ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!

does your Anki use differ according to level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced)

yes, I mostly use Anki at beginner level
14
30%
yes, I mostly use Anki at advanced level
4
9%
yes, content varies (vocabulary, phrases, grammar)
10
22%
yes, beginner levels use both directions, for intermediate or advanced only L2->L1 or L2->definitions
1
2%
yes, the number of reviews and new cards varies - higher for beginner
9
20%
yes, the number of reviews and new cards varies - higher for advanced
1
2%
no, I always use Anki the same way
7
15%
 
Total votes: 46

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tungemål
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ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby tungemål » Tue May 12, 2020 5:56 pm

Please elaborate.

For instance, I think I've found I prefer this:
Beginner level: high number of reviews, both directions ("reverse card")
Intermediate: high number of reviews, L2->L1 only
Advanced: L2->L2 definitions, low number of reviews
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby dicentra8 » Tue May 12, 2020 8:24 pm

For the most part it doesn't vary and I've always used for the same purpose (vocabulary repetition). All of the cards I study were created by me (I rarely use shared decks) and I always do in one direction.

  • Japanese: I get prompted with how the word usually appears and I type the reading (using hiragana + katakana). I also include in the back the meaning + some notes/example sentence.
  • Finnish (and more recently for French): I get prompted with the meaning (usually in english) and I type the word in the target language. Also include in the back the meaning + notes/example sentence.

Aside from practising vocabulary, the one thing I also enjoyed doing with Anki is "audio decks" to practise listening. I used this mostly when I was doing Minna no Nihongo because there was a lot of audio. My cards for that were mostly small sentences where I had trouble picking certain strings of sounds at the front, the back would be the transcript just to check.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I don't think I've reached an advanced level in any of these target languages. Things can always change and I might decide to switch how I use Anki. But so far I'm ok with how I've been using it.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby gsbod » Tue May 12, 2020 8:47 pm

I mostly use Anki at the beginner and intermediate levels and I predominantly use it for words and short phrases going both L1 > L2 and L2> L1. I have a love hate relationship with it, but I've found nothing that works quite so well, particularly to help with the transition from dabbler to genuine student, and then to make the leap from beginner to true intermediate.

Once I get to the intermediate level, there are so many other ways to spend time with the language that I find it hard to stick with Anki long enough to make it worthwhile, although I suspect it would still be useful if I made time for it.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby jmar257 » Tue May 12, 2020 9:27 pm

gsbod wrote:Once I get to the intermediate level, there are so many other ways to spend time with the language that I find it hard to stick with Anki long enough to make it worthwhile, although I suspect it would still be useful if I made time for it.

This pretty much. I keep up with my Spanish deck (which is largely L2->L1) but it's pretty easy to breeze through most days because reading is my strongest skill. French takes a bit more concentration but largely the same story.

Whenever I start German I'm going to incorporate L2->L1, which I have a little for Latin, to see how I like that. But Anki for me is mainly reading practice, and as I get better it feels more like...I don't want to say a waste of time, but the ROI isn't there. And I just dislike having too many learning activities running in parallel, I like to have one or two focuses at a time for a language, so once I get past beginner I pretty much do my Anki reviews and get practice elsewhere. I'm very casually studying Latin with Lingua Latina right now and reading has been much easier since I started reviewing Anki vocabulary, although my ideal is sentences/phrases.

Most of my Anki decks are Assimil sentences (Spanish/French with Ease, Using Spanish/French) that I made or other random sentence collections I downloaded. There's definitely something to making your own cards, but sometimes it's easier to just download something someone else made. I really like putting Assimil in Anki though, and will continue doing that. I expect converting them to clozes might be worthwhile as well.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby garyb » Wed May 13, 2020 1:04 pm

I've generally been of the opinion that Anki is more useful at intermediate and advanced levels, to help remember "mid-frequency" words and expressions that are useful to know but don't come up enough in normal input to be reinforced enough. If I lived in the country and/or had the opportunity to use the language for several hours a day I probably wouldn't feel the need, so Anki is a kind of quick and dirty substitute.

I use cloze cards for things I'd like to be able to use in speaking, and sentences with a highlighted word for recognition for things I'll settle for just being able to understand. I try to make the clozes easy and unambiguous by including some letters at the start and/or end and adding a hint or translation. I can't quantify how effective this is, but I feel like it does help keep things fresh and the revision only takes a few minutes per day.

As a beginner, the goal is to learn the most common and important parts of language, which by definition already come up all the time and most good courses are designed with some kind of spaced repetition of them built in. Using a dedicated SRS system seems like at best overkill and at worst a way to stray off the path and study things that aren't really important at that stage.

I still stick by this for "easier" languages (like FSI category 1 for English speakers), but then I studied Greek for a few months. Even the very basic language is much more complicated and has fewer cognates, so far more repetition is required to make it stick, and my mind could only take in a very limited amount of new content per day. In that case Anki was a great help.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby tungemål » Wed May 13, 2020 4:20 pm

Correction: Actually I don't follow my own advice above. I do this:

For German (intermediate-advanced): I use Anki, both ways, but I notice it becomes harder to hit the right word when I do L1->L2 because by now I have collected several German words that have the same meaning.

For Japanese (upper beginner A2): I do only L2->L1 because the language is so different so there are less one-to-one corresponding words like there mostly are in European languages.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Wed May 13, 2020 5:03 pm

So far, I've only used Anki for new languages (always L2-L1). This means that I'm a beginner if/when I add a deck, but keep reviewing the decks in all languages no matter my current level. I rarely add new material - unless it makes sense to do so.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby alaart » Thu May 14, 2020 5:49 am

At the beginner level I'm strict, so if I'm not fully able to reproduce a word or make a minor pronunciation mistake, I mark it wrong.

At the higher levels, I'm soft - if I have a rough clue of what the word means, or I made a mistake because I mistook it for a similar sounding word or something like that, I feel that I'm "close enough" and mark it right.
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby tungemål » Thu May 14, 2020 11:07 am

jeff_lindqvist wrote:So far, I've only used Anki for new languages (always L2-L1). This means that I'm a beginner if/when I add a deck, but keep reviewing the decks in all languages no matter my current level. I rarely add new material - unless it makes sense to do so.


That means you use pre-made decks, and don't continuously add new words as you come across them?
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Re: ANKI: How does your Anki use vary at different levels

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Thu May 14, 2020 9:07 pm

tungemål wrote:That means you use pre-made decks, and don't continuously add new words as you come across them?


Actually neither. I usually add words as I encounter them in my study material. So, in the beginning, my "deck" consist of the words fromlesson 1, and when I'm working on lesson 2 I add those, and so on. I add new words when it makes sense to do so. Sometimes they come from other textbooks, but rarely from literature. I learned some of my languages many years before I even knew about Anki, and those are maintained in other ways.
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