This week I struggled a lot with vocabulary retention! For some reason, it’s just been incredibly difficult for me to remember all of the vocab words I’ve learned thus far, especially since I am constantly learning new ones every class.
At this point, I am up to almost 400 words which is really cool but in all actuality, I’ve probably only memorized about 150 of them.
Still, I’ve been able to try different methods to see what sticks and what doesn’t and that’s been very helpful!
Initially, I tried just writing all of the vocabulary in my Arabic notebook and studying it that way. I found that this was very useful but it didn’t quite help with my memorization as it was easy for me to just jot down the vocab and forget about it.
I also tried using an Anki deck but I really didn’t like the emphasis on spaced repetition because I needed to memorize as much of the vocabulary as possible prior to each class as we would continue to build up every day by using the prior vocabulary for grammar and reading exercises. In the past, I loved using Anki mostly to refresh my memory rather than to initially learn vocabulary, but I’m discovering that for Arabic I don’t quite like using that platform and that’s okay!
What I did find that worked though was using a combination of methods, so for example, writing down new vocabulary is useful for exposure and then revisiting the words to add them to my Quizlet deck has been lifesaving, to say the least!
For the past year, I’ve been using Anki to memorize French words so I had completely forgotten about Quizlet but it’s honestly changed the way I have studied Arabic! The learn feature where I have to consistently write down the Arabic translation and the matching games where I can continue to test my knowledge in multiple ways have allowed me to stay consistent and to learn faster. Still, memorizing vocabulary is a much slower process than the other languages I’ve studied but I’m getting there which is the most important thing!
In terms of what I learned this past week, I have been diving deeper into Jordanian culture, specifically food and familial structures. This week it was fun to talk with my instructor and academic partner about the types of meals they enjoy and where to find them in Jordan! Additionally, we’ve been doing a lot of reading about traditional families in Jordan and exchanging cultural differences in our personal home life.
In general, I really appreciate being taught by two native Jordanian women as I can receive many first-hand experiences on what life is like in the country, specifically in the capital of Amman! It’s very exciting to make mental notes of landmarks and activities I want to conduct in-person one day when it is safe to travel internationally
That’s it for this week, thank you for reading! See you next time!