19 votes
Accepted

When using flashcards, should the word or the definition be hidden?

They cannot be compared directly, as they are used for entirely different skills. When you hide a word, and show only the definition, you are testing your ability to recall. I have a concept in ...
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  • 5,052
18 votes
Accepted

How does learning vocabulary through sentences compare to learning with words alone?

It's usually best to avoid dichotomies like "Is strategy X better or strategy Y better?". In most cases, strategies are not mutually exclusive but complementary. With vocabulary learning, using ...
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  • 1,817
13 votes

Why are flash cards effective in learning a language?

Indeed, there are too many factors. Flash cards prompt one's memory in a random order (unlike, for example, lectures), hence, building neural connections between the meaning, phonetic value, and ...
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  • 1,408
11 votes

How can I strengthen vocabulary knowledge of words learned with flash cards?

It seems I'm associating the Korean word more with the English words on the card than with the actual meaning. This may be a key part of your problem. Your flash cards aren't teaching you to speak ...
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  • 5,052
10 votes
Accepted

How many new words at a time?

If your flashcards are divided into just two piles—the big one and the small one—you may need to refine your reviewing system or "algorithm". One very common system is the Leitner system (named after ...
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  • 19.3k
8 votes

How can I strengthen vocabulary knowledge of words learned with flash cards?

Part of the problem is that you're dealing with words. Words outside of the context of a sentence are just words. They need to be vitalized by putting them into the context of a sentence. In order to ...
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  • 4,885
8 votes

How does learning vocabulary through sentences compare to learning with words alone?

Well, using flashcards you will learn words and build your vocabulary. However, learning vocabulary through sentences will help you learn how to use these words. In this way, you can learn a language ...
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  • 405
7 votes

How should I make flash cards for words with multiple meanings?

You might try two things for cases like this: Make two cards instead of one. Using your example of "fly", you could make one card based on "fly (noun)" and another one based on "fly (verb)" or "to ...
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  • 5,016
6 votes

How do cloze flashcards compare to translation flashcards?

After doing some research, I haven't found any scientific literature regarding the retention rate or effectiveness of cloze flashcards. However, there is some past research regarding what each type of ...
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  • 8,977
5 votes
Accepted

How should I make flash cards for words with multiple meanings?

Your question reveals a major shortcoming in translation-based flashcard: the ambiguity of words. Some people who have written about language learning advise against translation-based flashcards. ...
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  • 19.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Why are flash cards effective in learning a language?

There are multiple ways they help as seen in this site: Engages Active Recall - As people practice with flashcards, the brain is forced to recall the back of the card correctly and quickly. This ...
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  • 5,228
5 votes
Accepted

How to personalize a vocabulary flashcard deck without spending too much time on it?

Ask yourself: does this part help me recognize the word, or help me use the word? If the part helps you to recognize the word, like the definition, the pronunciation, the synonyms, then they are ...
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  • 910
4 votes

How can I put grammar rules into flashcards?

You could put questions about grammar on the front and the answer on the back. See for example studystack.com: What tense is "has/have written"? Present perfect What is the difference ...
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  • 661
4 votes

How to personalize a vocabulary flashcard deck without spending too much time on it?

Most of the time of learning cards with Anki isn't in about creating new cards but about repeated cards because you forgot what the card means. Most attempts of saving time in card creation result ...
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  • 824
4 votes

How can flashcards be made using only the target language?

Pictures! Lots of people (maybe you) learn audio-visually, which basically means you learn with sounds and pictures. Tons of words can be differentiated with the appropriate picture. The word "...
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  • 5,228
4 votes

How can I put grammar rules into flashcards?

Which of the three options you choose will depend on your learning goals: If your goal (or one of your goals) is to be able to reproduce grammar rules, learn grammatical terms, etc. (as may be the ...
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  • 19.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Should I learn a whole bunch of new words at once with Anki?

If there were a deadline for the set of words you have in Anki, you basically divide the number of unseen words by the number of remaining days and use the outcome of that division as a guideline for ...
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  • 19.3k
3 votes

Are paper flash cards better for retention than digital flash cards (both self made)?

Through some basic Google-fu, I found a couple studies, but they have problems: Gilbert Dizon, Daniel Tang. Comparing the efficacy of digital flashcards versus paper flashcards to improve receptive ...
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  • 131
3 votes

How can I strengthen vocabulary knowledge of words learned with flash cards?

Flashcards help you learn words quickly and effectively. You will be able to understand the written word when you see it in writing. If you practice high frequency words, they should be helpful in ...
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  • 231
3 votes

When using flashcards, should the word or the definition be hidden?

One way to look at things is the "definition" versus the "word." Another way to look at them is the "native language" (definition) versus the "foreign" word. Which one to emphasize depends on your ...
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  • 1,859
2 votes

How to personalize a vocabulary flashcard deck without spending too much time on it?

Every space repetition learner should read: Effective learning: Twenty rules of formulating knowledge on the SuperMemo site. Very relevant topic: 2. Learn before you memorize Nobody says that you ...
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  • 784
2 votes

My L2 and L3 are similar, will using L2/L3 flashcards increase or reduce the possibility of mixing them up?

My L2 and L3 are similar, will using L2/L3 flashcards increase or reduce the possibility of mixing them up? Regardless of your L2 and L3 (or L1 or LN), using bilingual flash-cards teaches you how to ...
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  • 5,052
2 votes

My L2 and L3 are similar, will using L2/L3 flashcards increase or reduce the possibility of mixing them up?

Gabriel Wyner (Fluent Forever) recommends avoiding translations in flashcards. Instead, he recommends creating L2-only flashcards for L2, and L3-only flashcards for L3. For concrete things, this is ...
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  • 19.3k
2 votes

Is there reliable data for the success rates of different methods of learning/reviewing vocabulary?

Your question can't be answered directly. I've read some scientific articles about efficiency of learning. I've always looked for experimental results. Most common experiments are performed on ...
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  • 784
2 votes

How do cloze flashcards compare to translation flashcards?

You better use both, why? "Cloze flashcards" have always been good to learn definitions of certain words within context. You may know that one word can have several meanings, and the meaning very ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Creating flashcards for grammatical rules that requires a few steps of thought, such as SPOCK versus WEIRDO

The purpose of grammar flash cards is to "acquire" grammar rules rather than "learning" them. I am borrowing this distinction from Stephen Krashen (see Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language ...
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  • 19.3k
1 vote

Incorrect answer: repeat question again or come back later?

Actually this depends on the system requirements. However, why don't you just adjust the system so that allows the learner to choose if they want to shuffle or repeat. You can go further by also add ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Is it more efficient to make flashcards for L3 in L2 and L1?

In terms of efficiency, it is likely better to make the flashcards in conjunction with your L1. In terms of effectiveness of retaining your non-native languages, however, then it would be better to ...
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  • 5,016
1 vote

How can I put grammar rules into flashcards?

You have multiple options here. You can do the grammar rule on one side and its definition on the other: Pronoun / a word that can function by itself as a noun phrase This can be good since you ...
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  • 5,228
1 vote

Is there reliable data for the success rates of different methods of learning/reviewing vocabulary?

I guess there's no universal way for learning new words. Everyone is different: some people need to write down a word, other people need to hear the word etc. I have been learning foreign languages ...
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