Is there any merit to reviewing and reading/listening to old lessons?

I’m curious if people here do such a thing. Once in a while, I will review old lessons to see how much more I understand, or if I have forgotten anything. Example, I didn’t understand Putin’s speech in one of the lessons, so I came back to it a few months later, and I’ve noticed more progress. A lot of it is still unknown, but I’ve been able to notice more for letting it ‘brew’.

On the flip side, I’ve returned to lessons and I’ve forgotten a few words (which is reasonable, considering passive vocabulary does that, I think).

Is there any point in reviewing old lessons? Or is it just diminishing returns? When I listen to lessons where I still know a lot of it, I feel like my brain already recognizes the lesson, so it’s just going off of memorization and there’s no brain stimulation as a result of this.

You need repeated exposure to learn but that doesn’t necessarily mean listening to the same ol’ lessons months later.

While repetition is key, you can get there through different means, for example, by going through different lessons, which would be my preferred strategy. I don’t particularly enjoy going through the same material again at a later stage.

Your idea that things consolidate is certainly something I agree with, likewise that certain words remain elusive.

I would say, if it’s fun, by all means go ahead.

In any case, it isn’t bad to read and to listen to some old lessons and podcasts.
Our brains need repetition.
But it’s better to combine some repetition with some new material to go ahead.
When I had time enough, I always did both - I learned something new and repeated in order not to forget something from old lessons.

The obligatory “whatever works for you…” :wink:

It’s useful to see a word you’re learning in new contexts, but seeing it again in a context with which you’re already familiar – you know what the text is about and what it’s basically saying – really helps cement it, I think. Motivation is the most important part of language learning it seems, so if new material is what motivates you, don’t worry too much about looking back.

I’m currently reading novels (with much help from the Lingq reader). I’m always eager to turn the page and see where the story goes next, so I don’t repeat much at all. But one advantage of a book-length text by a single author is that you will see much of the same vocabulary repeated in similar contexts. So in that way I do get a measure of repetition without going over old texts.

The first novel I imported into Lingq was a bit hard with lots of new vocabulary. It was a good enough story to keep me going, and it got easier as I went because I was learning the vocabulary of the story. You’d probably get some of the same effect by focusing on texts by one or more authors on the same subject, something that interests you.


The reason I’ve been able to skip SRS was me just repeating lessons. Not to mention, doing repetitive chores combined with casual lessons can be quite fun!

Variety is the spice of life it seems. it’s like exercising. You can do the same thing over and over, but no stimulation can lead to atrophy.

The obligatory “whatever works for you…” :wink:
Thank you haha, that seems like the default advice on every language learning site. There’s lots of truth in it though.

Back when I started here, I interpreted Steve’s advice on language learning was “if it’s an important enough word, you’ll encounter it and remember it through more exposure (repetition) and practice.”

Do you use mostly LingQ for books? I’ve been using my Kindle, and the dictionary is great, but it’s slow compared to LingQ.

Currently most of my time on Lingq is with books. It takes a long time to finish one at the rate I work with Russian. (That has the advantage of postponing the letdown of finishing a great book and not knowing what to read next, I guess.) I’m only on my second full-length novel. I also read some of Evgueny’s articles when he uploads something interesting.

What I don’t get with the books that I’ve imported is any audio, and my listening comprehension suffers as a result. I had tried the corresponding audio book, too, but I don’t know know how to set bookmarks in that in order to keep synchronized. Depends on the player, I guess.

I also think I suffer from not repeating. After pushing through a chapter it helps a lot to go back and read it more easily, reabsorbing the new parts. But the urge to keep moving forward in the story trumps the discipline necessary to do that. But, on the other hand, it does keep me motivated to keep reading, and that is a good thing.

I don’t have a Kindle or Kindle app. I do use the Aldiko app on my Android phone sometimes, but it has no dictionary, no search, and rudimentary bookmarking.

BTW, relating to another thread of yours, while reading I’ll recognize many blue words in context and not look them up and give them a status, even if I don’t “really know” them. I’m trying to read a story and don’t want to interrupt the flow with lots of housekeeping. Those words consequently will get turned to known status when I turn the page, so my displayed word count is very much a count of passive vocabulary. I won’t hesitate to revert it to a lower status if I later need to look up a “known” word.


I’m tired as I just got off work, but if I read this correctly, I believe I do the same thing almost. I would first listen to the lesson to see how familiar I am, and guess the meaning based off of listening alone. I would then grind it out and make my LingQs for the whole lesson. Then, I can read in hover mode and quickly read in an ‘uninterrupted fashion’ as well. The only thing different is I don’t do the ‘auto known’ words thing when one turns the page.

Recognizing and knowing blue words are one thing, but I’m curious in how people gain so many ‘known words’ in such little time and claim them as progress (IE, 25,000 known words but only 5,000 words read? It makes no sense!). I probably shouldn’t worry about other people’s progress, but people here seem to use the ‘known words’ counter as a bar of progress versus words read or hours of listening and speaking.

All these counters – words read, words known, hours listening – are just tools, or part of a tool. They are not ends in and of themselves. Setting and meeting certain goals with any of these counters can help towards the real goal of language acquisition, but cannot be confused with the same. It is really immaterial how different learners use these tools while working towards their individual aims.

Sure, it’s nice to see my ‘known’ words count increment. But what really pleases me is when I can enjoy reading a chapter or watching a movie. That is my goal. When and if my goal expands to conversation and travel, I may need to adjust my approach, and perhaps my use of these tools, to create more active vocabulary. But what I’m doing now suits me now.

Really the only material I ever review/listen to a lot would be a book such as Assimil, and that’s more for accent and pronunciation practice. I will also, at the earlier stages, high beginner, low intermediate, listen to podcasts that I previously had to get more acostumed with natural speech and conversations.

But with Korean lately, I’ll go back to an old lesson, but only listen and read it once or twice, then go back to new ones.