So as part of an effort to help you remember words better, we’re going to start using Anki to supplement our lessons. Anki is a unique flashcard program that uses spaced repetition to maximize learning and long-term memorization. It’s pretty cool!
This shouldn’t add too much time to your overall studying, but I’d like you to use the program every day for about 10 minutes. If you do this, I think you’re going to see a lot of improvement. So… let’s get started!
First, you’ll need to download Anki. You can download it from the Anki website here. Get whichever version you need; Windows, Mac OSX, or Ipod Touch.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, you should be able to download decks that people have already made to help you study. (You can also feel free to modify/add to these decks or start your own from scratch.) You can download these decks from within the Anki program. To get these decks, in Windows, go to File->Download->Shared Deck. I don’t have the Mac OSX version available (sorry Chewy!), but I suspect it’s similar.
Next, look through you’ll see a bunch of vocabulary lists that people have gone and made for various purposes (Japanese studying, among other things). You can feel free to download them, but actually a few of the Genki decks have errors in them, so I’m going to fix the errors and then pass them onto you. So don’t download the Genki decks from here, but if you see any other decks that look interesting (like a JLPT 4 vocab deck?), give ‘em a download!
Here’s the vocabulary for the first 7 sections of Genki, along with sound files and some corrections by me. Unzip it and load the .anki file in Anki to study the vocab. I would advise studying something like 40 words per day, or more if you can–don’t do so many that you really get bored, though. Doing it once when you wake up/go to work and once before you go to sleep might be the most effective; you could do 40 cards in each session, or something like that. Tweak the settings as much as you want. Also, you can do the “cram” option if you just want to study a specific category of words (such as just verbs) or if you want to study words indefinitely without a set limit to them.
Hopefully that’s easy enough to follow along with. I’ll give you updated cards for each new section, as we get to them. Please please please try to study every day; it will help you immensely!
Good luck, and post here if you have any problems or questions.