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Flickserve

Poor results from SRS

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Flickserve

My time is spent largely on listening skills. 

 

I put some 15 words into Pleco and learnt them. Then I forgot them for a week and did a review writing out the words. I forgot them again for another two weeks or so and did another review writing out the words. Supposedly this should be be a powerful technique for memorisation according to SRS theory. I didn't put any other words in the deck. Unfortunately, I can only get six words correct at the end of the process. For each word, I had tried to put a mental image to associate the word with.

 

I invested a lot of time trying to setup Anki but didn't seem to get good results either. 

 

Any thoughts or suggestions from your personal experience? Does SRS work poorly on some people? 

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Publius

I think you misunderstood the theory. Spaced repetition is based on the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve , which shows that deterioration of memory is not linear over time. You're supposed to review BEFORE you forget. The initial repetitions should happen within 24 hours. And each review increases the optimal interval before the next review is needed. If your first review is after a week, it's relearning, not reviewing...

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Lu

It should still help. If you learn on day 1, relearn on day 7, 14, etc, your results will be a lot better than if you didn't relearn. So Flickserve, I assume that every time you learned the words, the learning was a little faster than last time. And I also assume that if you hadn't relearned your 15 words three times, you'd forgotten not 9 but all 15 of them.

 

So relearning every week or so should still work, but it's even better to automate the process using Anki or a similar SRS system, and diligently do your reviews every day.

 

That said, another issue with learning Chinese words is that it is just really hard.

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DavyJonesLocker

I have to adjust anki review times much lower than the default setting. I have 1 min, 5 mins, 10 mins, 1 day 3 days

 

You really need to find what suits you and take research on srs review times as starting guide only. Guides are for the mean of the sample distribution.

 

Also I don't believe people learn 10 to 15 words daily consistently. They do it for a week, manage to learn a 100 words but that progress can not be linearly extrapolated. I'd say 3 to 5 is average over a year or two.

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Shelley

Interesting, I would not have thought that method would work.

I would not have expected to get any success without reviewing everyday, going through every permutation of Pleco's tests and doing extra writing with pen and paper.

 

I actively review all the new characters from each lesson, this takes about 2 weeks. I then move on to the next lesson. Every so often, maybe a couple of months I review the last lesson and run through some tests.

 

About once every 6 months I go back to the last lesson I feel I am not sure of and work my way through all lessons up to the current one.

 

To help with all this I organise my Pleco flashcards by lesson, each lesson gets a new category.

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AaronUK

@Flickserve I have started learning for HSK4 recently, there is so much vocab per lesson it is almost impossible to keep up learning part time.

I found though that using pleco cards every few days I can increase my recognition of the words. The problem that recognizing and having recall to use a word in a sentence when speaking are two different things.

 

Fortunately I am combining my approach with lessons, I go through the vocab before lessons and then my retention in lessons is much better. I probably still remember less than 75% this way, but as long as I am making progress I am happy. My point being, that context is important too, perhaps you can try to find some sentences to read through containing the words in context as part of the approach. Usually once I have said out loud with someone a few sentences of a word in context, using pleco cards is very effective for me to remember those words.

 

I'm not sure what level you are but you might find some useful sentences on the Chinese wiki specifically useful if you are trying to learn words that are for Grammar structures like 'if/then' 'even though.... still..' or similar: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/A_softer_"but"_with_"buguo"

 

 

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Flickserve

Thanks for all the replies. I will keep trying and altering a few things.

 

and yes. I must have learnt something if I remember a few words. But for the ones I didn't know, I had no impression. It would have felt better if for more words, I could have said ok, I have some recognition of the word, maybe not remember the meaning nor sound but at least think I have seen it before!

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dtcamero

@DavyJonesLocker

i've been reviewing 15-20 new flashcards a day for about 8 years now.

fluent japanese and decent chinese as a result.

in srs, as anything else, persistence pays off...

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DavyJonesLocker

 

1 hour ago, dtcamero said:

i've been reviewing 15-20 new flashcards a day for about 8 years now.

 

That's a vocabulary of between 43,800 and 58,400 words......:shock:

 

HSK 6 only has 5,000. I think your abilities are above the average Joe.

 

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dtcamero

learning 10k words is a good goal, but that doesn't actually give you much reading or speaking ability. 

i also have hanzi cards, sentence cards, subs2SRS listening cards, geography cards, people/place name cards, etc.

ya probably totalling around 20-25k for each language, but i've deleted a lot over the years that became redundant, so i study from a database of about half that now. 

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, imron said:

 

Indeed no doubt in my mind HSK 6 is a long way from fluency. B2 CEFR equivalent I'd say. 

Always thought it was shame that they lowered the high bar as it were from the old HSK to the new HSK standards. No point massaging the data just because we don't like the hard facts of how difficult the language is.

 

Edit: good website Imron, interesting reading!

 

 

39 minutes ago, dtcamero said:

earning 10k words is a good goal, but that doesn't actually give you much reading or speaking ability. 

 

Kindof agree actually. Even at HSK 6 you still can't talk anything more than generalities about individual topics. I was redecorating my flat a while ago and found I was really illiterate to many chinese words associated with tools, materials, methods of application etc. 

 

I really should put these words into an SRS system as its a topic of interest to me 

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Shelley
11 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I really should put these words into an SRS system as its a topic of interest to me

 

I think that once you reach HSK5/6 you should be adding words that are needed or are of interest to your knowledge base. Its good to have a wide vocabulary but just as in my native tongue (English) once i had learnt to school leaving standard, I then only learnt new words as I needed them or were of interest.

 

There is and always will be a huge amount of technical and specialised vocabulary that I will never need or want to learn.

 

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DavyJonesLocker
28 minutes ago, Shelley said:

I think that once you reach HSK5/6 you should be adding words that are needed or are of interest to your knowledge base. Its good to have a wide vocabulary but just as in my native tongue (English) once i had learnt to school leaving standard, I then only learnt new words as I needed them or were of interest.

 

Yes, even at HSK 5 I found it all a bit dull, its nice  to have a progression but the topics became less and less interesting to me and as a result ,hard to learn due to lack of motivation. i do want to pass HSK 6 when I get my mind focused and can actually persist at looking at the material!

 

I think I remember reading that you are studying NPCR books. That was a point of realisation for me. I loved books 1 to 4 and the workbooks but towards the end of book 5 I really lost interest. 

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Shelley

Yes I am, working through book 2 at the moment. I have been making slow progress though for a couple of reasons, which I won't derail this topic with. But I think it is always true that if you are interested you learn better.

I might post in 2017 aims and progress topic about my slow down, in fact I will.

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wibr

@imron

Quote

A typical Chinese novel has about 500-600 characters per page, and at the above rate, that works out to roughly 20 new characters per page.

 

This sounds a bit like on every page there are 20 new characters, which might be true for the first page but if you keep learning the characters that you don't know the number of new characters per page will get smaller. For the given examples in the article, the number of unknown characters divided by the number of pages is something around 1.5 .

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DavyJonesLocker
18 minutes ago, wibr said:

@imron

Quote

A typical Chinese novel has about 500-600 characters per page, and at the above rate, that works out to roughly 20 new characters per page.

 

This sounds a bit like on every page there are 20 new characters, which might be true for the first page but if you keep learning the characters that you don't know the number of new characters per page will get smaller. For the given examples in the article, the number of unknown characters divided by the number of pages is something around 1.5 .

 

 

true but can the average person learn 20 characters per page yet still reading a book at a comfortable reading speed? If you have a coffee and read for an hour you might read 10 pages being very conservatively. Thats 200 new characters that day, day 2 - 400. 

 

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wibr

That's exactly my point, the first 10 pages won't contain 200 new characters. By that logic the first 500 pages would contain 10000 new characters. Twenty new characters per page is certainly a struggle, I agree.

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DavyJonesLocker
16 minutes ago, wibr said:

That's exactly my point, the first 10 pages won't contain 200 new characters. By that logic the first 500 pages would contain 10000 new characters.

 

yes so theoretically you should speed up reading as you progress and actually learn those characters.

 

I tried reading 三体 with the same logic but my old brain was overwhelmed with all the new characters initially so abandoned it. That learning rate was too high for me. Maybe its worth persisting.  

 

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dtcamero

@wibri think you're mixing having seen a character before with knowing a character.

just seeing it once or twice, that character will be unreadable again a few days later.

especially when you're talking about twenty of them, not to mention twenty per page.

chinese characters are great for that, it's one of the masochistic joys of studying this particular language.

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