Monday, July 29, 2013
The second reason—and the one I'll cover in this post—is that they let you learn words that you otherwise wouldn't be able to learn.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Point A is no flashcard use at all. This is Randy's stance. Point B or thereabouts, on the other hand, represents the other extreme: you're using flashcards as your main way to learn a language. When I read Randy's criticisms of flashcards, it comes off to me as if he's throwing those criticisms at someone who's at or approaching point B as their language-learning method, i.e., pretty much the only thing they're doing is using flashcards.
I think Randy's completely correct in that, as a language learner, you don't want your language-learning time to be anywhere near point B. If you simply try to remember a string of facts without every actually applying them, Randy's completely right: you're going to struggle to ever get your speaking off the ground.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
- How to use flashcards the right way
- When to use flashcards
- How much to use flashcards
- Learn more with flashcards than without
- Learn faster with flashcards than without
- Translation is not the end result of flashcard use
- How to deal with the lack of one-to-one translations
In the second of the above-mentioned posts, Randy remarked:
I have a strong suspicion that the biggest advocates of flashcards are people who haven't yet finished learning their first foreign language. And I expect that the number of polyglots using flashcards is extremely low.It's high time that a big advocate of flashcards and polyglot explain why Randy's advice is wrong.
Randy argues, in short, that you should learn only through reading, listening to, writing, and speaking the language (with an emphasis on reading), looking up unknown words as you come across them or learning them from context. My position is that you should learn through reading, listening to, writing and speaking the language and supplement that with flashcard review because that'll allow you to learn more in less time, and each problem Randy raises about flashcards is either incorrect or can be overcome without detracting from your learning.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Japanese, like English, is a pretty flexible language without any overbearing academy (I'm looking at you, France) trying to tell people what to speak. Japanese pretty much sucks words in on a whim and has been doing so for hundreds of years, more or less. Well, some old Japanese dude doesn't seem to like that the language is currently sucking in those words from English such that he sometimes has problems understanding what's being said and he wants to take out his rage on NHK, Japan's national broadcaster.
He's got some kind of complaint about how Japanese is becoming "Americanized":
“With Japanese society increasingly Americanized, Takahashi believes that NHK… shouldn’t go with the trend, but remain determined to prioritize the use of Japanese, which he thinks would go a long way toward protecting Japanese culture,” Mutsuo Miyata, the plaintiff’s lead attorney, told The Japan Times…The fact that the words he's railing against now are Japanese doesn't seem to phase the plaintiff or his lawyer, but the richest irony here is that the words he wants to use instead were pretty much all borrowed from Chinese. So, to protect Japanese culture, let's stop the Americanization and go back to the earlier Sinicization!
Just for fun, let's look at some of these words.