Repeating words is a common strategy for people to preserve memory. Is spaced repetition in French, however, the best method? Is there any distinction for language learners? Let’s see how it works!
What has spaced repetition?
Spaced repetition is a method of learning, not only memorizing. It’s a great way to remember terms in the future.
The idea is simple: space out your study sessions to better commit the material to long-term memory.
Assume you discover a new term. The more you study it, the easier it will be to remember. Through a few well-timed review sessions, it finally makes its way into your long-term memory.
The SRS (Spaced Repetition System) is a presentation method that delivers knowledge before you lose it and keeps it fresh in your mind at all times. So, you might see a word a few minutes after seeing it the first time, then a few days later, then a few weeks later, and so on, always at the time you need to see it the most to keep it fresh in your mind.
The first studies on spaced repetition were conducted in the nineteenth century. Hermann Ebbinghaus created a massive list of nonsensical syllables (e.g., daus, dor, gim, ke4k…) and learned them over a year, keeping a log of his progress and employing various learning methods.
He repeated the experiment three years later to confirm his findings. He developed the first concepts of learning curves, forgetting curves, and spaced repetition due to this experiment.
It took nearly a century of effort (by scientists like Piotr Wozniak) to mathematically analyze the forgetting curve and develop a practical algorithm for presenting information for study at the correct time.
The spaced repetition memorization approach is based on Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve and the assumption that there is an optimal time to revisit the knowledge you have learned.
You must review material too soon to save time. If you examine the subject too late, you will forget it and have to re-learn it. The most significant moment to review material is correct it before you need to remember it.
It is difficult to predict when that time will come. And the time will vary depending on the person and the information being memorized. Computers can now determine the best time for reviewing (and smartphones).
This is an excellent revising strategy as opposed to cramming (trying to memorize a large number of information in a short time). It takes fewer review sessions (and less time) to memorize new knowledge and lasts far longer.
You will only spend time studying and relearning easy terms or vocabulary if you concentrate on the most challenging knowledge. It is about something other than studying for hours on end. It’s all about studying at the right time.
Which, as you should know by now, is just before you forget all you’ve learned. Memorizing new foreign words and phrases takes 10 to 15 minutes daily. Of course, you must study your flashcards on time for the technique to work!
Modern tools for old methods
Going through a phrasebook’s vocabulary at random, or even systematically, could be more efficient. You might not study the most complex terms when you need to, or you might keep seeing the easy words too frequently, or you might need to remember words since you last reviewed them a long time ago.
SRS addresses all these concerns by allowing you to pick when you should see a word again based on particular criteria (typically, how difficult you felt it was) (usually, how hard you thought it was).
As a result, the simple words are delayed until much later. The tricky words continue to emerge until you are delighted with them, and the medium-difficult words will reappear only when you need them to assist you in remembering what you have learned.
It’s challenging to know when to study a word again when you see it in a written list, but that’s where technology comes in!
The forgetting curve
The concept of the “forgetting curve,” created in the late nineteenth century by German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus, is central to the theory of spaced repetition. Consider this the evil twin of the learning curve.
It indicates how quickly you forget something after learning it for the first time or after studying it. It even has its formula. It’s a natural phenomenon that’s incredibly upsetting for language learners since it shows how difficult it may be to remember what we’ve learned.
Fortunately, a German psychologist devised a method to counteract the forgetting curve, and we now have the Spaced Repetition System (SRS). It’s an essential component of all our products since it helps users remember the language they learn.
After you first learn something, the ignoring bend slants steeply downward. New content maintains an eye on being around for only a short period. This focuses on why packing is a lousy way to learn. It may help you finish the test, but you will always remember everything you were tested on.
Fortunately, by analyzing the data at specified sections, the bend can be loosened. To put it another way, scattered redundancy. This graph employs a cutting-edge recipe form to demonstrate how the bend improves after redundancy.
As shown in the graph, if you learn something once, you will most likely fail to recall it quickly. The vertical blue line means you have a 60% chance of recalling new information one day after discovering it.
The divided redundancy framework calculation will provide you with facts to survey shortly after you learn it for your most memorable audit meeting (somewhere between 7 and 24 hours, contingent upon trouble). Notice how the next bend (in red) is substantially less steep than the first?
That means it will take longer for you to forget the information you recently considered. The computation will provide you with data to audit less frequently and only on rare occasions (unless you have difficulties recalling it) until you’ve committed the data to your drawn-out memory.
Finding time to study
I, like other people, am a person who is always on the go! Every day, I try to work, write books, work resolutely on my language degree, have a public activity and basic food item shop/clean/rest/eat/compose websites and messages/work out, and so on.
There are, however, ways to set aside a few minutes to compensate for the time wasted pausing.
When you wait for the bus/metro/train to arrive, stand by while requesting espresso in the morning, or trust that your companion will come, you are separated from everyone else. What do you do if you can’t communicate with someone?
Do Anki’s flashcards work?
Trying to remember all of the new terms that you’re learning? Cheat sheets are a technique for memorizing a language.
They use a concept known as split reiteration, in which a computation determines how well you know each word/cheat sheet, then concentrates on them so you may focus on the things you can’t tell without wasting significant time on the ones you already know.
Damien Elmes built Anki (for iPhone, Android, and everyone else) to evaluate items you want to learn using SRS. Jargon, city/country capitals, clinical terminology, play substance, etc. Anything you wish to commit to memory! There are numerous similar applications, such as Quizlet and Memrise.
Here’s an example of what you can accomplish with these cheat sheets. It’s a more complex version of the cheat sheet structure in which a word appears on one side of a card, and its explanation appears on the other.
You look at the word, test yourself to see if you know it, and then deliver the card to see the interpretation. You couldn’t get more low-tech than that, no matter how hard you tried, but SRS uses 21st-century innovation to make this possible while keeping time in mind.
By all reports, the program does precisely what you’d expect from a cheat sheet: it displays a word with no interpretation (the term can be in either your native language or the target language), and you can choose whether or not you understand what it means. Then click “Reply,” and it will display it to you.
The problem with Anki’s flashcards
You worked hard on your cheat sheets before your trip abroad. You remembered essential words and expressions like “hello,” “where is the restroom,” and “I’ll have a lager,” but when you arrived, it was as if your memory had never encountered the language.
The words just wouldn’t come. It’s not you. It’s how you used the cheat sheets: Learning a language as an adult requires time and effort, yet the go-to focus tactics that most consistent language students use are over 100 years old.
The problem with Anki, Quizlet, and Memrise…
Anki, Quizlet, and Memrise are well-known programs for the segregated redundancy of cheat sheets in the current high-tech era. Now I’ll shock you with an admission: I don’t use any of them.
- Existing cheat sheet sets are crammed with meaningless or irrelevant text.
- Making your cheat sheets takes a lot of time: choosing terms, finding photos, and so on.
- SRS applications do not allow you to sputter.
- We retain more information when we take longhand notes.
To put it bluntly, these applications are those substantial activity contraptions that promise to transform you into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s present moment. It helps that you have it, but you stop using it after a few days.
Furthermore, with no specific mechanical assembly, the average person can finish up perfectly at home. You might be thinking about how I review language.
Then, concentrate on my online course on the most effective method to master dialects quickly. It will spare you from making ineffective inquiries for long periods.
Spaced repetition needs a context
Regardless of how enthusiastically I provide this framework to you, it is vital to understand that acquiring new terminology is simply one method. The best technique is to hear and apply it in a context with native speakers.
The setting is what you receive from watching French news or reading a story (on the off chance that the text is straightforward). Even if you “learned” all the jargon in the world, you wouldn’t be able to use it in meaningful conversations until you worked on other skills required for language learning.
Because you typically hear words in isolation (even though model sentences are possible), it implies you have no unique situation. This is a seriously deceptive method for learning words as basic interpretations of something from your first language rather than understanding how to use the actual word.
You cannot become fluent in any language by merely learning interpretations. Someone who uses excessive SRS will only be as far forward as someone who uses other procedures.
Furthermore, more than simply looking at the term is needed, and SRS might turn into an excessive replica of repetition advancing via unadulterated redundancy if you consider it harder while employing it.
If you are exposed enough times, you will be pushed to recall it; nevertheless, I prefer to attempt to construct an imaging relationship of the term or potentially contemplate a guide to incorporate it and communicate that to myself, so I utilize it in its proper environment. This way, I’m far more likely to remember it later on.
SRS is faulty when used alone, but when combined with independent thinking, its actual potential becomes much more apparent. I’m sure many of you have the feeling you’ve taken in a word and are confident of it, but you can’t speak it.
This could be because it has been a long time since you studied that word, and employing SRS a couple of times daily will guarantee that all words you use in the framework will always be considered, assuming that you apply them correctly.
Separated redundancy needs to be increased. Try not to expect to make an effect with 2,000 jargon words while also being able to understand them.
SRS is a tool for supporting the things you know are essential for your language acquisition, such as words you use frequently or linguistic patterns that appear helpful. It is not a substitute for interacting with people who speak the language you want to learn, writing exercises, or reading words for a story or article.
Another thing to consider for learning words proficiently and remembering them is to prevent being acquainted with the jargon in only one way: from an unknown dialect to a local language, focusing on recognition rather than production.
Many people utilize this institution to learn languages but need clarification when the occasion to converse with them arises. In this case, words should also appear in SRS for interpretation in the unknown dialect.
For spaced repetition, a course is better than an app
I’ve already discussed cheat sheet applications for dispersed redundancy because they’re incredibly well-known (I intend that). I believe there are more compelling ways of assessing jargon than relying on an application for cheat sheets.
In general, I don’t create cheat sheets! Regardless, I adore sound courses in light of different repetitions. Why?
Do you remember why I decided not to use Anki?
- Words that are useless or unimportant
- Making cheat sheets wastes time.
- There will be no conversation.
- Penmanship is better to screen reading.
Overall, my ideal language course is prevalent in each perspective:
- Its purpose is to purposefully audit helpful jargon.
- It is ready for use.
- It encourages you to converse.
- You study through sound rather than text.
Surprisingly, relying on sound is also an excellent way to learn French in the car.