What kind of drills should I create?

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leosmith
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What kind of drills should I create?

Postby leosmith » Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:53 pm

I am writing an online text book/grammar for Tagalog. One of the main requests from the users of the beta edition was to include more drills/exercises. As it stands, each lesson has a vocabulary list and 10 sample sentences. There is audio, and you can hide/show the English/Tagalog to aid in memorization.

The sample sentences build upon the preceding grammar, meaning in addition to grammar points of the current lessons, they include sufficient grammar from previous lesson to ensure that each point is adequately reviewed in the book. So they are sometimes more complicated that if I were to only cover the grammar in the current lesson.

In addition to those sample sentences, I’ve been writing “drill” sentences, which are supposed to be simple sentences that only necessarily cover the current lesson’s grammar points. Regarding drills, I am a big fan of L1 to L2 full sentence translation. Imo, it requires more recall and is more effective than any other format, so that’s all I need. But I understand others might prefer simpler drills.

1) What type of simpler drills would you recommend? I would prefer that they are subsets of the sentences I’ve already written. The two possibilities I can think of are cloze deletion and sentence building.

2) In addition to being able to hide/show/play audio on the site, I am going to allow users to download the text and audio for the drills so that they can load them in SRS. What form would you recommend I put this data in?
Last edited by leosmith on Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby BeaP » Thu Aug 11, 2022 6:30 pm

If the users ask for more drills/exercises, they don't necessarily ask for a larger variety or more of the same, it's probable that they basically need more help to retain the information. It can also be visual help or even theoretical advice about learning. Try to solve their problem instead of simply doing what they ask for. There's a high chance that you know better what they really need. The actual result might be the same, but the approach (way of thinking) is different.

Good methods/programmes are always based on a coherent, complete view about language learning. Ideally, the creator(s) have an opinion about what works, what's the ideal order of certain exercise-types. A lot of exercises are only valuable in a certain position among other types of exercises. Also, there are some that are well-known and frequent for some reason (easy to make?), but don't really do much at any point of the learning process. I think it's good to stick to your own rationale, no matter how interesting or popular suggestions you get. Do what you think really works from a methodological point of view.

What helps me most personally is good quality audio (dialogues) and audio drills. If you favour translations, you can build them up from a lower level.
An example:
The big brown dog was chasing the cat through the park.
preceded by the following drills: 1) brown dog, chasing the cat 2) big brown dog, was chasing the cat, through the park.
Another possibility is answering questions about the sentences: Who was the dog chasing? Where was the dog chasing the cat?
Audio drills can be answered in writing as well. I have a book that includes vocabulary audio drills: word lists, 'what's the opposite of the following'. The solution is also recorded, so I don't need to write anything down. I've found it very effective, but it might depend on the individual.
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Aug 11, 2022 6:39 pm

leosmith wrote:he two possibilities I can think of are close deletion and sentence building.

What does the underlined bit mean?
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby german2k01 » Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:41 pm

What does the underlined bit mean?


Fill in the blank type question.

I _dich.

Ich liebe dich.

I love you. Strange sentence to explain close deletion. I think you will not forget it even in your grave. :lol:
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:44 pm

Strange name for it.
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby Herodotean » Thu Aug 11, 2022 10:29 pm

The name is actually cloze.
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby leosmith » Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:44 pm

Herodotean wrote:The name is actually cloze.

oops - fixed
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby leosmith » Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:45 pm

Le Baron wrote:
leosmith wrote:he two possibilities I can think of are close deletion and sentence building.

What does the underlined bit mean?

Comes from Cloze test I guess.
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby leosmith » Sat Aug 13, 2022 6:44 pm

BeaP wrote:Try to solve their problem instead of simply doing what they ask for.
Thanks for your reply - I meant to get back to this earlier, but I forgot. What they meant is that, while there is certainly more than the bare minimal required to understand and apply a given grammar point, they wanted more drills to practice them. For example, when they learned a new verb conjugation, they understood the "formula" that they must use, but they still needed to practice it quite a bit to be able to whip them out. My examples were useful, but not sufficient for them. So in addition to what I have, it's like I'm creating an exercise book, if you want to think of it that way.
I think it's good to stick to your own rationale, no matter how interesting or popular suggestions you get. Do what you think really works from a methodological point of view.
Yes. I'm just adding on to what I already have. In fact, compared to the existing examples/sample sentences, I consider the drills to be "extra", and they have to click a link to go the "drill page" for a given lesson. I want to keep the lessons short, so I don't want the drills cluttering up the main course.
What helps me most personally is good quality audio (dialogues) and audio drills.
All drills/samples/examples have audio. There are no dialogues because, although I call this a text book, it is more like a grammar that builds progressively. There are 110 six-minute conversations with scripts available to the learners, so their reading/listening is covered imo.
If you favour translations, you can build them up from a lower level.
Yes, this is what I meant by sentence building.
Another possibility is answering questions about the sentences
Useful, but this is more of a reading/listening comprehension exercise; I'm focusing on grammar with this book.
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Re: What kind of drills should I create?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Aug 14, 2022 11:28 am

Late to the party. Some positive experiences with drills include the Michel Thomas way of sentence building and the array of drills that FSI courses tend to have. Those might be of interest.
For anyone who isn't familiar with the various types of FSI drills (response, expansion, substitution, transformation, variation, vocabulary...), there are explanations here:
https://www.fsi-language-courses.org/bl ... imum-gain/
https://www.dicendipublishing.com/how-to-use.html

I think you should be able to tweak them so they suit Tagalog. (I have no idea of how the grammar works, i.e. what is useful to work on.)
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