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On the utility of notecards
Friday, June 22, 2007   1:01 AM

All my college German classes were the same: we read books, then discussed them in class. I would never have finished the assignments on time had I stopped to look up every German word I didn't know, so instead I wrote the unfamiliar words on a notecard with the page number and looked them up later. Or didn't.

Probably you've done this too. Eventually I started doing the same thing with books written in English. Here's an example from 2004:

I found a whole pile of these in a recipe box a few days ago, and there are probably more than a few finished notecards still inside their books.

I've started doing this again because — well, I'd like to think that the utility of this approach would be obvious. You get a useful bookmark, you don't have to break the flow of the story to go look something up, you have an easier time learning and remembering the new words, and later you can use the page number to review the words in their original context.

So the vocab-building (and chickenscratch) continues:


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