Welcome to the final instalment in the giveaways of some pretty cool Tuttle stuff. Doesn’t calling it an ‘instalment’ make it sound like a move series? I like that. To check back at the old reviews (giveaways now closed) click here for Hiragana and Katakana Flashcards, here for the dictionary, or here for Making Out in Japanese.
What’s in the pack?
The cards are just as functional and simple as the ones in the Hiragana and Katakana set. On the front you have the kanji itself, stroke order, 6 sample words written in Japanese, and the JLPT level of the kanji. On the back is a little something to help you remember the kanji as well as the 6 words from the front with hiragana, romaji, and English translation.
Ok, now down to business. The final product I received from Tuttle was Kanji Flashcards Volume 1: Kanji 1-200. The Kanji have been selected according to the JLPT levels and include all kanji from level 5 and many from level 4. I think this product is great because it’s so versatile. Today I want to share 6 ways to use flashcards for language learning.
Using Flashcards for Language Learning
The thought of using flashcards for language learning seems kinda retro, right? I know it’s what my teachers recommend back in the bad ass noughties and therefore what we all ignored because what the teacher recommends is never cool. However, with screens taking over every aspect of our lives, I think that some praise should be given to the humble flashcard. I tip my imaginary hat to you, flashcards. Now let’s discuss how to use you.
Method 1 – Pin it!
And I ain’t talkin’ Pinterest. Literally pin your flashcards in places you look everyday without consciously doing so.
I mean, thinking your flashcard(s) look über cool stuck in a pretty row above that vintage dresser in your spare bedroom is great ‘n’ all but if you never go in there except to make the bed for guests once every three months then, well, not so useful.
The bathroom mirror or bedside table however, well, they’re likely to be much more useful spots. And, of course, once they’re there you can choose how you use them. Maybe you flip the cards each night to give you a different challenge the next day. Oh yes, and if you don’t want holes all over the place use sticky tack. It’s just, you know, “stick tack it!” isn’t as catchy as “pin it!”
Method 2 – The Write Stuff
I should do it more. It works pretty well. It doesn’t have to be super neat, heck, it doesn’t even have to be kept. That said, personally I do like to have a cheap notebook to fill up rather than just scraps of paper to constantly throw away.
Looking back to see progress can be satisfying. You can even mix things up a bit and try making up your own sentences with the kanji when you get really good. Alternatively, the Tuttle cards are nicely coated meaning that you write on them with a drywipe pen! Very handy if you’re in a paperless situation and have the urge to give your Japanese writing a workout.
Method 3 – Shh! Listen!
You’re running, you’re at the gym, you’re washing up. Yeah, let’s not, flashcards. I’m gonna listen to your audio brothers and sisters instead, thank you very much.
Once you’ve downloaded the tracks, keep the CD in your car and play it every time a lame song comes on the radio. I’ll let you be the judge of what constitutes as ‘lame song’. And if you don’t have a handy CD because you’re making your own flashcards? Record yourself (Yes! Yourself!) and use those audio files instead.
Related: 7 Ways to Use Gritty Spanish
Method 4 – Learn With An Amigo
But what do you test? The Tuttle flashcards give you some choice on this. Are you going to check you remember the meanings? The mnemonic? The phrases using the kanji? Totally up to you to pick and choose depending on where you’re at.
And even if your friend isn’t learning Japanese, they might just be happy to help you out and secretly grateful for maybe learning a little Japanese themselves. Win win, huh?
Method 5 – Put a ring on it
Let’s not forget the giant ring that comes with the Tuttle Kanji flashcards! The ring isn’t just great for keeping your cards in one place and taking them anywhere without losing them, but also really handy for keeping track of what’s in your brain and what’s not.
Cut up pieces of coloured paper and holepunch one hole in the pieces to put on the ring and help you out with knowing where to start each time you have a quick look. For example, you could use red, orange, and green card for difficult (red), ok (orange), and easy (green) kanji.
Or go the whole hog and make a rainbow’s worth of colour coding just for the heck of it. After all, it’s your colour code, you can decide just how many categories you have.
Method 6 – Keep on keepin’ on
See. I wrote it but I have no idea what it means.
But anyway, when you’re done with the flashcards, it seems a shame to have them sitting gathering dust in a box. Keep them out, or rather hidden, waiting to pounce in things you sometimes open or places you sometimes look for occasional and perhaps surprising reminders.
Hide them in CD cases, books, amongst your pants and socks, in your glovebox…you get the idea. Now you can go and line them up above that vintage dresser too. Chances are you’ll forget where they are and come across them at completely random points in your future life. Hooray!
Feeling old school after that? Ready for some flashcards back in your life?
Well those lovely folks at Tuttle have only gone and done it again and offered up 2 copies of their Kanji Flashcards Volume 1 pack for you lucky people. How nice!
To be in with at least 12(!) chances of winning, enter using the Rafflecopter giveaway box below. Leave a comment on this post answering the question: What’s your favourite way of using flashcards to learn a language? That will open up an extra three ways to enter with a total of 8 entries from those extra ways! Say what?! You can even tweet the message each day for 3 extra chances to win. Too kind.
Good luck! 頑張って!
This giveaway is open to UK and international residents. Entrants must be over 18 years of age. Entrants are entitled to at least twelve entries per person if all entry options are used. Entrants may tweet the message each day of the giveaway allowing for 3 entries each time. Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget in the Disqus comments below – this is the ONLY mandatory task. Entrants can gain extra entries in the draw by tweeting a link to the giveaway, following Lindsay Does Languages on Twitter, or visiting the Lindsay Does Languages Facebook page. Entry closes at 00.00 on Tuesday 7th July 2015. The winner will be picked at random on Wednesday 8th July 2015 and contacted by Tuttle via the email given on your Rafflecopter account. If we cannot contact you this way, then I may attempt to contact you via Facebook in alignment with these rules. If we cannot make contact with you, I will have to offer the prize to another entrant and pick another winner at random. The winners may be announced on the blog and/or social media. The prize will be dispatched from Tuttle Publishing. There is no sponsorship or affiliate link to this giveaway or in this blog post. Tuttle Publishing have been kind enough to send me some of their products in exchange for blog reviews and giveaways. Thank you!