Why you should keep notes in your Chinese flashcards
You put a lot of effort into building, maintaining and studying your Chinese
flashcard deck, but are you missing out on an opportunity to make it even more
beneficial to your Chinese learning?
The 18th rule in Dr Wozniak’s 20 Rules for Formulating
Knowledge is “provide
sources”. This is a good suggestion: keeping track of where you found the
material your learning has several benefits:
You can go further with your note taking than just providing sources, though,
and turn your flashcard deck into a personal compendium of Chinese learning.
Here’s a few other things that can make your flashcards more useful to you as
you make progress.
Mnemonics should definitely appear on the flashcards for content they apply to.
They can either appear as part of the response side so you see them on every
review, or on a separate field that you can look at when you want to. Either
way, it’s beneficial to have them in the flashcard deck.
Firstly, you get more benefit out of your mnemonics if you’re seeing them on a
regular basis. When you forget the response to a card, one of the first things
to go for is a mnemonic. For certain types of knowledge, especially Chinese
characters, mnemonics should be central to the learning process, and keeping
them on the flashcard achieves that.
Secondly, having a specific slot for mnemonics encourages you to make more of
them. If they’re noted down elsewhere or used haphazardly, you’re less likely to
create new ones on a consistent basis. Again, the flashcard deck is an ideal
place to gather them.
Besides sources and mnemonics, it’s good to have space for other notes and
elaborations in your flashcard deck.
A good way to build this up organically is to add notes when you fail a card.
The act of doing this is reinforcing in itself, and you’ll build up extra
material around the more difficult cards as you go forwards.
Keeping more detailed notes in the flashcards also makes them more searchable,
which tends to become more and more useful as the deck grows.
This content was originally published here.