My new approach to new lessons and LingQs

There are frequent discussions here about how to best utilize LingQs and flash cards and the other tools here. The consensus is, of course, that different approaches work for different people. I have tried a change to how I approach a new lesson and the new words in it that some might like to try if they haven’t already.

When I open a new lesson I immediately zip through all the blue words without looking too much at the context. If I know a word without the support of the context, I figure I know it pretty well and mark it as such. Otherwise It goes into the yellow pile.

When I reach the end, the LingQ system thinks I’ve read the lesson, though of course I haven’t. But before returning to the text of the lesson, I first run through a flash card session. This reinforces the new words that I just looked up as well as any of the older LingQs in the lesson that I’m still learning.

Then, after having reviewed the new vocabulary, I’m prepared to enjoy the context. And I listen to the audio as I read it through the first time. That forces me to keep up with the speed of the spoken word, without stopping to fixate on individual words, while grasping the overall content and context. I can pause it if I really need to, of course.

I have found this to be a very enjoyable approach. Once I’m prepared to tackle the material I get through it in “real time”, making it much less tedious, and I often find the speaker’s vocal inflections help me parse challenging passages better than if I just try to slog through reading only. The vocabulary drill before beginning the text makes the text easier, and therefore more enjoyable. Reading and listening to the content reinforces the just-completed vocabulary drill, of course.

My approach had been to read through the lesson immediately, stopping to LingQ the blue words and looking up any unremembered yellow words so that I could understand the text. As convenient as that is compared to using a paper dictionary in the bad old days, that still slows things down and makes it more tedious than my new approach. And I frequently didn’t get around to listening to the lesson, which was a big gap. I think this method has potential for better vocabulary retention, too.

Maybe this is all old news. But I was surprised at how it improved my own experience.

I work mostly with Intermediate 1 & 2 material, by the way, and I usually know half or more of the blue words, either from previous study of the language or because they’re just inflected forms of already learned words.


I think that we all need to experiment and every so often change our approach. I am not mostly using Auto mode and find it to be really efficient. I used to Quick LingQ but much prefer Auto mode. I read while LingQing but will often reread.