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Vocab Wars #4 Flashcards with Images


Learning foreign words through Flashcards with images…

Sounds too basic to be effective, right?

Well, that’s what I tried to find out in the fourth and maybe last installment of Vocab Wars.

Read on to find out how the method has worked for me.

Rules of the Game

In Vocab Wars I test various vocabulary methods and share the results with you.

In four 25-minute learning sessions — spread out over four days — I try to learn 50 Spanish words I don’t know yet.

I then test myself on the 5th day to see how the method’s worked for me over the short term.

I then forget about the words and the method as much as I can, and do a new test two months later to see how it’s worked for me over the longer term.

To sum it up:

  • I pick a vocabulary learning method.
  • I adjust it slightly so it can be used with Vocab Wars’ parameters.
  • Then, I try to learn 50 words in four 25-minute sessions.
  • On day five, I do the short-term memory test.
  • I then leave it all behind until two months later, when I’ll do a long-term memory test.

Disclaimer: This isn’t science. Some methods may work better for me than for you. I also spend some time selecting the words to learn which preexposes me to them, and the time spent won’t be consistent for every method. Note that the words I use are in Spanish. I’m already pretty fluent in Spanish which makes it easier for me to learn new words. In spite of all this, I still believe Vocab Wars could give a good indication of the efficiency of various vocab learning methods.

Vocab Wars #4 Flashcards with Images

In this fourth installment of Vocab Wars I tried to learn foreign words through Flashcards with images.

And with images I don’t mean some precooked Rosetta Stone images, but images selected by myself. Images that conveyed the meaning of the words (for me).

The Flashcards had an unknown Spanish word and the image on one side, and the translation and the image on the other one.

The first session was still a bit of a struggle, but quickly it became so easy that boredom set in.

I didn’t make mistakes anymore, but it was hard to get through the sessions.

The Results

Well, boring or not, the results for both the short and the long-term test were excellent.

Zero errors in the short-term test, and just four in the long-term one.

I must say that I’m somewhat impressed by that. I guess the images attached more meaning to the words. They added a visual aspect to the memories, so to speak.

Of course, I spent some additional time selecting the images which probably added to the strength of the memorization as well.

Next Up for Vocab Wars?

I thought long and hard about it, but I’m stopping Vocab Wars. At least for some time, maybe forever.

Apart from the fact that the methodology needs work, the most important reason for me call it a day is that my heart isn’t in it.

The writing of these posts is almost as boring as reviewing Flashcards for 25 minutes daily.

And I think it shines through. The quality of these posts goes down because I don’t like to write them.

Recently, I’ve been writing some posts that I’ve enjoyed writing very much, like this post and this one, and I’m going to continue in that style…

More (hopefully helpful) posts are coming soon.

See you then!


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