Immersion Flashcards

Jonathan Lindstrom
Posted May 5, 2021

Summary
Wasted Minutes™ supports "immersion-style" flashcards that drill characters and Pinyin while leaving context, usage and meaning for classroom activities.

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Immersion Flashcards

A professor recently commented that vocabulary is best learned and remembered in context. Indeed, having watched unlicensed street vendors scurry away from guards at the Summer Palace, I will always remember what 来了(lái le) means!

Wasted Minutes™ intelligent flashcards are designed to support any curriculum or classroom activity with thorough vocabulary review. In this case, Wasted Minutes™ can be used to drill what we’ll call “immersion flashcards”. These flashcards include the characters and Pinyin for each lesson’s vocabulary, but omit the English meanings.


“Immersion flashcards” contains characters and Pinyin
but no English definitions.


Here’s how it works:

  • A day or two before each class, students add the immersion flashcards for the next lesson from the textbook. Wasted Minutes™ will create multiple-choice questions to drill characters, Pinyin and tones. With no English definitions to study, this review will be brief, intense and entirely in Chinese.
  • In class, students confidently engage the new material. Although the usage of the words may not yet be clear, students will recognize the spoken words, will be able to accurately reproduce the pronunciation and will be able to participate in classroom exercises.
  • After class, Wasted Minutes™ will continue to drill the characters and Pinyin using spaced repetition to increase the time between each review.
  • If there are certain meanings that a student struggles to remember, they can create a custom flashcard to add English definitions to their existing copy of the immersion flashcard.

Two-step variation:

  • Students subscribe to both the immersion and full versions of the textbook’s vocabulary list.
  • Prior to class, students add the immersion flashcards for the new vocabulary as above.
  • After class, students add the full flashcards for the same vocabulary. Wasted Minutes™ seamlessly combines the flashcards and starts including English definitions in the interactive review.

Wasted Minutes™ provides pre-built vocabulary lists to support many popular textbooks. If you don’t see a list for your curriculum, just let us know and we’ll be glad to add it.

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