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Spaced repetition for the Spanish language

spaced repetition for the spanish language

One of the typical ways a person retains memory is by repeating words. But is spaced repetition in Spanish the proper practice? Are there any differences for language learners? Let’s find out how it works!

From language learning theories to the best Spanish course

from language learning theories to the best spanish course

Ciao! I’m Stefano, the Spanish polyglot. About spaced repetition, I’ll share what I know with you. I am not an expert in the study of linguistics. I simply adore learning new languages, and I value sound advice just as much as you do. However, that doesn’t mean that theory doesn’t help. Understanding how language acquisition works will help you choose the best learning resources and set reasonable expectations.

In this post, I deal with an important concept of language learning that is often mentioned in the marketing pitch of language-learning products: spaced repetition. Since a lack of comprehension of language acquisition frequently results in slow progress and dissatisfaction with strategies and products that would otherwise work, I think providing an introduction to the subject is important.

I’ll develop the subject in the following way to keep things applicable and not overly academic:

  • To explain how crucial it is to choose a study method based on this idea, I’ll share with you the case of a language student in a way that you can connect
  • I’ll go into great detail about the theory of spaced repetition in learning a second language.
  • I’ll tell you the reason why I don’t use apps to review vocabulary
  • I suggest a specific course that offers lots of spaced repetition for those who are having trouble with the Spanish language and are looking for a workable solution: “Ripeti con me!

I’m struggling with vocabulary! How do you memorize new words?

Do you find it difficult to memorize vocabulary? Those words just don’t become set into your memory. It turns out that you’re not alone:

I’m a native Brazilian, and I’m studying Japanese. As you can see, I speak English, so you would think I have gone through the process of learning vocabulary once, so I should know how it works. The trouble is I feel it took me a very long time to learn English, considering how fast most other people I know mastered it and it being so near to Portuguese as it is.

And even in English, vocabulary has always been my biggest problem. I started to be able to watch English-language movies more or less comfortably about five years ago. Here we have a long story of struggle and low self-esteem. And I still think I have a pretty limited vocabulary. And the thing with English is that it comes from the same place as Portuguese, so there are a lot of similarities in the vocabulary.

Japanese today has completely changed. Because the sounds are more limited, there are no commonalities at all, and the words all sound the same. I’m in trouble now. With relatively easy (similar) languages, you can get by with guessing. That, however, does not apply to “exotic” languages.

When I listen and read a new word, I can look up the meaning and understand what it means in its context, but literally, 5 seconds later, I forgot how to read the word, and in 10 seconds, I already forgot the meaning. I can extend these times by “insisting” more on the word, such as by repeating it aloud, writing it down, or recalling other terms that utilize the same kanji, but it never seems to be enough because the next morning, I can’t recall it at all.

If I go through a text with 30 sentences, and wake up the next day and try to remember what did I learn from that text yesterday, I will maybe remember one word out of 20 new words in that text that I spent an hour reading, and reinforce some words that I already knew, and that’s it. Aiming at memorizing everything would certainly be unrealistic, but 1 out of 20 is certainly not much.

Even the best list of the 1000 most common Spanish words alone won’t help without context. I currently use spaced repetition and review my cards every day for about 10 minutes. If I were to add these words that I am prone to forgetting as new cards, I would undoubtedly remember them. But how could I possibly do that with 10k or more common words that exist? In 3 months of doing that, I would easily be spending my whole day reviewing cards, and I can’t even endure 20min of doing that.

And then, with spaced repetition, I feel that after a certain point of studying a card over and over, it gets less and less useful. At some point, I have read that card so much that I’m reading it, but my mind is somewhere else, not catching any of the actual meaning of it anymore. It’s simple to apply a sound technique incorrectly.

Of course, there are a lot of methods I can use to fixate words in my head: looking for more examples, writing them down, flashcards, mnemonics, and so on, but whatever I need to do, the problem I have with it is how am I supposed to do that with each one of the 10k plus words that I need to be comfortable with the language?

So I don’t know if there is some issue with the way my mind works, If I’m simply too lazy and I don’t study enough, or what it is, but something seems to be amiss with my ability to learn the language, and I need to figure out what it is. Unfortunately, these people are so upset with the subpar outcomes that they blame themselves. How are we supposed to “diagnose this patient”?

I don’t think it’s their fault. They’re motivated to learn. Their outcomes, though, are disappointing. Is it their strategy to blame? Perhaps the methods they employ to carry it out? or the way they employ those tools?

what does spacing repeat mean

What does spacing repeat mean?

Spaced repetition is a learning method, not just a memorization technique. It’s a wonderful way to recall terminology in the future. The principle is simple: spreading out your study periods to better commit the material to your long-term memory.

Let’s say that you learn a new word. The more you study it, the easier it is to recall. It eventually finds its way into your long-term memory through a few well-timed review sessions. The SRS (Spaced Repetition System) is a presentation approach that delivers the knowledge before you would forget it and makes sure that it always stays fresh in your mind.

So, you might see a word a few minutes after the first time, then a few days later, then a few weeks later, etc., always at the time you need to see it most to make sure it is constantly fresh in your mind. Initial research on spaced repetition dates back to the 19th century.

A man named Hermann Ebbinghaus constructed a huge list of nonsense syllables (e.g. daus, dor, gim, ke4k …) and learned them over one year, keeping a record of his progress and utilizing various learning methods. To check his results, he repeated the same experiment 3 years later. From this experiment, he formed the earliest notions of learning curves, forgetting curves, and spaced repetition.

It took nearly a century of research (by scientists like Piotr Wozniak) to model the forgetting curve mathematically and create an effective algorithm to present information for study at just the right time. The spaced repetition method of memorization is based on Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve and the fact that there is an ideal moment to review the information you have learned.

You’ll lose time if you review information too soon. You will forget the material if you examine it too late, and you will need to re-learn it. The best time to review information is just before you’re about to forget it. It is challenging to forecast when that time will be. And the time will differ for each person and each piece of memorized information. The ideal time for review can now be predicted thanks to computers (and smartphones).

As opposed to cramming (trying to memorize lots of things in a short amount of time), this is an ideal revision method. To memorize new information takes fewer review sessions (and less time), and it’s much more enduring. Since you’ll focus on the most difficult knowledge, you won’t waste time learning and relearning easy terms or words you already know.

It’s not about studying for hours and hours on end. It’s about studying at the proper time, which is, as you should know by now, right before you forget what you’ve learned. To sustainably memorize new foreign words and phrases, all it takes is 10 to 15 minutes per day. Of course, for the technique to work, you have to study your flashcards when you’re supposed to!

Modern tools for old methods

modern tools for old methods in learning spanish language

Randomly or even systematically going through vocabulary in a phrasebook is inefficient. You might not review the hardest words when you need to, or you’ll keep seeing the easy words too often, or you’ll forget words because you didn’t review them for a very long time. SRS answers all of these issues by letting you decide when you should see a word again based on certain criteria (usually, how hard you felt it was) (usually, how hard you felt it was).

Therefore, the simple words are put off until much later; the challenging words keep coming up until you are finally satisfied with them, and the medium-difficult words will reappear just as you require them to help you remember what you have learned. Deciding when to study a word again when you see it in a printed list is too hard, but that’s where technology comes in!

The forgetting curve

The concept of the “forgetting curve,” developed by the German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus in the late 19th century, is fundamental to the theory of spaced repetition. Think of this as the evil twin of the learning curve. It describes the rate at which you forget something once you learn it, either for the first time or after reviewing it. There is even a formula for it.

It’s a natural phenomenon that’s especially distressing for language learners since it illustrates how tough it can be to recall the things we learn. It’s a natural phenomenon that’s especially distressing for language learners since it illustrates how tough it can be to recall the things we learn. It’s a natural phenomenon that’s especially distressing for language learners since it illustrates how tough it can be to recall the things we learn.

Fortunately, a German psychologist came up with a way to combat the forgetting curve, and today we have the Spaced Repetition System (SRS) (SRS). It’s a critical component in all of our applications since it assists users with really recalling the jargon they learn. The neglecting bend slants steeply descend after you initially learn something. New material keeps an eye on not staying around for a long time.

This focuses on why packing is a terrible method for learning. It could assist you with finishing the test. However, you will never fail to remember all that you were tried on. Fortunately, the bend can be relaxed by auditing the data at specific stretches. In other words, dispersed redundancy.

This graph utilizes a cutting-edge variant of the recipe to show how the bend facilitates after redundancies. As you can find in the graph, you are probably going to fail to remember data rapidly on the off chance that you just learn it once. The blue line is steep, implying that one day after you discover some new information, there’s somewhere around a 60% opportunity you’ll recall it.

For your most memorable audit meeting, the divided redundancy framework calculation will give you data to survey soon after you learn it (somewhere in the range of 7 and 24 hours, contingent upon trouble). Perceive how the subsequent bend (in red) is now significantly less steep than the first. That implies that it’ll take longer for you to fail to remember the data you recently contemplated.

The calculation will give you data to audit less and on rare occasions (except if you experience difficulty recollecting it) until you’ve committed the data to your drawn-out memory.

Carving out the opportunity to study

In the same way as other individuals, I’m a bustling person! I’m attempting to work, compose books, decisively work on my degree of language, have a public activity, and basic food item shop/clean/rest/eat/compose websites and messages/work out, and so on each day.

However, there are ways of setting aside a few minutes – to get it back from the time spent pausing. At the point when you sit tight for the transport/metro/train to show up, stand by while requesting espresso in the first part of the day, or you trust that your companion will show up, you’re separated from everyone else. If you can’t converse with somebody, what do you do?

Anki’s cheat sheets: do they work?

Attempting to recall every one of the new words that you’re going over? Cheat sheets are a method for retaining a language. They utilize an idea called divided reiteration – a calculation perceives how well you know each word/cheat sheet, then, at that point, focuses on them so you concentrate on the things you don’t have any idea, without squandering valuable life on the things you as of now do.

Anki (for iPhone, Android, and every other person) is an application created by Damien Elmes for inspecting things you want to master, utilizing SRS. Jargon, city/country capitals, clinical wording, content for a play, and so on. Anything you want to truly apply to memory! There are numerous comparable applications like Quizlet and Memrise.

Here is an illustration of an action you can do with these cheat sheets. It’s a more intricate form of the cheat sheet framework where you have a word on one side of a card and its interpretation on the other. You take a gander at the word, test yourself to check whether you know it, and give the card to see the interpretation.

You were unable to get more low-tech than that regardless of whether you attempted, yet SRS utilizes 21st-century innovation to make this conceivable while considering the time aspect. By all accounts, the program accomplishes pretty much what you would anticipate from a cheat sheet – it shows you a word with no interpretation (the word can be either in your local language or in the objective language), and you can choose if you understand what it implies. Then press “Reply,” and it will show it to you.

The issue with cheat sheets

Before your outing abroad, you hit the cheat sheets hard. You remembered how to say fundamental words and expressions like “hi,” “where is the washroom,” and “I’ll have a lager.” Yet when you showed up, it resembled your mind had never experienced the language. Words wouldn’t come.  It’s not you; it’s how you utilized the cheat sheets: Learning a language as a grown-up takes time and exertion, yet the go-to concentrate on techniques that most steady language students use are obsolete by around 100 years.

There is a second in each cutting-edge language student’s examinations when they find dispersed redundancy frameworks (SRS) and think, “I have been burning through a ton of time by not doing this.” SRS is a learning framework that makes the bare essential of concentrating on many new snippets of data — say jargon words — more productive. On the off chance that you’re learning a language, you ought to utilize it.

Coincidentally, I can suggest the best nootropics for concentrating on dialects to upgrade your mental ability.

The issue with Anki, Quizlet, Memrise…

In this hey-tech age, applications for the separated redundancy of cheat sheets, like Anki, Quizlet, and Memrise, are very famous. Presently, I’ll stun you with an admission: I don’t utilize any of them.

Why? Thus:

  • Existing cheat sheet sets are loaded with mind-blowing measures of futile or immaterial words
  • A ton of time goes squandered in making your cheat sheets: picking words, tracking down pictures, and so forth.
  • SRS applications don’t fast you to talk
  • We remember better on the off chance that we take longhand notes

Savagely talking, to me, these applications appear to be those significant activity contraptions that assure to change you into Schwarzenegger’s present moment. It supports you that you have it, but you quit using it following a few days. Moreover, in any case, the ordinary individual can end up perfect at home with basically no special mechanical assembly.

You might be contemplating the way that I review language. Then, at that point, I focused on my online class on the most proficient method to learn dialects quickly. It will save you long stretches of ineffectual investigations.

Spaced repetition needs a context

Despite how excitedly I’m imparting this framework to you, it is critical to know about the way that securing new vocabulary is only one way. The ideal way, by a long shot, is to hear and apply it in a setting with local speakers. The setting is what you get watching the news in Spanish or perusing a story, for instance (on the off chance that the text is straightforward).

Regardless of whether you “knew” all the jargon on the planet you actually wouldn’t have the option to apply it in genuine discussions on the off chance that you didn’t chip away at different abilities essential to language mastering.

Since you are typically hearing words in disconnection (even though it’s feasible to incorporate model sentences), it implies you have no unique situation, and this is a seriously counterfeit method for learning words, as basic interpretations of something from your first language, as opposed to understanding how to utilize the actual word.

You can’t gain proficiency with any language by simply learning interpretations. Somebody utilizing an excess of SRS wouldn’t be any further along contrasted with somebody utilizing different procedures. On top of this, simply taking a gander at the word isn’t sufficient, and SRS can transform into just an extravagant rendition of repetition advancing by unadulterated redundancy if you don’t think harder while utilizing it.

Assuming you are uncovered an adequate number of times, you will be compelled to recollect it; however, what I favor is to attempt to make a picture relationship of the word or potentially to consider a guide to involve it in and express that to myself, so I use it in its right setting. This way, I’m significantly more liable to recall it sometime later.

SRS, without anyone else, is flawed; however, assuming that you use it while thinking autonomously as well, its true capacity is a lot more noteworthy. I’m certain bunches of you know the inclination that you have taken in a word, and you make certain of it, yet you can’t say it.

This may just be because it’s been excessive since a long time ago you explored that word, and utilizing SRS a couple of moments daily will ensure that all words you use in the framework won’t ever be dismissed, assuming that you use it right. Separated redundancy alone isn’t sufficient. Try not to hope to impact through 2,000 jargon words and have the option to use them comprehensibly.

SRS is an instrument for supporting the things that you know are significant for your language learning, similar to words you go over frequently or linguistic designs that appear to be valuable. It is no swap for conversing with individuals in the language you need to pick up, composing practice, or perusing words about a story or article.

Something else to consider for learning words proficiently and staying away from failing to remember them is to try not to get familiar with the jargon only one way: unknown dialect to local language, zeroing in on acknowledgment as opposed to creation.

This center method many individuals to figure out dialects yet are confused when the opportunity arrives to talk to them. For this situation, you should see words show up in SRS for interpretation to the unknown dialect as well.

For spaced repetition, a course is better than an app

for spaced repetition, a course is better than an app in learning spanish language

Up until this point, I talked about cheat sheet applications for dispersed redundancy since they’re stunningly well-known (I intend that). My extremely private view is that depending on an application for cheat sheets isn’t the most productive or compelling method for assessing jargon.

All things considered, I don’t make cheat sheets! Notwithstanding, I seriously love sound courses given separate reiteration. Why?

Do you recall my purposes behind not utilizing Anki?

  • Futile or unimportant words
  • Time squandered in making cheat sheets
  • No talking included
  • Penmanship is superior to perusing from a screen

All things considered, my ideal language course is prevalent in each perspective:

  • It’s intended to audit valuable jargon deliberately
  • It’s prepared to utilize
  • It prompts you to talk
  • You learn through sound and sidestep text

Coincidentally, depending on sound is likewise an extraordinary method for learning the Spanish language in the vehicle.

Choose a course based on spaced repetition and use it the right way

As a language student, I’ve generally battled to track down a course founded on dispersed reiteration with an emphasis on talking. A decent choice for novices is Pimsleur. The old MP3 rendition of Glossika was great for the middle-of-the-road level.

In any case, as a sequential language student, I can get by with second-best arrangements. In any case, as a Spanish language educator, I would have rather not suggested favored outperformed arrangements. That is the reason I made my course: “Repite Conmigo!”

It’s a fortune of fathomable information, which is fundamental to normally dominate a language. It will inspire you to think in Spanish. On the off chance that you’re learning different dialects, you might, in any case, accept this course as a model and search for something almost identical.

As yet deciphering in your mind? Want to communicate in Spanish without a doubt? Look at Stefano’s courses to think straightforwardly in Spanish and become familiar quickly!

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