||[Jul. 8th, 2014|07:47 pm]
An old roommate of mine who knew several languages and also taught language courses said that flashcards are key for building your vocabulary. So I decided to do some googling and see what I'd find.
I've been reading that it's a good idea to put different kinds of things in different colors and locations to help you remember. The example given is usually gender. Spanish has two genders. If you put nouns of one gender in one color and on, say, the left side of the card and the other in another color on the other side of the card, then it's easier to remember the gender. (I've also heard to always put "the" in front: "el" in front of masculine words and "la" in front of feminine words to help you remember.)
There are also three kinds of verbs that could be recorded in three colors.
And some adjectives have masculine and feminine versions while some are the same for both.
So, now I have an excellent excuse to get colored writing implements! It's important! For my brain!
I also learned (from reading reviews on Amazon) that modern index cards are not as thick as index cards from my youth. This is apparently true of both name brands and no-name brands.
It looks like buying card stock and making your own is not cheaper. I bet index cards are one of those things that are loss leaders sometimes at the end of summer. I'm thinking of cutting 3x5 index cards in half, though. Or fourths. We'll see.
And cutting up cards is way more fun with a paper cutter. I might be able to borrow one I know about in the next building at work; it's one of the scary guillotine-style ones from my youth. I've seen cute little ones with some kind of slider cutters in craft stores that look like they might cut only one card at a time with a much less satisfying cutting sound, but also with a risk of losing only part of your finger at most rather than, well, anything and also taking up a lot less space.
Of course the frugal method involves scissors (or, heh, folding and tearing), but it's harder to get them the same size that way.
I must get my own guillotine paper cutter! For my brain! (Wait, that sounds wrong.)
There are also flashcard apps, but they don't have colors. Anki is highly reviewed, but free only for big computers, not portable ones, and it also has a high learning curve. What's good is that it gives you the harder cards more often and vice versa.