Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

Have you ever considered using flashcards to help you to learn English?

Have you ever tried to learn a new language and searched for a helpful tool or method?

Today we are looking at using flashcards and how they can be truly effective in you trying to master a new language.

You want to be sure that you use the flashcards the right way, for that can have a great impact on the effectiveness.

We’re going to look at how these work, why they are so effective, and how you can utilize them to the fullest.

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Insight From Our Special Guest and Expert

We have Gabe Wyner on, who is the Creator of the Fluent Forever method and app for English fluency.

He has utilized flashcards to learn several new languages, and so he has some wonderful tips to share today.

His tips will help you to utilize flashcards in the best way possible, as well as start to use vocabulary that you will likely never forget.

You will learn some actionable steps that you can take immediately to increase your vocabulary and fluency.

Gabe is an expert in using flashcards as he has used them to master a number of languages himself.

It’s nice for you the student to have the proof that flashcards can work for you in language learning.

You can see that they work when you see just how many languages he used flashcards to learn.

Gabe used them for French, Russian, then Hungarian, then Japanese which was hard, then got to Spanish, and now back to Japanese where he’s learning each language fluently.

This evolved into his very successful method for learning a new language, as he has shared this with others.

This has helped him to take on these languages and really learn them in an effective and fluent way.

Out of this learning process he has applied the lessons he learned to write a book, develop an app, and thus created tips and a methodology that can help you to be successful.

It’s all about how you utilize flashcards, and then how you master the language moving forward.

Using This Tool To Help You Moving Forward

So there are some really wonderful ways that you can utilize flashcards to help you in learning a new language.

You want to be sure that you are using them properly, and this is where Gabe’s expertise can really come in handy.

If you are going to learn something new like a language, you want to learn it in the most effective way possible.

It ultimately comes down to a question of how can we exploit our time to learn as much as we can?

Gabe created this app, though even DIY methods will work, which he says is important to use the right methodology and taking in the right information.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be his app, but it’s all about what you are learning and how you are taking it all in.

Translations can be hard and trying to memorize so many of them can be very frustrating and can lead to ultimate failure.

If you are trying to translate everything, then you are going to have a really hard time with this whole process.

You are training your brain to go to your first language immediately, rather than just taking in the language that you are trying to learn.

Translations don’t actually teach you much, and they may end up defeating the purpose of what you are trying to do.

You may think that someday you will stop translating, but the longer it goes on the harder that it becomes.

When you put yourself into something like an immersion program from the very beginning, then you get to this mindset and this all works for you.

This allows you to access things from the very beginning, and to get into the mindset of using and living in this language.

This approach helps you to really take in the language, and it can start with even the smallest examples that you break down.

The word “dog” is a great example which is connected to words like cat, tail, and some of the automatic rules and pronunciation of it.

You don’t even think about it, you just do it and this becomes committed to memory.

Try to approach a new word in a new language and attach it to a picture in your head.

Try to find some sort of association so that you have that true moment of learning.

It’s all about context, building those connections in your brain based on that context, and other aspects that help you to commit it to memory.

Three Tips To Help You Get The Most Out of Your Flashcards

These three tips can help you to find words that you can remember and use.

How do we learn these words before we use them?

Gabe’s three tips to help this happen are based on actions and ideas for learning the words that you can use to connect to other people and master the vocabulary.

So let’s take a look at what these are and how we can use them with flashcards specifically.

1. Make sure you have a rich learning stage before you make a flashcard: You have to engage with the word so that you can have an effective flashcard. They should remind you of your first learning experience. You have to engage with the word, for that’s what this is all centered around. It may be that you have something specific that you remember or associate with the word. But you have to find some tie or some association with the word in this new language. Remind yourself of that first moment of confusion so that it can lead you to some great things that will help you moving forward. Every time you see that flashcard you will be reminded of all of this stuff. There’s the value and what will help you to commit it to memory.

This is your own method and approach rather than having words just given to you by a tutor or some outside source. It’s always proportionate to that first experience, and this will remind you what you have learned. Discover things in context rather than an isolated word from nowhere. The flashcard is a second step and not a first step. You don’t have to just put the word and the translation, because that’s not always effective. The word that you want to remember on one side of and the flashcard. On the other side, it’s all about a picture or something that can help you to remember or associate.

2. Build your cards properly: Be sure to think through the way in which your cards are built in order for them to be effective. You want to be sure that your flashcards are built right so that they can help you, be truly effective, and get you what you want and need out of them. If you can only have one thing—just the word and no context at all. On the backside you give yourself as much context as you can. A picture, some sort of association or remind, maybe the definition of that word—information overload on the backside. Any sort of tools or memory aids can and should go on the backside, because that’s where it belongs. Do one flashcard like this and then one that is a fill in the blank type of thing. Then it gives you some context in how to use this word.

This stimulates a different type of knowledge. Two flashcards per word is the best approach! There are pros and cons to digital cards vs. actual cards that are tangible and you can touch and use. Do the thing that feels good and natural to you, and will help you to get the most out of them. If you are using images for example, then you may be limited by how well you can draw. If you aren’t comfortable with the digital route and you are a more tactile person, you may get more out of the writing experience. If however you are pretty tech savvy then copying and pasting may be much easier for you here. There are reasons to choose either, and you have to figure out what is best based on how you learn.

3. Why do these work so well? It has to do with something called the testing effect—if you have to be tested on a word that you learn the description of, then it will be more effective. So if you just read something you don’t retain it very well. If you have to flip the flashcard and test yourself on it, then you are much more likely to commit it to memory. This is the actual action of memorizing and putting it all to work for you! You have to store something and practice reaching for it before you can spontaneously reach for it in a conversation. Flashcards are a convenient way to test yourself, and this is what makes them so effective. Some tests are better than other tests, and so you have to find what works best for your learning. When you test yourself then you are more likely to commit it to memory for the long term.

The moment of reaching back into your head to try and remember something is defining. You may want to spend the least possible time trying to remember something. Answer the question right when it becomes hard, and then use this system to try and remember it in this way moving forward. Remember that testing yourself is going to be five times more effective, and so that’s what you want to focus on. Just trying to memorize or cram information into your head is not going to work for you, and it may even work against you. These tips can help you to be truly successful with using flashcards and mastering a new language.

Summarizing The Key Points

There’s a lot to take out of this and you want to be sure that you use flashcards to the fullest extent.

So let’s take a look at a summary of these tips which can help you to focus on the right things in the best way possible.

To summarize, here are a few key points which may help you to be truly successful.

Don’t make the flashcard first—discover language in an authentic way like listening to a podcast or watching a movie.

Then make the flashcard and be sure to make it properly in a way that you can remember and utilize to the fullest.

Make two flashcards for each word, one to remember the word itself and one for the context in which it is used within.

Then finally there is so much science behind why this works so well, and that’s always important to remember.

Repetition and review truly work, and therefore we need to focus on these measures moving forward!

You need a system you can trust to learn a new language—that’s a key takeaway here because that is what will help you to get to where you want to be.

Gabe has a website which is Fluent-Forever.com or you can Google it and you will find it.

The book is the same title which can help tremendously. If you go to the App Store and search for Fluent Forever, you will find the app.

There’s even a discount that you can use through AEE which is: ALLEARS

Takeaway

Flashcards can be an excellent way to learn a new language, but you just have to build them properly.

Be sure that you think through what you need on these flashcards so that they can be an effective method for you.

Remember that it’s not just about memorization, but rather testing yourself and putting these words into context.

If you use this system properly, it can really help you to master a new language and get the most out of it.

Try these out for yourself, use the tips that were provided here, and then you can get the most out of this learning exercise.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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