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You may already know the dire consequences of not reviewing what you learn.
One way to review knowledge is to put it into practice; however, when it comes to foreign languages, the people around you may not speak or have any interest in speaking the language you’re learning. That leaves you with the burden of proactively keeping track of what you know and reviewing it on a regular basis. This is where Transparent Language Online* comes in.
Transparent Language Online’s Learned Vocab system does three things:
Essentially, Transparent Language Online keeps an accurate copy of your brain in its software and contacts your actual brain when it’s time to review. When used properly, this system is incredibly powerful.
Once in the repository, a learned word or phrase vacillates between two states:
(Full disclosure: you can put words or phrases you never want to review into a third state, “Archived”. An example of an Archived word might be something like the word for “hello”, which you may have learned in grade school and are in no danger of forgetting.)
So how does our software determine what’s Stale and what’s Fresh? How do we know what’s happening in your brain? It turns out applied science has come up with a pretty good solution for both guessing and manipulating somebody’s retention of a learned fact over time: spaced repetition.
You can read about the history and use of spaced repetition on Wikipedia, but here’s how Transparent Language Online* does it:
If you remember everything perfectly, then the time things spend as Fresh increases exponentially. For instance, the first time you learn a word or phrase it might be Fresh for 1 day. Then, after your first refresh, it’s fresh for 3 days. Then 7 days. Then 30 days. Then 100 days. Etc. Eventually, we cap the amount of time something can remain Fresh. (If you feel you’ve learned it so well you’ll never forget it, you can mark it as Archived.)
Start by learning some words and phrases by completing lessons in Transparent Language Online. Once that happens, you’ll notice a graph populating in the Learned panel of your Home screen. That’s where you can see everything you’ve studied. Click View to get a more in-depth look (that’s also where you can Archive stuff).
When it’s time for you to review, a button in the panel that say Refresh will turn green, and a yellow banner above it will tell you how many words and phrases have become stale. All you have to do is click that Refresh button. It’ll take you to a simple flash card activity, and once you complete that activity it’ll let you know all your words and phrases have become Fresh again. It’s that easy!
*For government users, the CL-150 also uses the Learned Words and Phrases refresh system so you can stay on top of your learned items as well.