Page 2 of 3 First 1 2 3 Last
Results 11 to 20 of 22
  1. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 15,469
    #11

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Grablevskij View Post
    How many flash cards do people usually make?
    Many people never make them.

    I've only used flashcards twice. Neither time was to help me learn vocabulary.

    The first time was when I was preparing for my Yachtmaster theory exam. I used commercially produced cards to help me learn chart symbols and navigation lights. I forget how many there were in each set.
    The second time was when I was preparing for an IPA exam. I made myself a set of about eighty cards, one each for the symbols that we normally don't need to transcribe English, for example, ɫ, ɭ, ɬ, ʟ, ɮ.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 9,252
    #12

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    No, you should definitely not attempt to write 15,000 flash cards. That's way too many. Even 3000 is far too many. I don't even understand how you came up with the number of 15,000 anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grablevskij View Post
    But as far as I remember the principles of using flash cards, only one piece of information shold be on a card.
    I disagree.

    But it is reasonable to dedicate a whole card to each phrase. Reasonable because otherwise there will be a lot of hints for the phrase. And we don't want any hints. We want to be honest with onselves.
    I don't understand what you're trying to say here.

    We'll get at least 15 thousand flash cards.
    Is this reasonable? Do you yourself practice such amount of cards?
    No, it is not reasonable. And no, nobody here has ever bothered to make such an astronomical number of flash cards!

    Before I advise you on what I think is a reasonable number, can I ask you how long you intend to use these cards for?

  3. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 15,469
    #13

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Also, think of the time involved. In the long distant past, I made flashcards for classroom use, some of which took over half an hour each to make.

    The phonetic symbol cards I made were very simple, and quick and easy to make, but they still took a measurable amount of time. Even if they took only 10 seconds each to produce and file, that would mean over forty hours to make 15,000.

    And, given that paper is about 0.1mm thick, 15,000 flashcards made of paper (rather than card) would stack in in a pile 1.5m high. If you use even fairly thin card, the stack will be over 2m high.

    If your paper cards are A6 size, your stack will weigh about 18kg.
    Last edited by probus; 07-Oct-2019 at 19:57. Reason: Fix typo
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  4. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2,961
    #14

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    I see no reason why you can't put the word on the front of one side, and all five pieces of information (if you really feel you need all five). That still leaves you with 3,000 cards - too many to be effective.

    I personally don't see the point in including an idiom, as idioms are a separate issue. The definition of an idiom includes a meaning that typically can't be guessed at or reasoned out from the component words, so it seems pointless. Are there even idioms involving each of those words?

    I'm also not sure why you view the etymology as critical to activating vocabulary. I'm a native speaker, and while I like to think I have a larger-than-average vocabulary, I could maybe tell you the etymology of 1% of the words I know (on a good day) - and that includes educated guesses based on linguistics and foreign languages classes I've taken. I actually find etymology a fascinating subject, but the only time I've used it for vocabulary is to try and guess the meaning of a new word based off of Latin roots, not for recalling words I've already encountered.

    I use flash cards (or their modern-day electronic equivalents) fairly often. I also make frequent use of them with students, and have my students make them, but we're talking a hundred or less (over the course of months). I find that students prefer to use some kind of app or program, but I feel like making hand-written ones gives a sense of value to the cards, plus the process of writing them out helps with memorization.

    Regardless, rote memorization isn't the most effective way to introduce new vocabulary. There's a lot of debate and research on how many exposures it takes to fully activate vocabulary, but it takes somewhere between 10-20 exposures and double that for non-native speakers. Research also agrees it's about the variety and duration of exposure - you need to use it multiple ways (write it, speak it, hear it, read it, repeat it) multiple times over increasing periods of time. It's also about depth of knowledge, not just breadth. Most words have multiple meanings, and many can be used as several different parts of speech. Do you simply know just that one word, or can you recognize other forms of it, such as word families? Can you still recognize it with affixes, and do you know how those affixes change the meaning from the form you memorized?

    Again, there's a lot of debate on how many words a day people can learn, but there's a big difference between learning a word and being able to recall it later. The average native speaker of English has about 15,000 words in their active vocabulary, with another 15,000-20,000 passive. College educated speakers will have roughly double that. However, that number drops to about 5,000 words that are used repeatedly in day-to-day spoken and written conversations.

    My point about all this is that make sure the words you learn and fully memorize are words you'll likely encounter and actually need. Make sure you focus on how well you know them as much or more than how many you know.

    Also, since I wasn't familiar with this Oxford 3,000 list I looked it up. It seems to include many function words such as 'a', 'and', 'the', etc. Do you really need a flashcard with all that information just to remember the word 'a', or similar tier one words?
    Last edited by probus; 09-Oct-2019 at 11:40. Reason: Fix typo
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. Senior Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2019
    • Posts: 811
    #15

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    No, it is not reasonable. And no, nobody here has ever bothered to make such an astronomical number of flash cards!
    You underestimate me.

    A better way to learn words is to read. Words without context are as useful and easy to remember as mathematical equations without context.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 9,252
    #16

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    You underestimate me.
    I may underestimate the power of the Dark Side, but I don't underestimate you, Glizdka.

  7. NamelessKing's Avatar
    Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Chile
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jan 2019
    • Posts: 361
    #17

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    You underestimate me.

    A better way to learn words is to read. Words without context are as useful and easy to remember as mathematical equations without context.
    I still know Maxwell's equations in their integral form by heart, and I don't remember when was the last time I applied them. LOL
    To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 16,573
    #18

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Somebody already said this, but my advice is to learn words you will use. Also, when learning a new word use it in a sentence ten times. (Ten different sentences.) Don't bother with etymology. Focus on usage.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 15-Oct-2019 at 12:57. Reason: Insert missing word (Thanks, G!)
    Not a professional teacher

  9. Senior Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2019
    • Posts: 811
    #19

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Also, when learning a new word, use it in a sentence ten times. (Ten different sentences.)


    Or even better, write something coherent using a few different words you want to learn.

  10. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 67,302
    #20

    Re: Flash cards to activate vocabulary

    I knew a student who learnt fifty words a day, and was also able to contextualise them. I haven't met another like her with the raw memory skills to do that. I wouldn't underestimate memory skills because I have seen them, but such skills are very uncommon. I could learn fifty words in an evening, but I wouldn't remember them three weeks later without further work.

Page 2 of 3 First 1 2 3 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •