Quechua - Tips and Study Suggestions
Spaced RepetitionSpaced Repetition has been used by the Pimsleur Language System since the 60s. Spaced Repetition is a system of refreshing a factoid you've seen at a specific interval so that it will move more quickly from your short-term into your long-term memory. Learning facts is not about how much you study, but how often.
It is based on a concept called The Forgetting Curve and easily implemented in manual or automated flashcard systems using the Leitner Box system. (There are a couple of youtube videos explaining manual Leitner Box flashcard implementations if you like your info visually.)
The system goes something like this: we have 5 (or 7) 'boxes' or levels for our flashcards. Every new flashcard starts in box #1. In a review session, if we remember the card correctly, it moves up a level into the next box. If we forget a card, it goes back into box #1 no matter which box it had gotten to. Our goal is to remember all cards correctly, and so move them all into the last box. The wonderful thing about this sytem is that for cards we habitually get wrong, they move back to box #1 again. This means we will keep on refreshing that pesky information a lot more times and so see it more often so that it will move it into long-term memory.
Learning involves several functions; understanding, remembering, and being able to repeat and use the information.
Understanding is not the same as remembering.
- Anki flashcard app. I love it. It's a good implementation of the Leitner Box method, and has versions for desktop and mobile device. You can use it anywhere, even if you've only got five minutes. And ... though I may release a version of the cards I made for my own use at some point, making your own flashcards is actually part of the repetition. I created my flashcards using this very helpful list of 625 essential words, adding ceremonial nouns and verbs, plus geographical features that are important when studying the Andean Cosmology.
- Learn Quechua by uTalk (Eurotalk) is also a solid quick resource for a mobile device. It has recordings by native speakers, memory games, and basic vocabulary.
- Kawsay Vida, a multi-media Quechua program that kicks ass. It is mostly for Bolivian and Ecuadorian Quechua, but it has a good Peruvian Quechua section, too.