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Why do I see the same words? What is spaced repetition?

Our language learning app runs on a spaced repetition formula, which governs when you should repeat a certain word in order for it to transition to your long-term memory.

There are two types of learning:

  1. Learn a lot of new material and forget it quickly (we call this broad learning)
  2. Learn some new material and start repeating it wisely (we call this optimal repetition)
What is spaced repetition?

Spaced repetition is a way to “hack your brain” to help it store information longer, better, and more efficiently. Here’s a great video on how it works (made by Osmosis, a company that offers spaced repetition courses to medical students):

When learning with Lingvist, we calculate the most optimal time for you to review vocabulary based on what you’ve already learned and how you learn. This means you won’t need to worry about reminding yourself when to review certain words – we take care of it for you.

Why do I see a lot of repeat words / easy words that I’ve already learned all of a sudden?

This is because the optimal time to revisit material is calculated by our algorithm and based on your personal interaction and learning history with the app.

In other words, if you nail a bunch of cards in a row at the beginning, then it’s likely that those cards will be presented to you again in the future (which might seem like an unexpected wave of previously learned words occurring all of a sudden). At the same time, if your recent accuracy level was low, a lot more words will queue up for review, and thus you may see your numbers jump, especially if you’ve also taken a break in your learning.

As we learn more about your individual learning style, our algorithm fine-tunes and improves with you to ensure you are learning words at the optimal time. So the more you learn (and the more repetitive your learning is), the better the algorithm adapts to you individually.

Can I know or have a sneak peek of what will be repeated?

Nope, because then your repetitions won’t be optimal.

When will I see new words?

If you are concerned that you have completed X number of cards and are not getting any new words, don’t worry – new words will come once you’ve finished up the review words.

Can I switch off the words I don’t want to see?

It is not possible at the moment to switch off individual words. However, you can choose if you want to study old or new words from any of your courses (course focus or Course Wizard courses) if you are studying more than one course.

On desktop, you can easily switch from learning with other focuses or learning new words through the hub:

learn-desktop

On mobile, click on any active course to toggle between “Learning with your other focuses” or learning “New words.”

learn courses iOS