6 Ways to Use Flashcards for Language Learning + GIVEAWAY!

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?

close up flashcards Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 Ways To use flashcards Lindsay Does Languages blog
In the box you’ll find…

  • 4 stacks of 50 cards each with a kanji
  • a ring to hold them together
  • a CD of the kanji recordings
  • a booklet full of tips to help you get to grips with the kanji and a list of every kanji on the cards.
  • The Cards

    closeup Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 Ways To use flashcards Lindsay Does Languages blog
    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!

    bathroom mirror Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 Ways To use flashcards Lindsay Does Languages blog
    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

    writing Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 Ways To use flashcards Lindsay Does Languages blog
    Take 10 minutes or so each day with your flashcards and write out the kanji. One piece of advice I did take from my noughties teachers was to write and write and write if you want a word to go in.

    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!

    Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 Ways To use flashcards Lindsay Does Languages blog CD
    The Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards also come with a CD, which is great for popping on your MP3 and listening to on the go. Sometimes holding a pile of flashcards is just totally impractical.

    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

    Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 ways to use flashcards for language learning Lindsay Does Langauges blog learn with a friend
    Probably one of the more traditional methods for learning with flashcards but still a worthy mention. Ask a friend to test you on your kanji using the flashcards.

    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

    cards Tuttle Japanese Kanji Flashcards Giveaway 6 Ways To use flashcards Lindsay Does Languages blog
    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

    image1
    At the end of all this learning, wait, hold up, strictly speaking you never really finish learning a language do you? I’m still learning English, my native language!

    Demiurgic.

    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!

    Related: Advanced Language Learners: How to Keep Making Progress (and Notice It)

    Giveaway!

    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!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway rules

    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!

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    About Lindsay Williams

    Why hello there!
    I’m Lindsay and I do Languages. I blog, vlog and teach all things language. I blog about languages right here at Lindsay Does Languages, and about travel over at Mundo Trundle. If you’re looking for language learning inspiration then stay a while. You might find just what you’re looking for. :)

    • Ash Kuhlmann

      In earlier school I used flashcards to learn advancing English vocabulary and I think that my favorite way of using flashcards was to keep a routine. Every day I would sit down and study for 30 minutes to prepare for the t
      est on Friday

    • Tikis Meekis

      I just started to make my own flashcards for vocabulary, and what I like the most is writing the words until the calligraphy is somewhat decent (which is quite difficult with some kanji (*_*)). I really liked some of the ideas in this article. I think I’m going to start to pin the flashcards all over the house!

    • Fabian

      I love Flashcards, because I think SRS is the most effective method of getting a grasp of a language. I study Japanese for several years now and I already made a lot of kanji cards by myself, because the “pre-made” ones are so freakingly expensive. The drawback of making by myself: It costs a lot of time and they are not very resistant. Especially the second issue matters a lot, because I love to walk around with my cards, for example doing a recap in the forest. So they must withstand quite humid climates and also being carried around for a long time – and my pockets where I put them are not sooo big, I must say.

      So, I would love to participate in this giveaway – it matches my needs so perfectly… you made that just for me, right 😉

    • Kat Lucas

      I love using flash cards to help reinforce what is being learned

    • Michelle Banks

      my son is trying to learn japanese, these would be great for him x

      • Good luck to your son learning Japanese and good luck to you with the giveaway! 🙂

    • Kimberley Hazelton

      I like using flashcards to test myself and for quick recaps.

    • Brittany Koelmel

      I love to use flash cards to remember kanji and basic vocab in Japanese. Its really useful for kanji!

      • Agreed! Good luck, Brittany! 🙂

        • Brittany Koelmel

          Arigatou Gozaimashita!

    • bilqees bano

      I would use flashcards

    • Catherine Khor

      placing it on my mirror and some where i would often stand and read 🙂

      • Good idea! Good luck with the giveaway, Catherine! 🙂

    • michelle kemp

      I have never used them so it would be new to find a way to suit

    • Jordan Bentley

      Just started learning Japanese so would really help me!

    • Natalie Crossan

      I think I’d use flashcards too as it helps retain the memory?