Hello again. I know it’s been a while, but I’m aiming to make a fresh start in 2016 (Lunar New Year aka Tết is just round the corner) and return to posting more often. Stay tuned!
It’s New Year’s Eve! The Year of the Horse is about to end and everyone is about to get a year older.
So let’s take a little look at the best of More Vietnamese over the past year and look ahead to 2015 (Year of the Goat).
Top Articles from 2014 (Year of the Horse)
Over the course of 2014 I’ve written 29 articles on More Vietnamese.
I felt like I’ve written practical advice this year and I hope these articles are useful to you. Here are my favourites from the past year:
- The story behind my Vietnamese name, Thảo
- Why is kitchen ‘nhà’ bếp not ‘phòng’?
- Writing in a foreign language… Actually there are different kinds of writing.
- 12 topics to kickstart your Vietnamese writing
- Improve your spelling
- Absolute Beginner: How & Where to start learning Vietnamese
- 3 ways to remember vocabulary
- How to beat Anki backlog
- Learn how to pronounce written Vietnamese
- Learn new words and phrases from videos
The most popular
The second half of 2014 was really busy for me personally so I haven’t had much time to write, but I have been learning a lot about language teaching and reflecting on how this affects both learners in the classroom and people who self-study.
As for my own language learning, I’m at a plateau with Vietnamese again. While I have been maintaining my Vietnamese, I’ve probably spent more time in 2014 working on my beginner Korean. However I hope to boost my Vietnamese in the spring by doing 1 or 2 focused 21 day long bursts or sprints of focused learning.
Finally, thank you for reading and supporting More Vietnamese! Thanks to everyone who’s left comments here or on Facebook and those who have asked questions by emails. I get so many of my ideas for articles from you.
I love encouraging people to learn Vietnamese so it’s a pleasure to run this site. Keep visiting and I’ll keep writing.
Over to you: What was (Lunar) 2014 like for you? How was your language learning?
Photo credit: phostezel
So, things have been busy for the past couple of months and probably will continue to be until Tết.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to join Lindsay on her quest to share new vocabulary on Instagram, starting this month. I’m aiming to post 3-4 pictures a week.
You can find me on Instagram here.
While you’re there, you should also follow Viet Wordly who post gorgeous Vietnamese vocabulary pictures.
Over to you: Have you ever used Instagram to learn new vocabulary? How about joining in with the challenge?
Have you ever left Anki alone for a few weeks and come back to a huge card backlog?
Several months ago I got overwhelmed by my Anki decks. I’d been on holiday and not reviewed anything. I’d started a new course and was behind with adding new words. I basically stopped using it because it felt like a black cloud hanging over my head.
I didn’t want to delete all my cards and start again. I liked having them there as a reference, like a personal dictionary.
Here’s how I tackled my huge Anki backlog.
Part A: Out of sight, out of mind
1. Create a new deck called “temp”
Transfer all the decks you are behind in to this new deck.
2. Create a new options group “backlog”
Change the settings for this new “temp” deck to a new options group called “Backlog”. Set it to 0 reviews and 0 new cards.
The problem has now disappeared from sight but the cards are still there when you’re ready to tackle the backlog. You can now continue using Anki to learn new cards without getting a visual reminder about those 90, 300 or 1000 cards you should review.
Part B: Tackling the backlog
Although you’ve hidden your backlog, the cards are still there waiting to be reviewed one day. So, what do you do when you’re ready to tackle the backlog?
3. Move one of your decks out of “temp”
Drag and drop one of your backlogged decks from “temp” to your normal Vietnamese deck.
The settings should revert to whatever your usual settings are (ie. Default). You can, however, double check if they’re using ‘Default’ or ‘Backlog’ settings.
You can then start to catch up on this deck – little and often. I like to review about 10 cards at a time, 2 or 3 times a day.
In a week or two of normal using Anki in short bursts as usual, you should be back to a more normal and manageable number of cards to review every day.
4. Repeat step 3 until all your decks are out of “temp”
This may take weeks, or even months if you have a large backlog. In the meantime, you still have access to your cards if you want to search them and you can keep learning new cards without a black cloud over your head.
Over to you: Have you ever been behind with flashcard reviews? What did you do?