Hi everyone, it’s James!
Are you looking for an easy method to improve your grammar, spelling, AND vocabulary?
The method I speak of is an SRS.
First, let’s go over what SRS stands for.
SRS stands for Spaced Repetition Software. The name might sound scary, but simply put, it is the “smart” flash card system that helps me and thousands of other people remember things faster than any other way out there!
Here’s how you can give it a try:
① First you’ll need to download the totally free software. There are many version out there (just google SRS and you can see all of the choices), but I recommend Anki since it is what I used.
② Next you’ll need to add information you want to learn into your SRS.
You’ll start by putting what you want to remember into the “question” side of electronic flash cards that make up your SRS deck.
This information can be ANYTHING. A single word you want to remember the spelling or grammar of, an entire sentence, someone’s birthday, anything!
Once your question is written, you need to write the “answer” on the back. Your answer will vary depending on what you are learning.
For example, if you want to remember the spelling or meaning to a specific word, your question side of the card might say something like “卵” and the answer side would say, “egg”. This card would help you learn both the definition and spelling of the word egg.
If you want to remember a grammar point, your question side should contain the grammar point in Japanese and the answer side should have the sentence or grammar point in English. For a simple example, if you wanted to learn how to use the past tense of “buy” your question side might say “自転車を買いました.” and your answer side would say something like, “I bought a bike.”
NOTE: You should only input English into your SRS that you are 100% sure is correct! Anything you put in your SRS will stay in your brain, so you do not want to fill it with anything incorrect. That is why I recommend only using sentences you find on English websites or English textbooks (or your Fruitful English teacher’s comments!).
Once you’ve input a few cards, you are ready to study! This is where the real magic of an SRS comes in. All you need to have prepared is your SRS on your smart phone, PC, or tablet, and a piece of paper and a writing utensil.
③ Then just push study!
Once you see the first question, you will then have to write the answer to that question on your paper without looking at it. Once you have written the answer or taken your best guess, hit the “show answer” button.
If you got it correct, awesome! Hit the “easy” button. That will ensure you don’t see that same card until many days later. If you had a little trouble, click “Difficult”, “Normal” or “One more time” accordingly. Depending on what button you click, the SRS will show you that card according to how difficult you found the question. If you got it wrong, it will show it to you in less than 10 minutes, if you clicked “normal” it will be in a few days, and so on.
Keep this process up for all of the cards you made, and you are done!…. until the next day that is.
The power of an SRS can only be unlocked by continuous use!
If you only add cards once a week and only study your cards every once in a while, the power of the spaced repetition will be lost. So don’t do this! If nothing else, give it a try for a month or two. Add cards daily while also doing all of your “due” cards. It takes dedication, but I promise it is worth it and it doesn’t take much time.
I was skeptical at first myself, as I wasn’t a fan of any “electronic” learning methods, but after 2 weeks I knew there was something special about SRS.
If you want to try it without creating your own cards, googling “SRS English Decks” will lead you to THOUSANDS of results, although creating your own cards is definitely recommended.
If you’d like some further reading material or have any more detailed questions, check out this link for a great breakdown of what an SRS is and how it is helps thousands of people remember things around the world.
Good luck and happy SRSing!
メリーランド大学ビジネス学科卒業。アメリカの幼稚園で５歳以下の園児と長く過ごし、その後の銀行勤務では主にカスタマーサポートを担当。様々な人種・年 齢層の顧客とうまくコミュニケーションを図る中で培った一見フランクそうな英会話の中でも相手によって話し方、言葉の選択を変える英語力スキルを指導しま す。ジェームス先生から、アメリカのカスタマーサービスでも通用する英語コミュニケーションスキルを学んでください。日本語能力も日本人レベル。日本語能 力検定試験N1保持者。