Vocabulary SRS Deck

In my readings of language learning forums I have read about how important context is when learning vocab and I couldn’t agree more….but it seems the sentences that I have been studying from at koreanclass101.com and talktomeinkorean.com websites I haven’t been picking up enough vocabulary….well in my opinion.

I walk around the house and I barely know any of the words for all the different items in my house for example so I’ve decided to add into my mix of hodgepodge learning activities (yeah I saw an article on http://natural-language-acquisition.blogspot.com/ about the hodgepodge learning method today and that’s EXACTLY how I feel my approach has been so far) vocabulary building.

Hmmm…I understand that it’s not an end all in and of itself  but as I search for interesting things to read and listen to on the internet I feel it would help if I increased my vocabulary. 

So I have in my Anki SRS a sentence deck and a vocabulary deck.  I feel I have been through SRS hell at least 2 times with my sentence deck and I’ll write up  more on sentences later but I find Anki perfect for  vocabulary building.  Currently in my beginner state my vocab deck says I have a little under 1200 words in it as of today.  I have started the vocab deck fresh again as of about christmas time of last year after getting into the new format of using audio, pictures and also after figuring out how to better format my cards with a template that has a field for each item as opposed to putting multiple items into the same field.

It’s slower when adding content for which I can’t argue that BUT when going through my deck it’s ever more effective and fun  Maybe because I’m a male but I find having visual cues along with what I hope is a decent audio clip along with the korean spelling and english translation makes it so much easier to go through the reviews and things for me have been sticking so much better because of it.

On the left is my current template which I use both for my sentences and my vocbulary decks.  The picture to the right above is an example of one of my cards.  You would be first presented with the picture and the audio to which you then would see the korean answer and english translation after choosing your grade for how well you knew the card.

Where do I get pictures and audio?  Well the pictures are easy.  With tab pages on IE I have google images always ready to go and simply type in the vocab item and hit search and see what comes back.  Pick one you like and save and insert into your card.  Simple as that.  I find the visual reference does wonders for my memorization.  As I read all this on ajatt and how Khatzumoto was switching to this style of cards to help his chinese learning you could look under his chinese  project notes on www.ajatt.com for further info on how it’s done.

Audio?  Well I get the audio from a few places.  First koreanclass101.com has their lessons along with talktomeinkorean.com and I get real life korean speakers saying the vocab items from these podcasts.  Also kc101 has for many lessons a seperate vocab page with the vocab item and an associated link to play the audio.  You can look at an earlier post of mine on some of the tools and methods I use to grab this audio and generate the audio also if I can’t find a real human source.

Also I’ve had it sitting around for awhile now but I bought Survival Korean Vocabulary book awhile back and decided to finally put it to use.  It’s  supposed to be the 6000 most used korean words according to some research study that was published in in 2003?  or something like that.  They group the vocabulary into sections and provide an audio cd with mp3’s of all the sections also.  I’m going through the sections and putting in the vocab terms with audio into my vocab deck.  I try to stay ahead so whether it’s through lessons, tv, movies, this book I always have enough content to throw 25 new words at me a day.  I started having this goal recently and started at 30 but bumped it down to 25 words.  I don’t sweat it if I don’t get the goal in but at the same time I need something to aim for.  We’ll adjust as needed and see how this goes after doing it for a month straight.

When I listen to a podcast I always listen to it in audacity(open source music editor) and if there’s something like a sentence or vocab item that I want – stop, highlight , export and then continue with the lesson.  It’s that easy once you setup some shortcut keys in the program to do that.  Audacity has a nice visual graph of the audio that you can visually cut out the part you want easily.

Additional time needed to make these type of cards are the cons.  Using your multiple senses such as vision, hearing, imitation of speech and writing are the pro’s.   I have been finding it very beneficial to me and with knowledge of the tools and shortcut keys the time can be cut down alot.

You make the call if it’s worth it for you.

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