Learning new vocabulary words is sooooo much easier if you use flashcards. And, an argument can be made that the best flashcards are those you make yourself. Store bought flashcards are helpful but by making your own flashcards you get the added benefit of activating many parts of your brain when you first create them; you write the words, you write the way they sound, and you draw a picture representing that word.
If you make your vocabulary flashcards, follow these steps:
1. Write the word in English at the top
2. Draw a picture representing the word in the middle
3. Write the word in Spanish under the picture
4. Write out how the word sounds under that
This approach will help you better remember the word. You don’t have to be a great artist, just draw the best you can. Or, you can always find pictures by searching Google, print out the pictures, and glue them to your flashcards if you want to.
This is a great approach to making flashcards that you will study. Unfortunately they won’t work for quizzing yourself. You’d have to either make another set or go with the old method of one word on one side and the corresponding Spanish word on the other. Sounds like a lot work; a lot of not so fun work. We can’t have that.
I personally think it’s best to use flashcards created on the computer. My reasons are as follows:
1. You can make them once using a web based flashcard site and you can easily change the format of the flashcards depending on whether you are studying (all the information on one side) or quizzing yourself (the two sided approach).
2. You can make them once and they are available for you wherever you go. You can have them on your computer, your phone, or your tablet.
3. To keep things fun, I’ve already made lots and lots of flashcards for you using a site called Quizlet. Yay me!
You can find links to the flashcards for the vocabulary lists I’ve created so far here: http://sillyspanish.com/flashcards
Don’t throw out your pencil just yet! Whether or not you use standard flashcards or the flashcards I’ve set up for you, I also highly recommend having a journal. You can start your journal by writing every vocabulary word I provide in these lessons. Yes, this goes back to the multi-sensory approach to memory. Writing the words down will help you memorize the words. Your journal is also ideal for writing down notes about what you are learning. Plus, you’ll want to keep using your journal for each new word you learn outside of these lessons. Remember to keep the right mindset as you add to your journal. Discovering new words and information is fun and your journal is a great way to watch how much you’ve learned over time.