Anki (taken from the Japanese word for memorizing) is a free flash card program downloadable from the internet. Unlike paper flashcards you could make yourself, Anki employs a spaced-repetition algorithm. This basically means it focuses on the cards you have the most trouble with, and brings back the ones you know well at increasing intervals relating to when you’re likely to have forgotten them. It might sound a little complicated, but luckily, Anki does all of the work for you. You just type in the facts, German vocab and English translations in this case, and Anki takes over.
After a while, German vocab decks could have hundreds of words in them. This is no cause for concern though, because as long as you keep up with your reviewing, you’ll probably not have more than 20 or 30 words to review on any given day. And usually you’ll already know them pretty well, so even that won’t be much work. The benefit is enormous though, because you’re constantly reminding yourself of older vocab words that may have slipped into the dark recesses of your memory. Now the words which have gotten farthest away from you are being brought back systematically. In just ten minutes or so a day you can be reviewing your entire German vocabulary!
There are a lot of fancy features of Anki, which you may or may not feel the need to explore. This includes, but is not limited to, total control over the length of your review sessions, access to copious statistics and graphs of all sorts, and the ability to store your decks online for free and sync them between multiple computers (i.e. use the same deck and home and school without having to review the same words twice!).
To make it even easier, and to encourage your German studies, I went ahead and entered in almost all of the Vokab for German I and II. If you’d like any of these vocab sets just send me a message in the message center on the Distance Learning website with your email address and I’ll send you the goods. Than all you have to do is import what I send you into Anki and you’re ready to study. So do yourself a favor and go download Anki here.
Their web site has pretty good instructions on how to get it set up and going, if you have any questions just message me in the message center.