Excel for Polyglots: Comparative audits to keep languages in sync

Cross-referencing vocabulary in Excel after some tidying is applied with IFERROR.

Duolingo, Memrise, Anki, Microsoft Excel. Huh, wait – Excel? How is that a language learning app? Well, the Office software has some handy features that just happen to be right up our street as language learners. Namely, the ability to curate… Continue reading

Anki custom note types for complex morphology flashcards

A spreadsheet containing German verb information.

If you use Anki, have you ever felt like the the out-of-the-box templates are a little basic? The default card has just two fields for back and front. Of course, this is instantly relevant for simple vocabulary learning. You can… Continue reading

Feel the heat: get a visual grasp on Anki with this natty plug-in

Is your learning on fire? Just check your streak! Image from freeimages.com.

Anki is an incredibly powerful tool with a heap of learning science behind it. But do you ever feel, as an Anki user, that the process is all a bit of a mystery? That, instead of being passively fed material,… Continue reading

Recon in the course book jungle: forward loading vocab to breeze through books

Wading into the jungle of a new language course. Image from freeimages.com

You know the feeling. A shiny new course book, fresh from the bookshop. All that potential, just sitting there, between the covers. There’s a joy and anticipation at the sight of a language learning book that only linguaphiles can know.… Continue reading

Vocabulary cross-platforming : make your DIY language learning data work harder

A computer screen (image from freeimages.com)

A major feature of language learning in the digital world is the abundance of tools for building and testing your own vocabulary banks. Anki, Quizlet, Educandy, StudyBlue, Cram… There are all sorts of platforms for collecting and drilling the words… Continue reading

Five ways to maintain variety in your language learning

Variety adds a bit of a colour to your learning. (Image from freeimages.com)

Routine and regularity are cornerstones of language learning. But if your structure is too rigid, you might find yourself tiring of the same old, same old. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to work some variety into your language learning plan… Continue reading

Managing Anki decks with options groups

Keep your language learning colourful - change things up from time to time.

Well, the football didn’t go England’s way this week. Commiserations, fellow polyglot fans who were also hoping. But when anticlimactic gloom ensues, sometimes you’re motivated to very productive distractions. I’ve spent a useful chunk of time this week optimising my Anki… Continue reading