Learning a foreign language can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to acquiring an extensive vocabulary. To tackle this challenge, language enthusiasts have developed various techniques over the years. One of the most effective methods is the Gold List Method and in this blog post, we'll explore how to use the same principles to learn vocabulary with even less effort and in a more organized and structured way.
The Gold List Method: A Proven Approach to Vocabulary Learning
The Gold List Method is a memory technique that was popularized by renowned language learning expert David James. It's designed to help learners efficiently absorb new vocabulary in their target language. Here's a simplified overview of how it works:
Create the Gold List: Start by writing down the new words you want to learn in your native language. This list is called the "Gold List."
Distillation: After a set period, typically two weeks, review your Gold List and select the words that you can't remember. These are your "distilled" words, which you'll focus on.
Recreate the List: Rewrite the distilled words in your native language. This is the "Silver List."
Repeat: After another two-week period, repeat the process. The words you can't remember from the Silver List become the "Copper List."
The Gold List Method's beauty lies in its simplicity and the scientifically-backed idea that our memory benefits from space repetition, making it more likely to retain new words long-term.
Links to learn more about the Goldlist Method:
- GoldList Method blog article by The Open University
- GoldList Method video by Lydia Machova
- The Goldlist Method explained (how to remember vocabulary)
Fill-in-the-Blanks Notebooks: Alternative way to learn vocabulary in a more structured and organized way than using only a blank journal
The Goldlist Method has many good sides, but there are aspects that might make it a bit frustrating for language learners. Here are a few that came to my mind.
- How to pick the words into your gold list?
- How to learn in an organized way not wasting your time by having lists of random phrases in your list?
- Can intermediate and advanced learners benefit from it or is it a waste of time?
So these are some things that might also be problems for other people using the goldlist method. We have a solution for these aforementioned problems. It's a fill in the blanks notebook that makes learning vocabulary more structured and organized. We'll explain now how to use them and how to benefit from the principles of the goldlist method.
Problem 1: How to choose the words that you need to learn?With our notebooks you don't need to waste time by thinking what words you need to learn. We have gathered the most important words about 68 topics. In total there are 2500 English words and 700 phrases with blank spaces to fill in your target language. These word lists are on the left page of the spread and the right page is empty, where you can add words and phrases relevant to you.
Problem 2: How to learn in an organized way and not only random phrases
Pick one of the 68 topics of our notebook and start writing the translations of the words and phrases in the empty spaces in your target language. After finding all the words in the vocabulary list add more content on the empty right page about the given topic. Like this you will learn all the necessary vocabulary one-by-one about each of the 68 topics included in the notebook. You can use the goldlist method and review the words that you have written in the notebook and make the second, third and fourth distillation on a separate paper. You already have them in your notebook so it would be a waste of time writing them there many times.
Problem 3: How can non-beginner learners benefit from our notebooks?
The empty pages make it possible to add content relevant to your own level because you already have all the essential vocabulary on the left page. Intermediate and advanced learners can use the notebook as a cheat sheet while speaking about different topics with their language buddies.
Structure of our fill in the blanks notebooks
The Ultimate Language Notebook is the general version of the notebook, but we have custom covers for more than 500 languages. The content is identical in all of the notebooks. Find all of our notebooks here.
We have these notebooks also for the speakers of the following languages:
Fill in the notebooks in Estonian
Fill in the notebooks in Finnish
Fill in the notebooks in Spanish
Fill in the notebooks in Swedish