Flashcards – When Reading & Listening Is Not Enough
I have been reading and listening to the same beginner lessons in LingQ for a while now and to my surprise and pleasure I am actually starting to understand some of it, however it is also getting a little bit tedious. I noticed that despite all the reading and listening I was falling behind in my learned LingQs statistics and I realized that I needed to find a new way to reach my goal in my 90-Day Challenge. So how was I to learn all these words? The answer is simple: Flashcards.
It took me a while, but I now realize that the daily LingQ emails I get in my inbox, and the push notifications I get on my phone from the LingQ app actually serve a purpose. They are sent to remind me of recnt LingQs (yellow words) that I have created and they can be found on the flashcards on my profile. I find that the flashcards are a great and more entertaining way of improving my knowledge of individual words because using the them feels more like an entertaining game than reading does. In fact, I think that they are a helpful and fun tool in language learning.
During a flashcard session the same card will appear several time, and if I click ‘Got it’ or ‘Enter’ twice in a row on any given card, they are increased 1 level in status. This way, as I go through my cards, I am gradually moving them up the ladder to status 4 – Learned. Yay! Once the status reaches 4-Known the word is considered learned. So that’s how I use the flashcards to increase my knowledge of words. But if I feel like I know the word and don’t want to see it anymore I just change the status manually to known anytime.
So there you go, for the flashcards to be more entertaining, i.e. for new words to constantly appear on your flashcards you have to keep creating LingQs, otherwise it will just be the same words over and over again.
Think I may have mentioned this before, but I don’t have much patience and someone like me, can only play around with flashcards for so long before wanting to move on to something else. The flashcards are not the only fun gadgets on LingQ to keep learning Spanish exciting, next to the flashcards are cloze tests; where you finish a sentence by putting in the right word, you’ll get the same sentences more than once and if you get the word right the status improves just like with the flashcards. Then there are the dictation cards, that are awesome for practicing pronunciation (especially if you are a robot or want to sound like one) they are not my favorite, mostly because you kind of need a Spanish keyboard to write the words properly because of all the strange accents in Spanish words, such as acompañar (which means accompany) or razón (meaning reason). If you spell the word right but don’t put the accent, the system thinks it’s wrong and that seems unfair. I have found a way around it though, until it gets improved. The first time I hear the word, I write a word that is as close to the correct word as possible, and click so the card turns over showing me the right spelling, I then copy and paste the word into a word document or notepad and the next time I hear the word I copy and paste it again on to my dictation card. In the next couple of months the dictation cards will improve (Mark Kaufmann has promised that they will and now I’ve got it in writing). Last but not least are the multiple choice cards, where you get a word and 4 English words underneath, one of which is the correct translation. If you click the right one you are the winner of nothing in particular, but better knowledge of that particular word.
Playing with the cards is what I have been doing most of the time since my last post because I got tired of reading the same stories, and somehow I felt like it was less time consuming and what is even better, while playing with all the different cards, my number of known words magically increased, so I am now at 183 words, which is mucho better than last week. I guess Steve Kaufmann is right, you have to do what you enjoy and I really enjoy learning Spanish using flashcards.