Is it worth going back over old content?

I am at intermediate 1 on LingQ but while i am understanding more, i still struggle to remember phrases, and to construct sentences. Do you think it is worth me going back to the beginning again for a few weeks and going through all the easy content (and the eating out/who is she parts) to memorise all the basics and get solid at that?

Or do you think i should just forget about it and keep going through the new lessons at my level, acquiring new words and to just hope it all makes sense further down the line?

Is there benefit to going back through the old easy content, anyone done this with success?

Hi guitario, I think it is really worth to go back and forward. I remember we had a lively discussion about this topic long time ago. I allways use material on different levels. The easy material helps me to concentrate on structures and phrases. Look of yourself. Do what you like and what helps YOU.

Hey guitario, I would say yes; I often bounce back to old material to either solidify older phrases and constructions, or to check any improvements in my listening comprehension. I think it’s a good motivator, and practical in terms of reinforcing things you know pretty well, or picking up on things you may have missed or forgotten.

I would say there definitely is benefit in doing both. Going back over things you have already covered and going through new lessons will mean that you will allow things to click into place as it were.

I think that best approach is to get as much exposure to the language in as many different ways as possible. We are studying the same language as it happens although I am still at the early stages. I find that by concentrating on reading, listening to the content here, podcasts, youtube, my own privately purchased audiobooks, watching video clips be it dubbed or otherwise, investigating grammar and investing financially in grammar books, speaking, writing, sending instant messages or emails to natives, non-natives and to your own private teachers, simultaneously indulging in methods with diverse approaches whether grammar based, speaking first or silently gaining understanding first, having private conversations with teachers, visiting the country, if not physically then virtually, all help to make progress. I started two months ago and couldn’t say a word, two months down the line I oscillate between being a total beginner at times to understanding material at an Intermediate 1 level.

I would suggest doing what works for you.

Hi guitario, I would do it if I were you. In fact, first I was very sceptical when I heard that it’s useful to go back through previously read and lingq’d material. I thought that it would be a waste of time, but when I actually read once again some older texts, I was surprised how much of lingq’d terms I did remember! Try it yourself and let us know if it worked for you.

My thinking behind this is, my word count is 2286 which isn’t very high, but if i mastered those 2286 words (in theory, not realistic) then my communication level would be advanced. Basically i would have a high active to passive ratio.

If this makes sense?


Your communication level would undoubtedly improve and be more advanced than it currently is! You would take it to the next level.

Don’t forget that your language needs change as you start acquiring the language. While initially you were focusing on acquiring an understanding of the words, expressions and conversations you heard, when you go back through the material you will be more focused upon being able to reproduce what you hear.

The transition from passive to active :wink:

It is good for the brain to do easier material. It strengthens your control over what you have learned. It increases fluency. You are also able to pick up on structures and vocabulary that you did not notice on your first pass. But continue to mix in the challenging material as well. I find doing both is very effective.
On the other hand I would not try too hard to “master” these words. I don’t think you necessarily will.

I don’t necessarily mean master, but think of it as more ‘solidifying’ the words in my mind. For example. I can never remember the difference between ‘auf’ and ‘aus’. Little things like that annoy me as it is very basic stuff that I first encountered 18 months ago that I feel I should know by now.

Another thing that I wish to achieve by doing this, is to make sure my brain can sort out the words that I hear and make sense of them in real time. When I listen to Intermediate German content I can usually hear 80% of the words and know what they mean but I struggle decipher the meaning and sentence in time before more words are thrown at me.

Do you think going over the beginner content again for a short while would help my brain finally take control of the common words I already know?

Never underestimate your brain’s ability to learn, nor to forget. Just vary the difficulty level of what you are studying. Expect to be surprised at what you continue to forget, even the simplest terms, and what you easily reproduce, even the most difficult terms.Just focus on enjoyment and put in the time.

Wow! Steve, great points from you to keep in mind when I keep going with learning English.
Guitorio, I think it works when you go back to the old lessons since repetition is very important to learn automatically. I’m doing this way with my listening and watching movies. It clicks.

Jamie, In my experience trying to “hard wire” a certain set of vocabulary doesn’t work… much better to move forward with new material; the most common words and phrases will reappear quickly and you’ll experience these in new contexts. I am certain the brain responds better like this: give it new stimuli, rather than trying to force-learn familiar material. Thanks to Vera and others, the German library is equipped with enough content that you won’t run out of new stuff to study. I very rarely review lessons I’ve already studied. I find the time is better spent vacuuming up new content. Once you are able to understand maybe 80% of the lesson, then move on and don’t look back. That’s always been my approach. I make the odd exception with REALLY interesting content that I want to understand fully, but that’s about it.

Re. listening, again in my experience, it’s far better to “ride the wave” of the audio, not worrying about what you’ve missed, but just trying to keep up with it. This for me was difficult to do at first, but now it’s almost second nature. Better to see the whole picture with a few fragments missing, than a load of fragments with no picture.

I agree but if I moved to Germany for example, I would have to purposely memorise phrases to get by. Just sitting there letting it absorb works to an extent but at some point I think some effort is needed to cement what my brain already knows. I’m never going to be good at speaking unless I actually have phrases ready for common situations. Since that is how we naturally speak. We don’t create sentences word for word in out native language, we put groups of words together to form sentences.

At the moment I can construct sentences slowly adding word after word but there are only a few phrases I can say without thinking about it.

‘Hi wie gehts?’

‘Mir gehts gute, danke, aber sehr mude’ for example.

I just want to repeat the basic stuff to try and get as many common phrases down as possible.

I know what you mean: it’s the “long tail” problem with vocabulary. I’d really like to study a language whereby the most common, say 2,000, words/phrases are used in sentences, short dialogues etc. but with an inexhaustible supply of content which exercise these words/phrases to death in many different contexts, words orders, conjugations and so on, without the overhead of having to learn new words each lesson. Obviously, the learning curve would be quite steep to begin with, but once you become familiar with the vocabulary, I would bet you would make faster progress in trying to produce the language.

You probably could to be honest. If you gathered all the beginner content from as many different sources, books, etc as possible. Thing is, the time it would take to acquire hundreds of lessons would probably be better spent actually learning. :stuck_out_tongue:

As a matter of interest, roughly how many beginner lessons are there for German at LingQ? Few hundred? Over 1000?

I haven’t counted the beginner lessons for German, for Japanese there are a few . hundred and I often go back through my archived lessons for revision. Every time I unarchive a previously archived lesson and study it again I learn something new from it. I suggest you let boredom be your guide - if a lesson has stopped being interesting, put it back in your archive and move on.

Having said that, I tend to study lessons that are initially far too hard for me - maybe 30 or 40% unknown words.

There are 344 lessons for Beginner I and 340 lessons for Beginner II in the German library. But be assured that the number will increase :slight_smile:

I think that when I want to clean up my error prone German I will just sit down and go through these lessons. Something to look forward to, and now back to Czech!

I think my best breakthroughs occurred with eating out and who is she. Are there any other dialogue series type lessons like this for German?

What exactly did you like about them, the fact that the English translation was available? I am sure that our community can create more of this kind of content. We only need to decide on which of our existing series to translate into different languages, or to create some new ones for translation.