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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.

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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.


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  • Carol
    February 18, 2015 at 4:14 am

    Hi Lykke, I am at about 80 words in French now. I went to an orchestra rehearsal last night and we were working on a French piece. I asked the conductor for the exact title so I could find the music to listen to. He replied, Games of Children, or Jeux de L’enfants. I was so pleased that I could distinguish these word and spell them! I never really thought about French as helping me with my music. We continue to watch movies in French and I enjoy this. I also study French textbooks and this helps my move along faster in LingQ. I like to write the words by hand in my notebook. I also make hand written note cards and carry them with me when I go out. Hang in there! I will do more this week!

    • Lykke
      February 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Hhhmmm, is there anything similar in Spanish? I really enjoy using music as a learning tool, mostly because I love music. Today someone told me to try watching some tele-novellas or whatever they are called. Think that sounds like a fun thing to do.
      What kind of instrument do you play? Forgive me if you have already told me I have a terrible memory (which sucks when learning a new language)

      • Carol
        February 18, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        I play the violin. I would think there would be lots of fun Spanish music.

  • Carol
    February 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Alter talking with the conductor, and now correcting my spelling, I have found several recordings of Jeux d’enfants. Some of the recordings have other French pieces included, so this is a fun new way to stay inspired.

  • mmaisonette
    February 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    In my point of view, learning vocabulary through flashcards is one of the most efficient ways to learn new words and the system that LingQ uses is very interesting, in fact.

    In my case, I like to use flashcards in different moments of the day, preferably out of my study schedule. It helps me brush up the learned words during the day and keep them recorded into my mind after sometime.

    Let us aware about your evolution on this challenge.


    • Lykke
      February 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      I will try to keep you posted, thanks for reading 🙂

    • Carol
      February 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Can you use the flash cards on your smart phone? I have one, but I don’t know all that it can do yet.

      • Lykke
        February 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

        You can. You have to change the settings. In settings you have three options, they are: view your lessons as sentences, full text or flashcards.

  • Carol
    February 19, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I watched a movie in French last night that was mostly dialogue and only understood a few words. I had already watched it before with English subtitles, but the second time I turned them off.

    • Brian Scott Preston
      February 20, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      I have a great idea for learning French or Spanish. When you rent a movie look in the “special features” section and select language. You will most likely find Spanish, but the next most popular language in this country is French. Select the language and you will hear the voice dub in French or Spanish. Haven’t seen one in German yet. THEN… Select “closed captioning” Select it in French… Then you can hear the language dubbed by professional actors whilst reading it in French or Spanish. I Find it easier right now to read French than to listen to it–this helps a lot.

  • Alexis
    February 19, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Lykke!!

    Keep on the good work 😉 Don’t forget we will have a SERIOUS conversation in a few month!! :))

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