Top 5 Tips for using word cards effectively
In no particular order:
It’s a method for learning vocabulary – not a craft project:
Spend your time on learning the words, not on the design and production of heirloom-quality flashcards.
Go through your word cards at regular intervals.
Spaced repetition of word card review is very important. Make sure you are able to recall the translation and the meaning of the target word. Do you understand it? Can you pronounce it without looking at the paper? Can you spell it?
Separate the words you know from the words you don’t know yet:
This is a really good way to measure your progress. Discard word cards you know to one side and cards with words you can’t remember to the other. Aim for 100% ‘know’ and 0% ‘can’t remember’. The mistakes you make on the way to 100% ‘know’ will have been valuable learning experiences.
Review older word cards from time to time:
Just because you 100% ‘know’ your 35 new word cards on Sunday afternoon, it doesn’t mean you will still ‘know’ them on Thursday morning; especially if you haven’t practised in between.
Practise with a friend!
Language is, after all, a social construct. If you have a friend who knows the language well, practising new vocabulary will be fun for you, but boring for your friend. Try to use your practice words to say something funny or nice to your friend, then it will all have been worth it.