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Learning a Language by Ear

Learning a Language by Ear

When you’re not improving as much as you’d like to, it could be that you’re practicing wrong! Let’s take a step back and reevaluate the language learning staple: flashcards. Find out how you can maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your flashcards using evidence-based techniques and software.

Lena Morita

April 13, 2020

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  1. @mirka Raised bilingually in Japan
 (Japanese/English) Co-Director at
 Women Who

    Code Tokyo Software Engineer at Automattic LENA MORITA
  2. @mirka Uruguay United States Spain (living in UK) Slovakia Romania

    Japan Philippines MY TEAMMATES BY COUNTRY
  3. @mirka THINGS I WAS “BAD” AT Programming AppleScript 1-2-3

    Sal Soghoian JavaScript:
 The Definitive Guide
 by David Flanagan
  4. @mirka “SRS” SPACED REPETITION SYSTEM We forget new information very

    fast The “forgetting curve” flattens out
 with each successive review Each review can be spaced out
 in longer intervals OSMOSIS.ORG
  5. @mirka WORD 㲗 TRANSLATION TYPICAL FLASHCARD Hard to memorize Associates

    imperfect translations
 rather than concepts Ignores pronunciation consecutive ʢதஅͳ͠Ͱʣ࿈ଓͨ͠,
  6. @mirka PRONUNCIATION IS IMPORTANT Necessary to understand spoken words

    Minimal pairs: rock/lock, cut/cat, den/then, etc. Repetition on a bad foundation
 reinforces bad habits Learn it first!
  7. @mirka ENCOUNTER STEP 1 Keep track of new words you

 in a note app like Evernote
  8. @mirka LEARN STEP 2 When back at your computer,

    a word from the list Learn what it means
  9. @mirka ILLUSTRATE STEP 3 Google Image Search is your friend

    Find an image that resonates
 with you Images for abate
  10. @mirka PRONOUNCE STEP 4 Download an audio clip,
 either from

    a real speaker or
 a text-to-speech (TTS) system forvo.com — Real speakers soundoftext.com — TTS % %
  11. @mirka HOW MUCH DID I LEARN? 1800+ words/phrases 93% are

 (in long-term memory) Average review interval is 1.6 years
 (will likely remember for at least that long)
  12. @mirka MORE WAYS TO LEARN BY EAR Pimsleur — Basic

    grammar, building reflexes italki — Conversation practice