Studying Japanese 20 years ago, I used blank business cards to create rudimentary flash cards. Japanese on one side and an English translation on the other. The case for using flash cards to learn vocabulary is well made in this infographic from Voxy.
I recognise that there was a lot of value in making my flash cards because it forced me to practice my Japanese handwriting. However, students today can forgo investing in pens and cards to create sets of stylish new cards on their PC or mobile device. What is more, this creation process can be much more involved because students are able to bring their cards to life with photos, hyperlinks, video and other digital media.
From the mountain of flash card apps, I’ve had the most success with Quizlet, available on iOS and Android. The website itself also runs very nicely in each mobile platform’s web browser. In fact, I’ve found most of my students prefer to use the browser because they can access a wider selection of games and other features.
With Quizlet, my students’ flash cards have become super charged!
They’re now able to,
- Listen to how the word is pronounced in English and Japanese.
- Play games (one game in the app, two on the website) relating to a specific card set, testing both knowledge and speed.
- Undertake a 20-item test relating to your card set (website only).
- Use “learn” or “speller” functions in order to become acquainted with the new vocabulary in your card set (website only).
- Collect and collaborate in the creation of new sets.
- Compete with classmates for top-scores in the learning games (providing the teacher has created a class group).
- Reflect on Quizlet study histories.
- Forget about lugging multiple sets of flash cards around.
We’d love to know what you think about Quizlet for vocabulary learning.