Spaced Repetition Listening

I just figured out that you can upload audio as large as you want onto the front of flashcards in Anki, and you can put the transcript/translation on the back. T

hat means that you can use Anki to do spaced reviews of your listening (vocabulary in context) - I’m doing this with the extracted dialogues and transcripts from

Anki gives you four options for grading your comprehension/performance:

Again - You’ll see the card again soon
Hard - You’ll see the card again the next day
Good - You’ll see the card again in 3-4 days
Easy - You’ll see the card again in 7-9 days

Of course, each time you see a card and choose one of these options, Anki recalculates the interval accordingly, and over time all of these intervals will become longer, eventually to the point where you don’t have to review certain items for years.

In the context of listening, this means that the levels would be such that:

Again = 0-25% comprehension → You’ll see the card again soon
Hard = 25-50% comprehension → You’ll see the card again the next day
Good = 50-75% comprehension → You’ll see the card again in 3-4 days
Easy = 75%-100% comprehension → You’ll see the card again in 7-9 days

Obviously these levels are based on your subjective opinion of your rate of comprehension, but I think that if you use Anki in this way with short (max 1-2 minutes) content containing new vocabulary, over time you will see rapid progress and passive to active vocabulary transfer (especially as a beginner).

For more advanced learners, this could be used as a supplement to your regular, more extensive listening and reading.

Hey David. I’m just wondering if you’d be willing to explain it to me as if I were a six year old. It sounds a bit complicated. What’s the advantage of using Anki instead of doing Flashcards on LingQ? Does it require much maintenance or work to get the information onto Anki and keep it updated?

Hi Peter

The advantage is that Anki uses a spaced repetition algorithm to remind you only of those flashcards which, based on your past performance, you need to review. That way you save yourself a lot of time by only studying what needs to be studied.

Anki keeps track of all your words/phrases and your performance based on the above scale for each one, and measures your retention and reminds you more judiciously than it seems to me that the LingQ email system does.

I wouldn’t recommend only using text flashcards for beginners in a language though - a beginner needs primarily audio input, which was my reason for this post.

However, for more advanced learners (like you for French for example), I would recommend simply importing your words and phrases (I always use phrases) into Anki from your ‘LingQs of the day’ emails. Then you just spend 10 minutes a day reviewing.

You can watch an intro video here:

and see Anki’s spaced repetition algorithm here:

(Anki - powerful, intelligent flashcards)

The ‘Who is she?’ or ‘Eating Out’ series would be perfect to use with this method if you’re just starting out in a language:)

Cheers. I’ll check it out properly tonight when I get home.