What makes an optimal Chinese flashcard? How can you optimize wording for flashcards in a language you're trying to learn? This article looks at how you can improve the flashcards you use for learning Chinese with a set of quick optimizations.
Keep it short
Above all else, the best optimization you can make to your Chinese flashcards is to keep them short.
The maximum time needed to respond to the prompt on a card should be around 15 seconds, and most cards should be much quicker. This helps you to build up momentum, stay in the zone and maintain your motivation to keep on studying. Big, labourious flashcards will do the opposite.
One difficult thing
It's generally a good idea to have just one difficult element in a flashcard. This is the main point of the card, and the context that comes with it should be material you're relatively confident with already.
It's also helpful to tackle new knowledge from a base of material that you're already quite familiar with.
Keep a range of difficulty
It's a good idea to have a wide range of difficulty in your flashcard. In other words, keep the old stuff that seems laughably easy.
Again, this comes back to motivation. Blitzing through some easy cards reminds you of the progress you've made and encourages you to keep going. Before long, the difficult cards will fall into that category, and it'll be time to add more difficult cards.
As well as that, keeping a wide range of difficulty also helps you to build associations between the old and the new. What you're learning does not exist in isolation, even if flashcards present it that way. When you're prompted to engage with all sorts of different material, you benefit from the "gaps" between each flashcard.
Use a range of styles and content
You can have many more types of flashcard than basic "front & back" cards. Varying the style of your cards lets you cover the different areas of learning Chinese, and keeps your cards more interesting as you study it.
Here are some ideas of card styles:
Traditional and simplified Chinese cards
Pronunciation practice cards
Zhuyin fuhao cards
Expand on difficult items
Material that is new or difficult should be covered by several different cards, ideally with a range of styles.
By covering material in several different ways and expanding on it, you get a more rounded learning experience. Expanding on existing material is also a good way to build natural, interconnected knowledge of Chinese.
Translated from: chineseboost
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