Last month I reviewed the French version of Flashsticks, pre-made flashcards printed out onto sticky notes to create a fun and interactive way to study new vocabulary. This month, I’m staying on the same topic – flashcards – but I’d like to talk about a web-based option.
Today I’d like to introduce you to Antosch & Lin.
About Antosch & Lin
Antosch & Lin are a web-based audio flashcard company with free and premium account options available to their users. Their flashcards not only include new words at a variety of levels, but sentences within which the words are used to give language learners context for their new vocabulary.
The languages they currently offer are: Chinese, Daish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, English for Taiwanese, English for Germans, English for Koreans, and English for Russians.
I discovered Antosch & Lin through Ellen Jovin. She mentioned them in a post and it piqued my curiosity so I jumped onto their site to see what they had to offer. Their site has evolved quite a bit since I first signed up and I’m pretty impressed with some of their recent changes.
One of My Favorite Daily Language Newsletters
My favorite feature is absolutely, hands-down their newsletter. I open the emails they send me every morning, writing down the sentences that are new to me, opening it in my browser to get the audio recordings of the new words. The Mandarin newsletters include the vocabulary in both traditional and simplified Chinese so that I’m able to compare the two and improve my reading in both written versions of the language. If you prefer to see only one writing system, you can actually update your settings to reflect your preferences (you can also choose to see pinyin or zhuyin or you can turn off the romanization entirely).
You can also choose just how many words you receive in your daily newsletter with options ranging from just 5 words to a more ambitious 100 words and sentences.
Time to Fluency
I also enjoy their fluency setting. You can choose a timeline for when you wish to become “fluent” and it tells you how many minutes or hours you need to study per day to achieve your goal. Once you’ve selected your goal, it keeps track of just how close you are to achieving fluency based on the activities you’ve completed within the application. My only criticism of this feature is that it does not include study time beyond Antosch & Lin (although I imagine this would be difficult to calculate).
A Diverse Range of Features and Activities to Keep You Studying Your Language
Antosch & Lin offers a wide variety of games and activities to keep you moving forward along the path to fluency. They have everything from mock dialogues to text corrections by native speakers, writing exercises like fill-in-the-lank, and games. As you work through the exercises, you can see your daily exercise completion and achieved fluency scores increase and it’s rewarding to visualize your progress towards fluency.
Another fantastic feature for Mandarin through Antosch & Lin is the HSK based word lists. You can change your settings to incorporate HSK based words and sentences and even study the HSK vocabulary lists with audio, sample sentences and both written versions of the vocabulary! As someone getting ready to sit the HSK exam, I’ve found this section to be valuable.
Things They Can Do Better
It’s up to you to decide how often you’d like certain vocabulary to appear as you work through the exercises. I would prefer if this was determined by whether I answered correctly or not (kind of like Memrise). Additionally, the options you are given are to see the words again after 30 days have passed or again within five minutes (or anything in between), but it’s a bit of a pain to have to mark each and every word, deciding how long it should be before you see it again.
I also think that all the choices can be a bit overwhelming. It isn’t so much an issue for me now that I’m familiar with Antosch & Lin, but it was a little too much for me the first few times I logged in.
I really like Antosch & Lin – especially their newsletters. Their flashcards have been a part of my daily study for sometime now and I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.
What is your favorite way to study new vocabulary? Have you tried Flashsticks? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Full disclosure: I was given a set of Flashsticks in exchange for writing this review.
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