If you’re learning a world language, like Japanese, you probably know that flashcards are a great tool. Every lesson on stoutsensei.com has flashcards too. But, have you ever used audio flashcards? What are audio flashcards? And why are flashcards in general so effective in helping learners recall information?
The science behind flashcards
Flashcards are an awesome way to boost your learning as a world language learner, but do you know why? It’s because of something called the “testing effect” or “retrieval effect” that scientists have been interested in for at least 400 years.
As early as 1620 Francis Bacon commented that if you were trying to remember something, it is far better to test yourself on the material than simply to read it over and over (1). Basically he was describing the way we learn with flashcards. The testing effect was studied empirically as early as 1909 by Edwina E. Abbott (2), and many more times since then. It’s been shown that active learning, rather than passive learning, has a much greater impact on our ability to recall information later on. That explains why flashcards are such effective learning tools.
Audio flashcards for language learners
Okay, flashcards are awesome, but what are audio flashcards and how do we use them? They’re a little different form regular flashcards. Instead of looking at the front, and try to recall the information on the back, with an audio flashcard you hear a prompt, and then try to recall the information before it is presented to you in an audio way. This is especially useful if you’re trying to work on your listening comprehension skills. Also, did you know that Quizlet has a cool function that can turn your flashcards into audio flashcards? It’s really easy. Let’s show you how.
Step-by-step instructions for audio flashcards
This works for both mobil and browser versions.
First, find a set of flashcards on stoutsesnei.com that you’re trying to learn.
Click “Options” and make sure “English” is selected as the back or the side to answer with.
Make sure audio is selected.
Finally, click “Play.”
Quizlet will start your audio flashcards session. When you hear the audio prompt, try to say it in English before the answer is given. You will also want to choose “Shuffle” to practice them in random order.
That’s it. Audio flashcards are great for reinforcing and developing your listening proficiency. Try it, and watch your proficiency grow!
Bacon, Francis (2000). Jardine; Scott (eds.). The New Organon: CAMBRIDGE TEXTS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. p. 143. (https://academiaanalitica.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/francis-bacon-the-new-organon.pdf )
Abbott, Edwina (1909). "On the analysis of the factors of recall in the learning process". https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/29155538.pdf