feel like concious study of vocab through an SRS can be really helpful to increase the comprehensibility of your input and speed up acquisition that way. I pretty much agree with Matt vs. Japan on this one.

That being said, I am studying Chinese, a non-inflected language (which makes an SRS for single words more useful) and one with a writing system that an SRS can be REALLY helpful with.

I haven’t really studied other languages, say Russian or Portuguese, so I can’t 100% vouch for this working in those. But it probably will.

On a different note, if you’re just beginning, just learning simple vocab is very helpful and quite a bit easier. Just single words.

Once you are more advanced, sentences become more useful. Though SRSing difficult vocab can help you with extra-low-frequency words once you’re like C1 and looking to get to C2.

Of course, all of this only works when paired with a lot of input by means of LingQ or whatever else, to help you “put the knowledge (or the vocab) into practice” by comprehending whole sentences or ideas with the studied vocab in it.

At the end of the day, remember: Do whatever you enjoy doing. Give the goldlist a try, there is no way it will do you any harm to add it to your study. See if it improves your comprehension, and guide your conclusions from that.

Good luck!


Thanks Dantroy.

I’ve found this long article about the illusion of this method: The Goldlist Method - A Detailed Scientific Critique

And this is exactly what I’m worried about and I don’t think I’m going to dedicate months and hours of work before realizing it’s not working for the sentences written months and months before. Same thing could be probably acquired with LingQ, maybe.

The fact is that it could be just wishful thinking and I’m not willing to fall in that trap. That’s why I was hoping to find some real “scientific” test to prove that this method really work on long-term memory. But as always, effortlessly things could be just sirens for our mind.

It’s catchy but something is telling me it’s an illusion.


I did not read this article before trying this method. Lack of context was a huge red flag. It took me a while to notice this. Trust me, Anki is all you need, and how you formulate your items in your deck is equally important. Anki will be useless too if you are memorizing single words without depending on any contextual aid.
Maybe go through lessons at Lingq and then start appending sentences to your Anki collection from these lessons; this way you will have a piece of background information. Therefore, vocabulary/sentences will stick better. That’s what I think.


Hi, Davide & Asad!

I agree with Asad

  • reading stuff first on LingQ (with or without listening)
  • and exporting the phrases to my Anki collections (with or without using LingQ´s SRS first)
    works pretty well (at least for me).

This way I remember both the context (i.e. the paragraphs) and the co-text information (i.e. the sentences/collocations). And I don’t need any Anki plugins for that either.

Maybe the Goldlist method is ok for people who need a “digital detox” (if I remember correctly that was one of Lýdia’s points a few years ago about why she prefers GLM over Anki + Co).
But I have too many notebooks full of English, French or Spanish vocabulary lying around, so I won’t use any other notebooks (with or without the GLM) in the foreseeable future.


Thanks Asad & Peter,

Yes, I suppose the GLM has something to do with the fact of writing stuff down on a paper and the act of manually do something old fashion way. Maybe this is fun like Lydia was saying too but it requires a lot of time and I’m not sure it’s fun for me.

Unfortunately I think I’m a bit saturated with Anki as well. The idea of GLM was interesting because we don’t have to go back to the previous 30% learnt anymore but I’m kinda sure it’s wishful thinking.

Anyway, thanks for the tips.

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David - What is your beef with Anki? Why do you think it is not meant for you? I am just curious.

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Yes, writing is extremely helpful when it comes to language learning / acquisition. But, I´d say it´s best to write (short) texts in the target language and have them corrected by native speakers (see, e.g.,

However, I´m not so sure if writing as a substitute for a Software SRS like Anki, Memrise, etc. is really a (time-)efficient way.
But, of course, “digital detox” may be a good thing for some language learners - at least for some time.

“Unfortunately I think I’m a bit saturated with Anki as well.”
I see. Yes, using SRS over an extended period of time can become tiresome.
In this case, it´s perhaps a good idea to take a break from SRS and focus on something that re-energizes you (listening to podcasts / watching TV series that you find interesting, writing a journal, whatever).

In short: Boredom is the enemy of practical skill development so it´s a good idea to shake things a little bit from time to time.

Good luck


@Peter: Thanks for the hinative link, I forgot about it when they changed from the previous website.

@Asad: Nothing in particular, it’s been probably too many years using Anki before with English, French and Spanish. Then with German it’s not helping me enough. I usually go directly to the country to learn, work, interact with people but in this period is totally different. Maybe I’ve just enough of SRS for vocabs and sentences and I only use it for remembering grammar and other stuff. But probably I do it routinely and it doesn’t help me anymore.

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Apparently there was an old LingQ conversation here but it doesn’t load well anymore: