flash cards for language learning

In your language learning journey, all learning tools should be welcome. The more you diversify your language learning methods, the more fun and engaging the learning will be. One of the learning tools that are great for improving your vocabulary is flashcards.

Flashcards are small note cards used for testing your knowledge and memorizing new words. They are perfect for drilling vocabulary terms. Using flashcards is a quick and effective method.

If you want to know more about the use of flashcards, just keep reading. Let’s learn more about flashcards and what they can do for you!


Why You Should Use Flashcards When Learning a Language?

What makes these little cards such an effective learning tool? That’s what we are about to uncover.

There are numerous benefits of using flashcards in language learning. We present to you some of the main reasons why using flashcards is a good idea:

10 Tips for Using Flashcards

Now, let’s get to work! Here are some practical tips for using flashcards to learn new words.

1. Add an example

In addition to the translation of the word, add an example in the target language. Come up with a sentence that includes the vocabulary word.

Writing an example in the target language will provide the word some context. Make the sentence personal or funny. It will be more memorable in that way. If you need some examples of how to create flashcards, you can check out https://subjecto.com/flashcards/, a free database of flashcards.

2. Say the words out loud

Practice your pronunciation while reviewing the words. Whenever you pull out the flashcards, say the word out loud.

The brain processes information you say out loud differently from the information you repeat in your head. Saying the word will have a stronger impact.

4. Add drawings next to the definition

Include your visual senses in the learning process by making a little drawing on the flashcard. However, add the drawing next to the translation, not the target word. You should be able to know what the word means without any help.

5. Review the flashcards regularly

Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” This quote by Zig Ziglar beautifully explains the importance of repetition. Studying with flashcards won’t help if you don’t do it on a regular basis.

Preferably, you should revise the vocabulary with flashcards once a day. Until you master all words, be consistent with revision. You can even do a monthly revision of all flashcards you’ve made. Organize it in a manner that suits you best, just make it regular.

6. Bring the flashcards with you

Another amazing thing about flashcards is that you can take them anywhere. They don’t take up much space. Just stash them in your bag or backpack and turn them into your faithful companion.

Whenever you have some downtime, do a little review. It can be while you wait for the bus or even stand in a row at the bank. Flashcards can help you pass the time in a useful way.

7. Shuffle the deck every time

If you keep the cards in the same order, your brain will get used to it. When that happens, it won’t associate the word with a notion but with its position in the row. To prevent this from happening, shuffle the deck before every revision.

8. Use the waterfall method

You shouldn’t waste time on easy words that you’ve mastered. Instead, put more effort into practicing the toughest vocabulary. The waterfall method can help you with that.

Here’s how the waterfall method words. Put the cards in a Master Pile and revise the terms. Keep the cards you know perfectly in that pile and put the ones you don’t know in a Pile A.

Next, review the cards in Pile A. Put the cards you don’t know (or aren’t sure about) in Pile B. Do the same to create a Pile C. Repeat this method until you know all the terms on the cards.

9. Keep the review under 20 minutes

Revision with flashcards is fast and dynamic. This means that your brain will be under pressure. If you do a flashcards revision for more than 20 minutes, your brain will get really tired. You don’t want that.

Practicing with flashcards for 20 minutes or less is more than enough. Since revision with flashcards is fast, you can cover a lot in a shorter period of time.

10. Learn with your friends

If you want to learn in a group, flashcards can help you. Flashcards can spice up your vocabulary practice and add some fun to the learning process. How? Play charades with the flashcards with your language learning peers.

Split up in teams and place the flashcards in a basket, bag, or hat. A representative of one team should pull out a flashcard. Then, he or she should explain with miming and body language what the term is. Bear in mind that the answer must be in the target language.

As you “act out” the terms, the body language and mimic will give you new association to the words and help you memorize them better.

Final Thoughts

Flashcards can easily become your favorite tool for vocabulary learning and revision. It is an engaging and effective method that you can practice anytime and anywhere. Don’t hesitate to give flashcards a try. They can make learning much more fun.

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