Generally speaking, I don’t consider flashcards to be a high-yield activity for vocabulary acquisition. However I don’t think it’s entirely pointless. Especially if it’s well-implemented, and if the time spent on this kind of revision is (a) liminal time that you wouldn’t otherwise be spending in more CI-oriented activities, (b) is part of a broader language learning program that does focus on communicative endeavours.
One of the weaknesses in my Gàidhlig, I’m ashamed to say, is that my vocabulary just isn’t quite expansive enough. So in 2021 I’m going to push it to new limits. I’m setting myself a 10,000 word challenge. Here’s what I’ll be doing:
- Inputting the core vocabularies from a few learner textbooks into a spaced repetition system as one source of words, those which I mostly already know.
- Inputting new vocabulary that I encounter ‘in the wild’ and have to look up – through my own engagement with Gàidhlig reading, media, etc., this will be more haphazard and serendipitous, but will provide a constant source of new vocabulary.
- Working on gaining enough Gàidhlig input each day to be generating a sufficient stream of new vocabulary inputs
- ‘Adding’ at least 30 new vocab items to my working sets per day, and following through with daily vocabulary revision.
One could, undoubtedly, do the same for Latin or Greek. Indeed, there already exists a set of memrise courses, for example, covering 10000 Latin words. I don’t currently feel any need to explicitly build my Latin or Greek vocabularies in this way, but you perhaps might/could/would consider the same.
I’ll post some reports during the year ahead