Hi all! I have been learning German on Duolingo for 10 months or so and I have decided to start a journal to help remember various terms and lessons. So far I have sorted it by putting the tips provided by Duolingo at the top of the page and writing the words learnt in the lesson at the bottom.
Has anyone had experience with this before and can provide a few tips or has had success with this method for memorisation?
Writing really helps with memory. To make the notes useful - decide on a pattern and stick to it so that you know where to find things when you need them.
I find it helpful to include Der/Das/Die with each noun so that I memorise gender and noun together - and as Duolingo doesn't always give you the gender, it is worth looking it up in Duo's dictionary or on the Duome wordlist (Duo's own word list doesn't include it directly but Duome's gives the gender for all nouns).
Linda recommends colour-coding, which most people find useful.
I'd also say read it out loud after you have written it - that also helps "fix" it in your memory.
I do pretty much the same. In addition to Tips (if any, very few in Vietnamese course) and words, I write down unusual phrases. It is best to leave extra space for each lesson so as you go through the levels, you can add words. Also, before going through a new level, I study my notes.
In addition to keeping notes, spoken sentences I record on my phone's Google Translate, so I can listen to at my leisure. I used to Follow the Sentence Discussion to listen to the spoken sentence but inability to sort my Following List has made it useless.
Because Vietnamese course here has virtually 0 exercises to practice speaking, I also use Google Translate to speak Vietnamese.
I just started doing something like this for German too!
I put the title of the lesson first. Then I write in all the tips into the top of the page. I do this before I start any lesson, it's very helpful so I can notice the grammar in sentences as I'm learning.
Then I include a list of vocabulary learned from that lesson below the tips. I like to add these as they appear in the lesson. It really helps and I remember them for the rest of the lesson. However, you can go look in the words list and copy them from there, whatever floats your boat ;). I would recommend saying each word out loud a few times as your put it in your list. This really helps with both memorization and practicing pronunciation.
I then keep a quizlet with the different lessons, and one master quizlet and review whenever I want to. I prefer using quizlet, because it helps me remember to copy the words and their translation into the quizlet. However, tinycards is also a great resource if you want a faster way to review vocabulary words from certain lessons.
Also I found it's helpful to try to write sentences at the bottom of each lesson using the new vocabulary words I learned in that lesson. I sometimes use the sentence from the lesson, but more often than not I try to write my own, including vocabulary from past lessons. Eventually, you can start a journal completely in German, I've found this is very helpful. If you don't know a word, you can look it up and learn it! It also makes it easier to recall German words and form them into full sentences faster.
Coloring coding really helps as well. I color code the words based on noun, adjective, verb etc. Also I would recommend putting what gender article belongs with every noun, it's great to memorize them with the noun instead of going back and memorizing them later.
Good luck with German!!
Do you print off the help sheets? That gives you vocab and grammar and is a great help in learning. Sometimes grammatical constructions can't be that obvious and Duo hints/helps are invaluable in language learning.
A revision book is a good idea. I do that, and have pages for verbs, nouns etc and colloquial phrases. I also use different colours for the different parts of speech. It really is one of the best ways to get things to stick. Well done.
I keep a journal/diary, and each day write, in my language (Welsh at the moment) what I have been doing that day. A great way of using what you have already learned.
Have a couple of lingots to encourage you.
I've done pretty much the same thing that you have. I write whatever the tips say at the top of my page, and the words on the bottom.
The way I do it, before I even start a lesson, I read through the tips first, and then copy them into my journal. This way, I'm not trying to do two things at once, and I'll understand it better. As I write, I make sure to space everything out so that it will be easy to read if I need to come back to it later. I've found that having a ruler can be helpful for drawing charts and tables, and I recommend trying one out.
Once I'm done with the notes, I start up the lesson and prepare to write the new words. I have two options that I vary between: I write down the new words as I come across them in a lesson, or I complete the lesson and then go to the "Words" section that can be found on the website homepage, and write down every word from the "Recently Practiced" column. I prefer to write as I go more often than not, which I recommend unless you feel differently.
Once I have everything written down, I will then start practicing, without using my book to look at the words I just wrote down. Even if I'm struggling with a sentence, I try my hardest to remember and figure out the word. This way, I teach myself to not rely on my book, and develop a better memory. The only times I look at my book are to familiarize myself with previous lessons, or if I'm absolutely stuck.
By the time I get to the later levels, I try using the words to come up with sentences with the extra space on my paper (I always dedicate at least one full page to a lesson). It doesn't have to be the same as the sentences that Duolingo offers, and I think it's actually better if it's different. This teaches you to use words in a different way from how Duolingo does, which gets you thinking in your language, rather than memorizing a select few sentences. I find that this is better for memorization, and being able to construct new sentences, which is useful in day-to-day conversation.
This has been my method of doing things, and I've found that it's been helpful in keeping me in touch with each of the languages I'm learning. It's also gratifying to fill out a page, and you can feel proud of something physical that you've accomplished. I believe that it's important to establish a physical sense of achievement, because it can be hard to see how much progress you've made based on memory alone.
I hope this helps you in some way! :)