What is Spaced Repetition System

Spaced Repetition Learning System “is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect.” (wikipedia)



As we all know, it is so easy to forget what we just learned. Sometimes it frustrates us. However, we should keep it in mind:  forgetting is a natural process of any learning. Whoever successfully manages to beat the process of forgetting wins. Indeed, how to beat forgetting and increase retention is the key to the mastery of the knowledge.

How to Beat Forgetting and Increase Retention

As the “Typical Forgetting Curve for Newly Learned Information” graph suggests, the knowledge newly obtained will be lost gradually. At the end of the first day, only 80% can be kept in the memory. Without any intervene, the knowledge continues going away; by the end of day 3, almost all of the obtained knowledge will be gone (what a shame, right?)

However, if what was learned at first is reviewed one day later, it would be freshly reinforced in the memory and it will be retained much longer– this time, if no further review is introduced, the obtained knowledge will be lost at the end of Day 7.

If what was newly learned is reviewed again on Day 3, it helped prolong the retention rate to a great extent further.

When the 3rd review is conducted on Day 6, the retention rate is increased greatly and the knowledge is more likely to be remembered.

How can SRS be Used in Chinese Learning

In learning a new language such as Chinese, it is really important to keep it in mind that it is natural to forget. A good learning method includes three elements:  preview, studying and review. In order to keep the language learning in mind, one effective way is to fight the forgetting curve and enforcing the learned knowledge following the spaced repetition system.

For example, when learning Chinese vocabulary, it makes a lot of sense to learn a certain number of new words a day, review it the next day, and review the same vocabulary in 2 days, and review again in 4 more days. In such a way, the vocabulary is likely kept in the memory.

Use SRS in Chinese vocabulary Building

A huge problem in Chinese vocabulary learning is that students forget the characters, their pronunciation, the meaning or the strokes. SRS is extremely powerful in building Chinese vocabulary as it helps establish the connection between the look of the characters, their pronunciation and meaning by defeating the forgetting process with any intervene of spaced-out repetition.

Looking for how SRS is used in Chinese learning?

20-Day Building up 100 Chinese Characters program uses Spaced Repetition System and provides an effective way to build up 100 Chinese characters in 20 days. If interested, have a look! 


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