What is the best way of reviewing previous material? I keep chugging through the lessons but I'm worried I'm forgetting material from previous lessons. Any suggestions?
Reviewing previous material
March 16, 2021
March 17, 2021
I do the certification tests every few weeks as a revision. Do the benchmark as well on a regular basis. Conversations I found tricky I go back to regulary, as well as culture and grammar ones. When I first started, I went racing through, but as things got more challenging, decided to slow it right down. Am still on level one and have been at this for almost a year. I also find doing the written exercises really good. They take time but you have to be fully engaged. I then repeat the written verbally before moving onto next phrase. Happy learning
March 18, 2021
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try those. I'm not in any huge hurry either. Slow and steady.
March 27, 2021
I don't worry so much about retention anymore for several reasons. For one thing, the way I do it now is to be able to recite, to the satisfaction of that clunky recorder, every phrase and sentence in the material without looking at either the French or English before going on to any of the exercises. Then for any exercises that I can't recite/spell/translate with complete understanding, I do over again after going through all the exercises. I also usually deliberately stop in the middle of the exercises overnight and then begin again the next day without reviewing the material.
I also do the tests at the end of each module, but only after reviewing every lesson's Know It section of exercises until I know them cold. This has really helped me appreciate how much easier it is to refresh the memory than it is to learn the stuff initially. If you can refresh significantly easier, you will remember it more easily as well.
I'm finishing Level 2, and certainly by now, I've come to realize that we're going to encounter the relevant material over and over throughout the lessons. If you're studying effectively in the first place, it really should be occurring to you that you're recognizing and remembering things better all the time. Even stuff that you're convinced that you'll never be able to keep straight will sink in when you're running across it periodically.
Also, I'm a big fan of writing stuff down. I have stacks of index cards. I think this method has two major advantages over say, having the platform copy it for you somewhere. First of all, you have to organize your thoughts in order to write it down since you have to be more economical. Second, I find myself remembering many things by being able to visualize them on the card. I like to make matrices out of things like possessive pronouns and index them so that I can just picture them in my mind. And yes, I've written the same thing down many times on different cards, and that helps too, because I'm working with that material from a slightly different angle each time.
I also spend a bit of time researching the oftentimes bizarre translations that appear in the lessons. So, finding out what's wrong, what it should be, if there's any worthwhile reason for it being what it is, etc., all helps me deal with that frustration in a constructive way, and surely results in my remembering the material more effectively, in addition to not being misled by the foolishness.
As you say, it just takes time. It takes me 5-6 hrs a day, 7 days a week. But I've learned not to get stuck too long in one place, especially on things like thorny grammar. We will learn and remember by doing - the same way we learned English.
April 12, 2021
I do the Benchmark tests, for the levels I've completed, every two weeks which is a good way of checking that I've remembered most of the content.
I also redo all of the ‘Know it’ exercises regularly (I spend about an hour recapping in this way to every half hour I spend learning new stuff)
Hope this helps
April 14, 2021
Thank you to both Robert and Jo! I appreciate all the great suggestions and will work them into my study routine. It will help me a lot.