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Flashcard Method with Timed Interval Repetition

(as can be used with the Rapid Russian Vocabulary program)

(See also the article below about the use of flashcards from Wikipedia)

This method will help you to remember words faster. First, reviewing only a small group of words (10 or so), several times will impress them on your memory. The first time through, listen to the word pronunciation and repeat. If there is a memory aid (word association), use that. Do this a second time. The third time through, try to say the word without hearing or seeing the Russian first. Even flashing through the slides at one per second is enough to reinforce your memory. Then, of extreme importance is reviewing the words at the correct time (see spaced repetition). Each time the word is reviewed, you remember it roughly twice as long. So review new vocabulary words several times in the first session until you feel that you remember them. Then review them again that evening, then the next morning. Double the length of time between each review to daily, then in two days, then in four days, etc. This need not take a lot of time! All it takes is one second or less to reinforce the word in your memory.

See also: word association


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A flashcard or flash card is a piece of paper that is used as a learning aid. One writes a question on each card and an answer overleaf. Flashcards can bear vocabulary, historical dates, formulas, etc.


Apart from plain illustration purposes, flashcards can be used to support memorization by way of spaced repetition.

A method to achieve this was proposed by the German science popularizer Sebastian Leitner in the 1970s. In his method, known as the Leitner system, flashcards are sorted into groups according to how well you know each one. This is how it works: you try to recall the solution written on a flashcard. If you succeed, you send the card to the next group. But if you fail, you send it back to the first group.

An obvious advantage of this method is that you can focus on the most difficult flashcards, which remain in the first groups. The result is, ideally, a reduction in the amount of study time needed.

Similar ideas have been implemented into the Pimsleur language courses and, since the 1980s, into a number of computer-assisted language learning titles. Much of this software makes use of so-called electronic flashcards.


  • This page was last modified 09:20, 5 February 2007.
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