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Method Change-Up: Sentences Are King

September 11, 2013
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Method Change-Up

This is the second article in the Method Change-Up series. If you haven’t yet read the first, please do so first.

The biggest changes in my method for learning Japanese have been detailed in the first article in this series. However, I have made another change (more like a decision, actually) that I’ll detail here.

A while back, made a post about trying something called MCDs (Massive-Context Cloze-Deletion Card), a concept first introduced to me by this post at AJATT. I decided to give it a go in tandem with my sentences to see how I liked it. In fact, it was so different than how I was used to learning that I actually tried it for over a year. In that article I hinted at possibly switching over to MCDs. However, after trying it for a long time, I have made a decision about this.

I’ve decided that I actually prefer the vanilla sentence method over MCDs. In my opinion, sentences are:



Why, you ask? It’s simple, actually. It’s faster. A lot faster. Faster means more exposure in less time, which is better for your Japanese skillz.[1]

It’s faster in a few ways:

  • Card creation – let’s face it, setting up cloze-delete cards takes way more time than just typing out the sentence. Less time creating equals more time reviewing. Speaking of which…
  • SRS Reviews – Chances are in most real-life situations you aren’t going to be playing fill-in-the-blank. This type of review takes longer because you have to stop and think what the Kanji looks like. As mentioned in the last article, recognizing Kanji provides a lot more bang for the buck up front than trying to reproduce it. Having the whole sentence there eliminates the guesswork while still reinforcing the content – at least for me.
  • Less repetitive reviews – This one is a bit of a misnomer. What I am talking about here is not having to go through the same sentence 4 times – one for each Kanji. It’s one review and then move on. Why review the same sentence 4 times? It seems to me that if you didn’t get it right on the first shot, you probably won’t on the others either. It’s also more engaging to have different content appear all the time instead of the same rehashed material all the time. Sure, you get less cards from each sentence, but you can create more sentences to expand your range to make up for it. Win-win.

I think that’s all I will go into for this post. Stay tuned for the next one in this series.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Did I really just spell that with a “z” at the end? o.O
Series Navigation<< Method Change-Up: Writing Is Overrated

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