Language learning flashcards - Spanish, German, French, Italian and Welsh

The 200 Words a Day! system is a kind of electronic language learning flashcards system.

A recent user wrote to me saying that a certain language learning software program that he had used was easy to use, and asked me to look at their system.

I checked out the course that he had recommended and we tested it thoroughly. It is a straightforward flashcard program.

They show you a picture of a dog and then give you the word in the foreign language.

I call them DOG EQUALS DOG flashcards....

...or dog=dog flashcards.

And of course the 200 Words a Day! system is a flashcard type software system of language learning using Memory Trigger cartoons.

And yes we can incorporate such a DOG EQUALS DOG flashcard system into the 200 Words a Day! system.

But why have we not done so to date?


It is much less effective than the 200 Words a Day! system which incorporates

  • Memory Triggers
  • Gender Triggers
  • Famous Characters to aid recall
A straight flashcard system just shows you the word, with a picture maybe (which ours will) then teaches you the foreign word.

Back to boring repetition... yaaawwwwwn...

You then need to repeat it several times to get it into the subconscious.

The problem is that you are back to boring rote learning and repetition. The only difference is that it is rote learning on a computer. And only the most disciplined students can tolerate it. The rest go to sleep. Which is partly why language learning at schools is plummeting in countries like the UK.

Another criticism of the DOG=DOG flashcard system is that you already know what a dog is. The learner does not really need to see a picture of a dog to know what a dog is.

The counter argument is that you see the word in context (in some systems like Rosetta Stone, without being translated).

So there is a subconscious connection.... a bit of third ear language learning going on.

I agree with this...but...

Language learning Memory Triggers are much more powerful, more effective and longer lasting...

Using a properly constructed Memory Trigger, with a gender trigger, if it is a noun, this is far, far more powerful.

If I give most people a list of items... how many can they remember?

Answer: Not many.

If I give you a list of items, most people will remember about 5 or 6 items.

With Memory Triggers, and the knowledge of the correct techniques you can remember a list of 10 or 20. With more training 50 or 100 items.

So the same applies with learning foreign language vocabulary.

With properly constructed Memory Triggers you can learn hundreds of words in a day. Without them about 30 words a day is what language giants Berlitz say a student can achieve.

They are right. Using the techniques of 99% of language teachers and language courses out there, you will learn about 20-30 words a day. With us, you can do 200, 300, 400 or more even!

Why waste your time? Why not blitz through them at a cracking pace.

So yes I will add a dog=dog language learning flashcard system

I will incorporate flashcards into future 200 Words a Day! programs purely as a cross-fertilization and learning consolidation system, that complements and reinforces the current 200 Words a Day! system.

From a software makers point of view, dog=dog flashcards are much easier to make than our carefully constructed Memory Triggers.

Easy-peasy - a photo of a dog, then the foreign word.

The trouble with using this system on its own, is that in a week you are more likely to have forgotten the words!

You are more likely to have forgotten the genders. If you learning a European language like Spanish, French, German, Welsh or Italian you are then in trouble. you'll be calling male things female, calling a he a she....

Flashcards in 200 Words a Day! software...

The way that I can recommend this system working is to first do the 200 Words a Day! lesson using the Memory Triggers and Gender Triggers, test yourself, then on subsequent lessons do the learning and testing using the flashcard function.

This cross-pollinates, cross-fertilizes and consolidates your learning of the Memory Trigger.

The 200 Words a Day! system has a built-in scheduler which tells you when to retake your lessons, these reminders coming at optimum learning intervals (1 day, a week, a month a quarter after the original lesson, then again after a year).

So on these revision lessons, I recommend doing the Dog equals Dog flashcards. Not at the first pass... but you have the choice to find a system that suits yourself.

We will therefore soon have the following language learning flashcard systems incorporated into the 200 Words a Day! language learning system....

  • Spanish language learning flashcards
  • French language learning flashcards
  • Welsh language learning flashcards
  • German language learning flashcards
  • Italian language learning flashcards

Remember to put your language learning into practice

Don't forget that you must put your learned vocabulary into practice. So practise, practise, practise!!!

Remember that the most effective language learners are the ones who use language as a TOOL. A tool to communicate. If you are a bit of a perfectionist you may find that you many never end up speaking the language because you are hung up with getting everything right! Language learning is about communication.

When you put your words in to practice, in conversation, then the real consolidation takes place. Speaking and listening in a total immersion environment will be where your real language learning accelerates.

Remember Memory Triggers are like training wheels on a bike. They get you up and running, but you need to get into conversation with native speakers to consolidate the knowledge and get flying.

Remember I do not recommend flashcards learning using the dog equals dog system if you have a system of properly constructed Memory Triggers like the 200 Words a Day! system. I recommend them in conjunction, as an addition to the Memory Trigger electronic flashcards which are much more effective.

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