HOW TO LEARN & RETAIN FOREIGN LANGUAGES WITH SPACED REPETITION USING ANKI FLASHCARDS
How often have we learned something and then forgotten it when we got rusty? Now imagine that there is a way to remember the things we forget by reviewing the material, just before we ignore it, without boring ourselves with the things we already remember. That’s what spaced repetition can help us with.
Spaced Repetition Methodology
Spaced repetition is a method to learn new material and then review the material at spaced-out intervals. This often involves the use of flashcards. Cards you remember reasonably well appear less often, while cards that come across as difficult to remember (e.g., complex material) will appear more frequently. This will enhance the memory retention of the new material.
Spaced repetition can be seen as an improvement over the old flashcard learning technique. Flashcards work by cramming the material into the student’s memory, regardless of how many times the student has successfully memorized the material. This makes the learning process boring and unpleasant. Spaced repetition overcomes this disadvantage by presenting the material to the student at a frequency inversely proportional to his or her ability to remember the learned material. In other words, learners ideally review the material shortly before they are about to forget it.
Since C. A. Mace’s first suggestion in 1932, much research has been conducted into the usefulness of spaced repetition. It remained a topic of interest for people who seek to improve their memory. We believe the advantage of spaced repetition over old flashcard techniques, particularly when learning a new language, can be decisive.
To apply spaced repetition to flashcards, we must set many parameters, such as the spacing between repetitions, whether the spacing is fixed or graduated, etc. Many programs use various algorithms to implement spaced repetition. We will not go into detail about the individual software programs and the algorithms they use.
We will instead opt for the most popular software among students and language learners: Anki. The word “Anki” means “memorization” in Japanese. The application was created in 2006 by Damien Elmes and uses an algorithm called SM-2 developed by SuperMemo. Anki offers many useful features while maintaining reasonable simplicity and user-friendliness.
How Languages are Learned
Many studies try to answer the question: “How many words do I need to understand X% of the language?” Stuart Webb, a linguistics professor at the University of Western Ontario, says a typical native speaker knows between 15,000 and 20,000 word families. A word family is the base form of a word (e.g. break, breaker, broken, etc. all count as a word family). A student learning just the 800 most common English words can understand 75% of the language used daily.
A 1982 study by Francis and Kucera found that a vocabulary of 2,000 word families was enough to cover almost 80 percent of written English. According to Professor Webb, you must know the 3,000 most common word families to understand film or television dialogue. A similar statement was made by the famous linguist Paul Nation, who defines 3,000 as the appropriate threshold for high-frequency words that a second language learner needs.
Using a Book hand-in-hand with Anki for Language Learning
Plenty of Anki cards are available online. Some are free, and many others are not. However, the problem with many of these public products is that they do not have a progressive learning path or strategy. The student goes through as many cards as possible. However, memorization is different from mastering a language, which involves understanding the material being learned.
To tackle this issue, the products from ADROS VERSE EDUCATION provide that missing introduction, progression, and grammar explanation to help you understand the information presented using Anki cards.
For each language, ADROS VERSE EDUCATION presents two products:
Book: With six course levels, from basic to fluent, it offers an intuitive way to improve your language skills, memory, and grammar quickly. The book is available in Spanish, French, and Italian language. It will soon be available in the Portuguese language.
Featuring an incredible anki deck collection of 5,000+ Spanish flashcards that you can use independently or hand-in-hand with the book “Learn & Retain Spanish with Spaced Repetition,” the Spanish Anki decks include grammar material and audio elements to help you with pronunciation.
Also available now:
- 5,000+ French flashcards in the book “Learn & Retain French with Spaced Repetition” featuring Anki French. Learn how with French vocabulary flashcards and a collection of French verbs Anki decks.
- 5,000+ Italian flashcards &the book “Learn & Retain Italian with Spaced Repetition” featuring Anki Italian. Learn how with Italian vocabulary flashcards and other collections of Anki decks.
Soon, it will be available:
- 5,000+ Portuguese flashcards &the book “Learn & Retain Portuguese with Spaced Repetition” featuring Anki Portuguese
To learn more, visit their website at: https://www.adrosverse.com/