How to Use Anki for Foreign Language Learners - ByteScout
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How to Use Anki for Foreign Language Learners

Learning a new language can be a tricky activity. People may spend hours trying to master a single new word without making much progress.

As the use of portable devices increased over the years, the art of learning new languages got a little bit easier. Also, several individuals have developed several tools and computer-based applications to ease the art of learning new languages. One such tool is Anki.

How to Use Anki for Foreign Language Learners

Anki is an open-source application that is designed to use flashcards to provide a repetitive learning process that aids assimilation and memorization. This program leverages the very best of cognitive science to unluck quick memorization, which lasts a long time. The word “Anki” translates as “memorization” in Japanese. This software was developed by Damien Elmes in 2008. It is available for use on all major smartphones and computer operating systems.

The best part of using Anki is that it does not usually follow the usual boring and laborious process of repeating a single word, phrase, or sentence. Rather, it seamlessly allows a user to learn a new concept over and over again without getting tired.

How it Works

At the core of the operation of Anki is spaced repetition system, which is a more complex form of a flashcard. Anki lets a user work through the topic to be studied for the day. After the study session, a user informs the software about the degree of difficulty of the task. Armed with this information, the Anki software stores the difficulty level and recalibrates how the application functions. As a result, the application reprograms to display flashcards of easier topics less often. On the other hand, the difficult sessions are reviewed more often.

As days pass, the program continues to calculate the time taken to recognize each card. Therefore, a user will discover that more familiar content gets displayed less. Contents or words that take longer to recognize are shown more often. This process continues until the recognition level of a user improves. At this point, the program recalibrates again. Using this clever repetitive process, a user gets to remember words or phrases, and information is successfully stored within the person’s long-term memory. Therefore, the amazing process that the Anki program uses is what makes it loved by many and ideal for learning new languages. The best part is that even topics that have been mastered are occasionally displayed to solidify memorization. Likewise, pictures and audio recordings can be integrated with the Anki program.

Using Anki With Audio and Pictures

Many users get carried away with the amazing Anki spaced repetition system that they forget that it is not the only algorithm available on the program. The Anki program lets a user upload pictures on flashcards. The application also has an option, which synchronizes a picture via a camera. Therefore, a user is at liberty to quickly add pictures of items or people they may come across in their environment.

Once a picture is added, a word can be associated with it on both sides of a card, and the learning process can begin. In the same way, an audio recording of different types can be uploaded onto a flashcard. As a user listens to each recording or looks at a picture, the Anki program continues to calculate the amount of time taken to hear the recording or look at an image. Therefore, the Anki program recalibrates the system, in the same manner, it does with word-carrying flashcards. This means the more time a user spends listen or looking at an audio recording or an image, the more that same flashcard is shown. Also, recordings and images that are reviewed faster are shown less often.

Using Anki for Spelling and Grammar

The use of Anki gets even better as it allows a user to perfect the spelling of words and grammar in general. This function is achieved by allowing users to type in words into the application. As a result, this makes the Anki program ideal for mastering spellings and the complex nature of grammar. This option that Anki offers is what sets it apart from several other applications that offer similar language learning capabilities. Also, it makes the language learning process a whole lot quicker, easier, and comprehensive since a user can learn the words, spelling, accents, and pronunciation of the words contained within a foreign language.

A user is also at liberty to utilize an option within Anki, which practically dissects a word or a sentence into smaller chunks. Doing this simplifies learning and aids memorization.

Flashcard Sharing

Although Anki allows a user the opportunity to create their flashcards, it also lets users import flashcards that were developed by other users, which are open to the general public. The Anki program has a Share DeskS platform that lets users share all kinds of created flashcards. From this platform, thousands of customized flashcards are available, which cut across several topics including different languages all for free. Once a user accesses the Shared Decks option, they can quickly search the database. The home page for Shared Desks presents a user with a list of the most popular categories, and languages are mostly on top of the list.

Using Anki on Different Devices

As stated earlier, Anki is available on a wide range of devices. It works on Windows, macOS, Linux, IOS, Android, and much more. Using the app is generally free. However, a user will need to pay a fee to enjoy the app on a mobile device. A user is given the option to either pay a yearly subscription or a one-time lifetime payment. Also, there are specific services that can only be accessed on a mobile device. Therefore, a user may want to get the mobile application. Nonetheless, the computer application usually gives the option of having a very big screen, which is desired by some users. Users that have multiple devices can seamlessly synchronize flashcards from one device to another.


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