Learning a new language is not easy. We will be lying if we say it requires no effort. You will definitely need to put in time.
Fortunately, you need not put in blood & sweat.
Schooling Papa is designed to help you learn new languages efficiently. To do that, you would need to understand how the overall process works. There are numerous elements in the app that are designed base on how best we learn.
This guide explains that.
What other resources do I need?
Schooling Papa is a flashcard app – a very useful (if not most useful) tool to help you in learning a new language.
But it is not enough on it’s own.
If you are self-learning, you should use the following resources too:
- Grammar book - for the rules
- Frequency list - for the most common words
- Phrase book - for the essential sentences
As you learn from these resources, you will no doubt encounter new words that you need to memorize. That’s when you should create the flashcards, learn them well, and commit them to memory.
Which learning mode to use?
We designed 3 learning modes that are uniquely effective in different learning stages.
For a new deck, you will start with Listen mode, where you will hear the pronunciations repeatedly, together with the picture and the words. The focus is on hearing the right pronunciation.
Move on to Practice mode quickly. You will hear once, then you have to repeat. Using speech recognition, we will tell you if it’s right! The focus is on you pronouncing the word correctly.
After a few practices, you should try the Test mode. You should not aim to be perfect before trying the test mode. The goal of testing is to make your brain form strong memory.
TIPS: Intermix the modes. Test yourself early. Spend equal time on each mode.
When should I test myself?
Most of us dread of tests. We often leave it till the last thing to do, or it never happens at all 😆. However, tests should be viewed differently.
“Testing is studying, of a different and powerful kind.”
How often should I learn?
You should aim to learn the language every day. Each session can be as short as 10 minutes, or as long as an hour.
Using the app takes up a portion (exactly how much is up to you 🤓) of your total time set for learning. What the app does is to increase your vocabulary, at the shortest possible time. By learning every day, your brain will magically adapt to the words, rules, and pronunciations.
To read Picture/Words
This option is available for Practice & Test modes.
- Words (default): You will read when you see the words.
- Picture: You will read when you see the picture. This is useful when you are not ready to recognize the words, therefore you focus on pronunciation upon seeing the picture.
Each card has 2 sides
- The “front” is a prompt - a picture (and optional text overlay)
- The “back” is the answer - the words
Why DIY flashcards
We have to emphasize this: you need to create your personalized flashcards, because that’s the most effective way to learning new words.
Build your deck from scratch. Add new words only when you are ready to use it.
The process of making flashcards is part of your learning. You will form stronger neural connections in your brain as you pick the best picture for your flashcard. Use your phone’s camera and have some fun!
We also didn’t want to bombard you with thousands of new words that you have no use of. You have to choose what you want to learn. It has to be relevant for your workplace or environment, so that you can use them right away.
That’s why we have provided just a few flashcards to help you get started.
How is personalized flashcard effective?
Based on scientific studies, your brain will remember 2x better if the picture is meaningful and memorable to you. If you want to learn the word “spoon”, you should very well use a picture of your spoon, instead of any 🥄.
Even better, take a photo of your spoon together with the delicious meal you’re having.
The speed that your brain can recall the associated sound and text depends on how much emotions the picture can evoke. We are more likely to remember funny jokes, because it subconsciously created a lasting impression in our brain.
Similarly, you will subconsciously recall better when you see a mouth-drooling 🥗🥘🍰, and your spoon.
When and how to make a flashcard?
You should create a flashcard when you encounter a new word that you’re ready to learn, and you want to use the word in your workplace or environment.
The process goes like this:
Encounter new word ➡️ Look up with dictionary ➡️ Find relevant picture ➡️ Create a card ➡️ Learn
Can I download flashcards?
We do not provide flashcards for you to download. But you may export/import your decks in Settings. However, we advise that you use someone else flashcards as a reference only.
If you have physical flashcards (eg. from schools), you would also want to digitize them. The advantages of using the app is aplenty: the app will pronounce the words, listen if you said them correctly, test you, and you can learn anytime, anywhere.
Create cards only when you’re ready to learn
The reason that the app does not come with thousands of cards is because that will overwhelm you with vocabulary that is irrelevant to you.
To learn effectively, you should learn useful words that you can use immediately eg. at work or at home.
What is a deck?
A deck is a logical grouping of cards along the same topics. That is no restriction on the number of cards a deck can have. But you will want to keep it to less than 100.
In future version, we could add a Super Deck that merge multiple decks as one.
Do NOT translate
To be fluent in a language, you have to focus on pronunciation without translating from your native language. Translation will slow you down and will become a bad habit.
You should never use your native language for the picture (or overlay text) as a translation hint.
NOTE: We are NOT saying you cannot use Google Translate to help you in learning a new word. We are only saying that the card’s picture and overlay text (the front side that prompts) should not be in your native language.
Benefits of a flashcard app
Flashcard is a proven way to learn anything, especially useful for learning new languages.
An app makes flashcard even more powerful for language learning, because:
- App can read out the word tirelessly
- App can listen to your pronunciations, and know if it’s right or not
- Much easier to create and manage huge decks of cards
- Add a photo easily
- Learn anywhere