Earlier this year I wrote that flashcards can be disadvantageous to language learning, but before that I included flash cards as one of 11 strategies to learn any foreign language.
So where am I on the issue?
I’ll let you read those two articles and find out.
Today, I’d like to present a piece of free, opensource, flashcard software called jVLT that will run on most computers (Windows, Mac & Linux), and help you learn vocabulary.
What does it do?
jVLT stands for Java Vocabulary Learning Tool and helps you do just that. You add the word combinations that you want to learn, the original and a translation. You can optionally add more than one translation for each word, as well as example sentences, definitions, pronunciation– you can even associate media files such as images and audio with your entries. You can also categorize your vocabulary.
After you’ve entered some words and translations, it’s quiz time. jVLT can create quizzes on all or part of your vocabulary list and maintains statistics on how many words you know, and can modify future quizzes accordingly.
Downloading and Installing
So how can you get a hold of this great product?
First, if you don’t already have it, install Java. Just follow that link, click “Free Java Download”, and follow the instructions to download and install.
After that’s taken care of, download jVLT and save it wherever is convenient. No installation is necessary, if you have Java (above) installed, you should be able to just double-click the file (jvlt-1.0.2.jar) and it will run.
You may also want to grab their sample Spanish – English vocabulary file and import it into jVLT as a starting point. If you have any questions on getting this to work, feel free to ask me.