Monday, 8 October 2012
Flash - Saviour of the Universe
I've always been a big fan of flashcards but I've been turned on to them in a big way recently. Like many people from my home town of Abertillery, I've been learning the Welsh language all my life in one way or another but would never call myself a Welsh speaker. They used to have Welsh programmes piped in by Rediffusion in the morning on the old BBC Home Service and Mam would say something that sounded like "Dumma Uglen Cumree". It must have been "Dyma'r rhaglen Cymru" - here is the Welsh programme. She couldn't speak Welsh and neither could her parents but I suppose even that early exposure allowed me to pick up some of the rhythms of the language. Countless books and courses have followed but with not much success. I must say, it's always been a bit offputting to think that most people you might want to speak Welsh to speak English as well. Once, I had to read some Welsh in public in the Rhondda. "It was very good," they said, "but you had a French accent." All that has changed and all because of flashcards. I found a brilliant flashcard site at www.anki.srs.net and you can download sets of flashcards on loads of topics including Welsh. It gives you twenty new cards a day and feeds you the old ones at different times according to the ease of your answers. I've found it a great way to increase my vocabulary. So, in my piano teaching I've started using flashcards quite a lot recently and intend to include them in my Skype teaching as of tomorrow. After all, if it works for me, it should work for anyone, especially children, with their astonishingly retentive memories.