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Lifehacker on spaced learning

27 Feb

I have been posting a lot over this last week about flashcards. Here is a good short piece from Lifehacker about the underlying principle: spaced repetition learning:

“the idea here is that shorter sessions spaced out will be more effective, you don’t need to build up studying as a massive task. You can study a little bit every day and retain much more information.”



How to create online flashcards with a Google spreadsheet

26 Feb

This helpful video shows how to create online flashcards using a Google spreadsheet and


Spaced repetition with flashcards

23 Feb

Yesterday, I blogged about flashcards. Using flashcards is a highly effective memory technique. Computerized spaced repetition software can make flashcards much more effective. However, it is possible to use spaced repetition with paper flashcards.

This video is about using flashcards to learn Japanese Kanji, but it is worth watching even if you are not studying Japanese. It is a good example of how to use flashcards to maximum effect:


Lifelong Learners League

22 Feb

I just stumbled across this website and blog; The Lifelong Learners League. It describes itself as “a free on line community for people who love to learn.”

Here is a recent post on using flash cards for foreign language study:

“I highly recommend this flashcard system—it cements the vocab words into my brain!”

While we are on the subject of flashcards, I would recommend trying Anki, in addition to paper cards.


Cellphone apps for language learning

16 Mar

Zach Simon at The Huffington Post blogs about cellphone apps for language learning. The article is geared for iphone users, for those of us who use Android phones there are also many good language learning programs, I recommend Anki and Memrise, both of which you can sync between your mobile device and your work station.

Beyond that, just do a search for your target language and you’ll be surprised by the wealth of language learning materials available.

Image representing Memrise as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

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Joshua Henkin on vocabulary

26 Aug

A nice piece in The New York Times by novelist Joshua Henkin on the importance of vocabulary. He says this about learning vocabulary words in a Kaplan review course:

“One day, Stanley Kaplan himself visited our class. I recall him as a kind of impresario, a Jackie Gleason-type figure who warmed the class up with a few jokes. And then he was gone, leaving me to my vocabulary words, which I kept on flash cards and which I would hum as I memorized them. It was the words themselves I was humming. It’s the same thing I do now when I write, a drone so reflexive I don’t even realize I’m doing it until my wife, who shares an office with me, says, “You’re humming again,” and I try to quiet down.”

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