Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about…
Peter: How To Master 500 Words with Spaced Repetition.
Becky: You’ll Learn...
Peter: One, The Problem with Learning Something Just “Once”
Becky: Two, The Power of Spaced Repetition Learning
Peter: Three, How I Reached My 500 Word Goal with Flashcards
Becky: And Four, How You Can Take Full Advantage of This Study Tool
Peter: All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Becky: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned just how easy it is to reach a language goal...
Becky: ...if you have a clear, step-by-step path laid out in front of you.
Peter: And you can do this with the Learning Paths study tool.
Becky: Alright Peter, what’s new!? With your goal? For the month?
Peter: Yes, I promised to learn 500 Chinese words.
Becky: So what’s the good news? Did you write out 500 flashcards?
Peter: Becky, the bad news is, I did NOT do all of that. I actually cheated... a little bit.
Becky: What did I tell you about cheating, Peter? Cheated?
Peter: Well, I hit my goal, but with the help of two things: A specific learning technique and technology... which made learning 500 words easy... well let’s say manageable.
Becky: Oh, please tell me this the technique.
Peter: It’s called spaced repetition.
Becky: Listeners, do you know about it?
Peter: If you’re a seasoned language learner, you’ve definitely heard of it.
Becky: ...but if not, you’ll find out in today’s Inner Circle.
Peter: How To Master 500 Words with Spaced Repetition
Peter: Becky, let’s jump into the first part.
Becky: One, The Problem with Learning Something Just “Once”
Peter: First, let’s give you a quick crash course on memory and learning.
Becky: Okay.
Peter: If you learn 5 new words right now, and I ask you to tell me what you learned...
Becky: ...right now? Too easy, Peter. Total recall.
Peter: Exactly, you have a 100% chance of remembering. Now, if I asked you in 1 day.
Becky: Huh, I think ...I’d still remember most. Half. A few.
Peter: At this point, Becky, your memory retention is less than 50%.
Becky: So my memory drops?
Peter: Exactly. We tend to forget what we learn very quickly...IF we don’t review.
Becky: Ah, I did learn about this in college. You’re talking about the forgetting curve - it's some graph - made by a German psychologist....
Peter: Yes, Hermann Ebbinghaus. Basically, his graph shows the relationship between time and memory retention.
Becky: So you can see just how fast you forget...
Peter: ...if you don’t review. It’s a big drop after the first day.
Becky: Okay, well that explains why I don’t remember what I learned in college. Nothing, Peter, nothing.
Peter: At least, you remembered the forgetting curve.
Becky: Yeah.. that’s true. The irony.
Peter: So, it’s like they say... repetition is the mother of...
Becky: ...invention? Oh no, learning!
Peter: Uh, Becky, yes. The other thing to know, listeners, is that our brains are not like computers, unfortunately.
Becky: They’re more like muscles.
Peter: Reading a word or phrase just once probably won’t save it to your brain.
Becky: ...but reviewing it, from time to time, will.
Peter: So, this is where Spaced Repetition comes in. Let’s get into the second part.
Becky: The Power of Spaced Repetition Learning.
Peter: Listeners, Spaced Repetition Learning simply means... revisiting
Becky: ...or coming back to review something over time.
Peter: And, the space between each review session gets longer and longer.
Becky: So, if you studied something today, you can review it in 2 days...
Peter: Then in 5 days... then in 7 days.
Becky: That way, you refresh your brain...
Peter: ...and strengthen your memory in the long run. Much more effective than cramming.
Becky: But Peter, here’s a question.
Peter: Yes?
Becky: Coming back to review... in 2 days, 5 days. That's inconvenient. I don't think any normal person would remember to do that.
Peter: I think you’re right, Becky! So, this learning technique is powerful by itself. It works.
Becky: But it’s hard to do manually.
Peter: But...when combined with technology, that you listeners already have access to, your learning skyrockets, your progress skyrockets. It’s almost like cheating,
Becky: Oh?
Peter: Let’s get into the third part.
Becky: How Peter Reached His 500 Word Goal with Flashcards.
Peter: Here’s what I did. Since my goal was to learn 500 words...
Becky: ...based on the 60 lessons you did last time....
Peter: ...I saved the lesson vocab to my WordBank as I went through each lesson.
Becky: Listeners, remember, the Wordbank is a Premium study tool where you can save words and phrases.
Peter: ...And you can also make Flashcard decks from the words in your WordBank.
Becky: Is this where the cheating comes in, Peter?
Peter: Exactly, Becky. The cheating comes in with the Flashcards. And I say cheating because... Becky, you’d agree... learning 500 words upfront is hard work.
Becky: Definitely.
Peter: Well, with Spaced Repetition, it’s easy because the goal is NOT to cram.
Becky: ...but study a little a day and space your out study sessions.
Peter: Exactly. With my deck, I’d have between 20 or 40 cards, sometimes a bit more, to review for the day.
Becky: How long did each session take you?
Peter: About 5 to 7 minutes. Sometimes I went up to 20 minutes just to put in extra work and start on new words.
Becky: Oh, that’s not bad at all.
Peter: And, with our flashcards, you mark how well you know them.
Becky: So if you don’t know a word?
Peter: You’ll keep seeing that word in that study session until you remember it.
Becky: And if you get it right?
Peter: You’ll see it again 2 days, or possibly later.
Becky: Ah, I see. Yeah, that sounds easy enough.
Peter: When you’re done with a session, you’re done for the day. The flashcard deck will tell you “NO CARDS DUE RIGHT NOW. Study again on this date.”
Becky: Huh. Why? Isn’t it better to keep going? Push on through?
Peter: It’s actually better to take a break. This goes back to how our brains work.
Becky: Ah, right. Like a muscle. Trying to learn too much at once sets you up for failure.
Peter: So, I say it’s like cheating because the technology...
Becky: Flashcards
Peter: ...combined with the learning technique
Becky: Spaced repetition
Peter: ...Makes learning easy. The flashcards do the hard work for you.
Becky: They redisplay words so that you don’t forget them.
Peter: They quiz you on words that you struggle with most.
Becky: They remind you when to study next. When to stop.
Peter: ...And you learn a small chunk of words at a time to avoid cramming.
Becky: Alright, sounds good! How can our listeners take advantage of this?
Peter: Let’s get into the fourth part.
Becky: How To Learn with Spaced Repetition Flashcards
Peter: Listeners, find your Flashcards in the vocabulary drop-down menu on the site.
Becky: There you should already have the 100 must-know words deck.
Peter: That’s the default deck, but you can always create others.
Becky: Click on “Study” and “Start Session” to start learning.
Peter: It’ll start quizzing you. You’ll get the flashcard with the word in the target language.
Becky: Click on “Show Answer” to confirm the meaning.
Peter: And mark it as correct or incorrect.
Becky: Based on your answer, the flashcard system will start sorting the words for you.
Peter: So if you know that word, you won’t see it for another 2 days.
Becky: But if you don’t....
Peter: It’s going to hound you until you remember it!
Becky: I like that. It holds you accountable. Then, move on to the next card in the deck.
Peter: You can study with 3 modes
Number one: Recognition - you get the word in the target language and see if you know the meaning
Number two: Production - you get the meaning and see if you know it in the target language
And Number three: Listening - you hear the pronunciation and see if you know the meaning
Becky: So you can vary your learning with 3 modes. Now, what about the decks?
Peter: You can create flashcard decks from... Words you learn in Lessons, The 2,000 Core Word List, Entries in Your WordBank, And the Words and Phrases in our Free Vocab Lists.
Becky: In fact, there are suggested lists right below your decks to help you get started.
Peter: Listeners, the beauty of these Flashcards is that all you have to do is put in the time...
Becky: ...until you master them. Don’t worry about rushing or cramming.
Peter: Just do the ones for today and that’s it.
Becky: The flashcards will tell you when to come back again.
Peter: And just stick with the deck until you’ve mastered it.
Becky: Alright Peter, so you’ve hit your goal for the month. And there are 4 months left in the year.
Peter: Becky, time flies.
Becky: It really does. But you know I’m going to ask you, what’s your next, small monthly goal?
Peter: So my next monthly goal will be to take a practice test.
Becky: Deadline?
Peter: September 30th.
Becky: Okay, I don’t know how much study that’s going to require. But study hard, Peter. And remember. You promised to take a Chinese proficiency test by the end of the year.
Peter: Ah, yes, it’s my yearly goal.
Becky: Listeners, let us know as well. Do you use spaced repetition flashcards for learning?
Peter: And what’s your goal for the month?
Becky: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Peter: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.