GoldList Method Explained Part 4 – The GoldList Book: The Headlist

4. The GoldList Book: the Headlist

The GoldList book is where we make our GoldList, which is not a single list but rather an algorithm involving four distinct lists each one derived from the one before, laid out side by side, on the double pages of a handwriting book. Each one goes throughout the whole book or more than one book in a series, numbered from beginning to end with four separate sequences, one for each of the lists.


Some people have said that they have difficulty obtaining exactly the kind of books I recommend, but if you can get them then a nice hard-wearing notebook about 40 lines deep is ideal, and the thicker the better. It is worth investing in good quality. It could be A5, B4 or A4 paper. In my opinion the 5 mm squared paper the Germans call “kariert” is the best for Latin, Greek and Cyrillics-based languages. You’ll see examples in the photographs below as well as other people’s examples in the GoldList Method User Group on Facebook, where there is a culture of photographing and sharing one’s current work, usually accompanied by a nice landscape, coffee and cake.

This squared format tends to be too cramped for Arabic script-based languages as well as Chinese characters, Thai script, Devanagari, Gurmukhi and others, so some people want to spread it out more and get broadly spaced lines, and often for these people, where I am talking about 25 lines per headlist, they’ll be doing 20 instead, which is also easily countable and you don’t really lose much by adopting that variation on the standard approach.  The important thing is you can get to the next one hundred every four or five page turns and that makes counting much easier, to a degree more automatic.

Having a good thick book with good paper means you can do more in a single book which makes the project more portable and less fiddly in general. Anyway it is in a whole separate class of non-fiddliness in comparison with using flash cards in paper, which soon becomes impossible for projects which the GoldList Method handles easily.

Some people who are doing mainly dictionary work like to put lines down the middle of the pages and put the word in the new language on one side and the word in the known language on the other, in the way that some people were taught to do vocabulary books at school. I prefer not to do so, and keep a flexible approach to what a line of Headlist can contain. Whether you do have a line down the middle or not depends on whether you want to test yourself (some do this, I don’t) and also the nature of the materials you’ve chosen.

The GoldList Book needs to have your name and contact details written at the front because a lot of work is going to go into it and if you leave it on the plane or somewhere by accident, as I and some other users have done, you will want to give the book a chance to fall into the hands of honest people (or people motivated by a reward) to get it back to you. I do that now as the first thing.

On the first double page, you can begin that actual work. The book is, in time, going to have four sections on every double page. It will have a top-left section with 25 (or 20 if preferred) numbered lines containing some information you’ve written in there. Each double page will have the top number being the last number of the top left hand part of the preceding double page spread plus one. This is the Headlist and it is a single numbered list throughout the book although it only takes a little over a quarter of the space in the book. It is always at the top left of a double-page spread (learners of Hebrew and Arabic, etc., may wish to reverse that to go with the flow of the writing) and it always has the same number of words, with every page’s Headlist ending on a number divisible by 25 (or 20) and every fourth (or fifth) page ending on a multiple of 100, to make your progress nice and easy to count.

Some people who don’t like writing out numbers just put a mark down the side and only number the top and bottom lines in the Headlist, and the mark on the paper shows them where that bottom word must be. I think this is a very good idea, although given my line of work, I am in the habit of writing numbers so it requires no noticeable effort for me.

The top right hand side will, later on, (and here we need to remember the two-week rule I talked about in Part 2 – this is where it comes into play) become what we call “the First Distillation”. Abbreviations we use for convenience are H for Headlist and D1, D2 etc for First Distillation, Second Distillation etc. The First Distillation is always on the top right-hand side and is always about two-thirds the size (on occasion it might be anything from half to three quarters, but two-thirds is a good average) of the Headlist in terms of line numbers. It is also numbered independently as a list and the first number of a subsequent double page’s D1 list will be 1+ the number at the bottom of the D1 list on the previous double page spread. In other words, D1 is a single list all the way through the book, just as H is. When you get to the end and you need to start another book to keep going, these lists are still the same lists, so you keep on numbering them where they left off. You could on a big project get through five or six thick books, but it is all just one Headlist on all the top left areas and all one D1 list on all the top right areas. This is how you end up sometimes with line numbers in H in the 20,000s and 30,000s.

And it is all one D2 list on all the bottom right areas and all one D3 list on all the bottom left areas, and in each case the 14 day rule is observed between the lists. The lists are kept side by side because they derive from each other. D1 is what we did not remember from the Headlist, D2 is what we did not remember from D2 and D3 is what we could not remember from D2. And each is about two-thirds the size in terms of lines from the last one.

So, in course of time, each blank double-page spread in the book will have a part of four lists, each one with fewer lines in it than the one before it but still containing some of the material that was in the list before it.

And then in due course we come full circle to each of the four corners of the double page spread are all utilised, and what we do after that is explained in Part 6: “Bronze, Silver, Gold”.

Now let’s look at each of these lists in more detail, the Headlist here and, in Part 5, the “Distillations”. There will be a practical example after the explanations in each case.

4.1 The Headlist

The Headlist is, as mentioned before, written at the top left-hand side. The reason for this is so that you can carry on with the subsequent lists, each one 70% more or less the size of the one before, on the top right, bottom right and bottom left. This means that there should be enough room to fit four lists on each double page, just by following that loop around the four virtual “quarters” of a double page.

There are not many rules when it comes to doing the Headlist. In the main we take 25 words or 20 words if we prefer. The advantage to taking 20 is that it is easier for some people to get the materials (especially if they don’t like squared paper) and of course it leads to more regular breaks which may be also a good thing. Both 20 and 25 go nicely into a hundred and this facilitates counting on big projects.

You need to kick off by writing the date, because you will need to know how long ago you wrote a particular list. Within one list, I would only write the date once per day, or once per five or six page turns if I want to make it easier for myself to find the date later on. It’s not necessary to write the date on every page-turn, just when the date changes or you change from Headlist to another list, or move to another project if you have several going on at once.

You would then number the side panel 1-20 or 1-25. You can write in all the numbers or count up and just write the first and last in, and use a pencil mark down the side of the book to show you where the 25th (or 20th) line is. You can do whichever you prefer. If this is the second sheet of the Headlist, the numbering will start at 26 or 21 and will go down to 40 or 50, etc., etc. Remember that each list has its own numbering system so the Headlist carries on just adding to its own number and when you finish a book and start another with a Headlist in the next book (later on we’ll explain more, but these are called the “Bronze” book) and maybe another after that, the numbers in the Headlist of “H” just keep on growing.

For example, a GoldLister is working on a Headlist and the page he is on ends in the number 4040. From this, we know that he is doing 20 per sheet (you only cannot tell this in the round hundreds) and we know that this is the 202nd double page this person did at the point that they are working on that.

As I say there are not many rules when it comes to the Headlist, but here are two quite important ones:

  1. You should include all the information from your chosen materials that you will need going forward. It will be clumsy and inconvenient to need to have with you and refer back to the reference book when you are doing the two-thirds of the work in GoldListing which isn’t making Headlists, but distilling Lists onwards.
  2. You should set it out in a fairly loose way, not too cramped, as this will allow you some leeway for the technique of Combination when you are distilling. Don’t already use Combination when writing the Headlist, and don’t overcharge your task by placing too much info in a single line. At Headlist, one piece of information per line or in the case of sentences of explanation even two or more lines, is perfectly sufficient. All you are doing by keeping a cramped Headlist is making a rod for your own back.

And now, a word about notation. Notation is necessary when seasoned GoldListers are talking to each other about their work and want to save time. Instead of writing “in the Headlist” they will just write @H. H is the Headlist, D1 is the First Distillation, etc. If I wanted to write I have reached 2,000 lines in my Headlist, I could write something like “2,000L@H”, and people in the User Group would know exactly what I was talking about.


When you come to the end of your 20 or 25 word Headlist, you are due a break.

Let’s remind ourselves that we are attempting to charm our unconscious, long-term memory function into play and not switch on the conscious memory function which is short-term and which will result in very little retention once the two-week period is gone past.

You should take a break whether you feel you need one or not, precisely because the long-term memory isn’t a conscious function and therefore won’t tell you when it gets tired and stops sampling normally. On the contrary if the brain feels it is being pushed then it is more likely to switch short-term memory on. You should err on the side of caution and work in periods of twenty minutes, not more, and have breaks of ten minutes, not less, during which you switch your brain to a completely different form of activity.

Examples of good break activities can be

1. Having a nap (that’s likely to take more than 10 minutes given that 居眠りpractitioners tend to claim that 20 minutes is an optimal nod-off time). I do think this is a great way to reset the mind to be ready to give of its all when you resume study.

2. Going to make a cup of coffee, tea, etc.

3. A game in – A quick run down your personal switchboard. Beware of too long a break so that you eat into your study time with playing.

4. A kilometre of walking (I highly recommend taking your GoldList for a walk, weather permitting)

5. Checking your emails, catching up with any. Careful not to get bogged down into social media or there goes your whole study session!

Then with a refreshed mind you come back, and you might then like just to pick up where you left off by reading out loud the last list you did. I would do this once or at the most twice, and only in a way to reacquaint yourself with the words and enjoy the sound of them. Enjoy the activity of making each one, do it slowly, focussing on the accent and enunciation, not at all on an attempt to memorise. If you don’t enjoy this, you can also skip it, it’s optional.

You then turn the page over and at the top left position of the next double page you start the next 20/25 line part of your Headlist. Some people say “the next Headlist” but this is not a good way to think about it, as there is one Headlist per project which goes through the whole book or even multiple books. If your first Headlist was numbered 1-25, the next one will be numbered 26-50.

What if you are a bit further on than that, and the last number on the previous page of your Headlist was 340? Let’s try a multiple choice quiz, is it:

A: 340-360
B: 340-365
C: 341-360
D: 341-365

Did you get C as the answer? I hope so. 340 as the previous page number tells us that you’ve been using the nijuugyouhou (20 line rule) instead of the nijuugogyouhou (25 line rule) so you’ll add another 20 on. Of course you won’t start with 340 again as you already had this. It’s a common mistake to make and not one to sweat over unduly if you do, though.

When you start GoldListing, all you will be doing for at least the first two weeks is Headlisting. You have no lines which are more than two weeks old so all you can do during this period is keep on Headlisting. It really doesn’t matter  if you do 1,000 lines or 2,000 lines of Headlist before you ever do any distilling at all, and indeed swapping to distilling H to D1 too soon after the two-weeks will mean that you will keep catching up to within two weeks of yourself and needing to go back to H again. I personally prefer when starting a new project to go something closer to a month or 1,000 lines on the Headlist, call that “Batch A” (You can read about Batch Scheduling with GLM here) and only then go and distill all of it to D1 when I know I can do all that without needing to wait because I caught up to within two weeks of the Headlist. Remember that, given that D1 is 30% less than the Headlist, you’ll do it something like 30% quicker, and so there is a risk of catching up to within two weeks of your previous list if you don’t plan for that. If you do, then you can always switch back to working on the Headlist.

If you are still interested and enjoying the topic and have been observing the breaks, then you could do even 300 lines of Headlisting (or distillations) in a day. In the long run you’ll probably average well below this. There are people who GoldList almost as if it were a full-time job, but the system also gives meaning to each study session for people whose budget of hours for study has become very modest owing to the exigencies of family or career.

4.2 Practical Example of Headlisting

OK, here as an example, is the first six double sides of a Headlist where the material is Assimil’s course on Indonesian written in German. This is with permission, courtesy of Phil Gagneur of Assimil.


Here’s the material kindly provided by Assimil, namely “Indonesisch ohne Muehe”, which you can obtain from them if you wish to compare material to Headlist approach, and the front of the GoldList book, you see here the words “Bronze 1” and later on it will become clear what this means. The date written at the front is not, in fact, correct as I only actually started at a later date, but that’s not important as the later date is recorded on the actual page. Don’t miss the special GoldList Method pen.


As a sample here’s the second lesson and you’ll see that on the second double page of the Headlist example. The material has plenty of explanations, and is graphically pleasant. The book feels good in the hand. Also note that I have chosen German rather than English as language of instruction, enabling me to practice and perfect that language in the process of learning another. This is a good way for polyglots to build on their languages by using the one languages which they have learned to an advanced stage to help them with a language they are just starting, and is particularly useful when learning a second language in the same language family, which of course is not the case here. It would be useful the other way round – for an Austronesian who learned German and wanted to learn English to use German materials and not Austronesian materials to do it.


Here you see the first double page in a project. I dated the top left hand corner as this is essential to know whether I am safe to distil it when I come back after a certain length of time.

I wrote the numbers 1-25, it is also possible to use a marker at the level of 25. To prevent going beyond 25, I use a little mental mark which looks like a dot under a line after the 25. This just tells me “don’t go any further”. On distillations you can add more if needed, so this mark I only use on Headlists (and D4 but we’ll get to that later).

You can see I don’t use a line down the middle of the page and this allows me to take all I need from the text of the material. You’ll see that line 9 is a single word “juga” while many lines contain phrases and lines 14-15 contain a two-line sentence of explanation about how verbs work in Indonesian. It’s a very general statement, easily remembered and likely to be droppable already in the next distillation, i.e. even two lines at once, without the need, as it often is, to condense a two-line sentence to one line, but in order to have everything I could need from the material, I’ve included it.


Here’s the second double page, dated again actually needlessly because it’s the same date as the previous page and it’s the same Headlist. Better safe than sorry, but you don’t need to date the same list at every page turn on the same day.

You can compare this Headlist if you like with the material sample shown above and you may see what I mean by making sure you have enough out of the material so that you won’t need it with you when it comes to making the distillation.

If anything these samples are on the cramped side, but I know that I will be able to distil them quite aggressively anyway, as I covered a number of these in Audio Frontloading to get an inner voice for Indonesian (for which I used the Pimsleur course) and here it is more a question of getting the usage and seeing how these words are actually written.

Normally lines like 50 I would avoid, and put “suomi” and “istri” on separate lines, but I quite liked the idea of fitting the second lesson on the second page, after the first lesson had fit the first page. This pattern doesn’t continue anyhow, as in fact the six pages I have in this sample correspond to the first four lessons in this material. This is in fact my first time using Assimil and it does seem to be very easy to GoldList. I am basically ignoring the learning tips around the content, using their content and the GoldList Method for the learning.


Here we have the next day, so this time the dating at the top is indeed necessary.  Again you see the numbering of the Headlist is one continuous whole, it’s the third side, I am using 25 lines because you see I have this lovely squared paper at least 40 lines deep – this happens to be 42 squares deep despite the generous margins, and it is well-made, and has 96 double sides so that it will be possible even if I only use 90 of them to get to 2,250 lines in the Headlist in this first book, with of course nothing stopping me from going forward to a second if I wish. In fact to complete one of these Assimil courses at the run rate you will see here, you need between 7 and 8 thousand lines, so therefore four of these books may well be necessary for that Project.


Here there is no date, which means we are still on the latest date recorded for this list, namely 10/6/18 as on the previous page. Again you see a mix of single words like line 87  explanations in the language of instruction as on line 86, and in one case a cultural note which lasts four lines (92-95 incl.)


What I am showing you here is an example of not numbering the sides in full because there is a calibration mark running down the edge of the book which shows where the twenty-fifth line is.

I did not need to keep writing “selamat” over and over when looking at the greetings, and just used ditto marks as you see in lines 107 and 108, and this is preferable as meaningless repetition tends to provoke the short-term memory function. Nothing is gained by writing it out additional times.


Here I go back to writing the numbers in full as that’s what I normally do just by instinct, but you can carry on using just top and bottom if you like it better that way.

As I say, this is rather heavily written for a Headlist, because of the amount of full lines used, but it was more interesting for me to take the phrases and the explanations, and just check that in doing so I had all the individual words and their meanings covered.

Later on we will see how these first six pages, the first 150 lines, turn into further distillations.

Anyone wishing to share in the funding of the coming GoldList Method Book and other coming resources can now do so here.

20 thoughts on “GoldList Method Explained Part 4 – The GoldList Book: The Headlist

  1. Dear Mr Huliganov

    I am interested in how you select material for the headlist, specifically, how thoroughly you cover your coursebook. For example, if my textbook has the foreign language word for ‘rhinoceros’ in Chapter 2, but I can’t see myself having much use for that word, do I include it? Likewise with grammar: do you put all the exceptions in right from the beginning? I could more easily envisage having several ‘passes’ through a book, going in deeper each round.

    Secondly, for the initial audio phase there is little material in some languages, such as Romanian, which I’m learning. I’ve been using ‘Book 2’, which has free resources in many languages. I wonder if you have seen it and what you think of it?

    Many thanks

    Sheila Verity

    1. Hi Sheila,

      I do try to cover the course book thoroughly and to include with words all the irregularities attaching to it, but as you are probably alluding to, it’s perfec tly true that in the typical course you learn some words before all the specific grammar about that word has become apparent, especially in highly inflected languages such as Slavinic ones. In Romanian also we can have problems around unusual plurals, especially of some feminine and masculine nouns. For neuter, if in doubt use -uri. (;-0)

      Audio front loading in Romanian is from what I know basically Pimsleur. I think the course is adequate to give a feel for how the language sounds, and that you can probably go ahead with goldlisting couses after that. The Routledge grammar course is very good for Romanian. The old Dennis Deletante Colloquial book also good and has further audio on line for free if needed.

      I am not sure about that Book 2 approach. To my eyes it looks like a half-hearted approach to what Michael Campbell is doing in Glossika, only without the careful peer review of linguistically educated native speakers from among the polyglot community.

      I believe you can get the best deal by doing the Pimsleur for six Audible credits (about 50$ in cost if you are a 24 credits a year subber, which has a myriad of advantages who love audio) and then working through the Deletante course, the Essential grammar from Routledge and hope by then that ROutledge have finished a proper frequency dictionary in their series for Romanian because the best I can find now, which is this : is not really a great use of the money. It cannot be bothered to have even examples of usage or the gender of the nouns or anything unusual about them. For sure there is still a huge gap for Romanian also in collocations or phraseological dictionaries. Oxford and Collins do not seem to have twigged that the market for this language is actually growing. If you have French then the one-off (not in a series) dictionary by Ilutiu looks quite interesting, without having had the chance to study it in depth. Langenscheidt also has an array of dictionaries, not always brilliant, for German, but if you do have German then the PONS Bildwoerterbuch for Romanian is probably quite a good vocab builder that can be easily harnessed to the GoldList Method.

      I do get the impression that in a few years’ time the array of tools for Romanian and Moldovan at an intermediate level will look a lot better than it does today.

  2. Thank you so much for this very detailed reply. Really appreciated!

  3. I’m goldlisting new words from bilingual books, some have built-in dictionaries after each chapter/verse. Reading goldlist book or trying to review word lists is no-no.What about reading texts that were goldlisted earlier? It will reactivate short-term memory for sure, but it’s in nature of the text that some words reappear so fully locking memorisation to long-term memory is impossible.

    1. Don’t worry about the natural re-occuring of common words as you go forward. They are the ones you cannot help but learn if you are continuing with the language. Simply presss forward with more chapters.

      1. Natural frequency isn’t an issue at all. I’m more wary about re-reading texts that were bronzelisted from two weeks to one month ago. It may interfere with method, what do you think?

        1. If it’s more than two weeks between when you last look at them and when you come to distil them, or do a distillation plan, then I think it is OK.

  4. Dear Mr. James,

    I was wondering if the GLM would also be suitable for learning other things like historic dates. Do you have any experience with learning things with the GLM other than vocabulary? How well does ist work?

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Ywan, an excellent question.

      I will be writing a section on this at length, to the book that these pages are the precursor to. I will also turn this answer into a full article for today’s blog.

      The answer is that it really does work very well. Right now I am actually learning a large set of different topics including even mathematics (I don’t do the exercises from the book only the main worked exemplars and the explanations and instructions. The key here is to keep the headlist nice and loose and include whatever you are going to need in the future in it. This may, for some topics, mean that you even need to reproduce diagrams in the GoldList book. This for me was the biggest mental block until it dawned on me how best to do it. Let us say we are doing biology and the textbook has a nice diagram of the eye of the heart. In the headlist you make a pretty faithful copy, maybe even tracing it from the materials if it will fit, labels and all, and the number of lines that takes, that’s the line number we assume it deserves in the headlist.

      When we come to the first distillation, we try to redraw the diagram with all the labels but we allow ourselves some compressions and abbreviations. I do find that a lot of D1 work on the non-language side is about compressing, abbreviating, omitting the repetitions you may have in the text which you didn’t notice to eliminate in the Headlist. The second distillation is usually the time when the labels which are obvious and the words remembered can be dropped out, the diagram more stylised, also made in a manner faster to draw, which can be a boon for examinations. Each time, that diagram will take fewer lines and maybe you can make the lines that it takes each time follow the same 30% reduction pattern that you expect from the non-diagrammatic parts of the GL work.

      It’s actually pretty interesting to do. And it does tend to distil very well, because science is all about the a-ha moment, and running through the earlier parts of the text book by distilling what you did earlier before getting into a later section often refreshes all the bits you need to get that next a-ha moment all the more readily.

      History dates also can be aha-ish. If you have a very bald list of almost random history dates, then maybe you have to put them over to the headlist like that in order to dispense with the materials. On distillation it is a question of grouping tchem in a more chroinological or thematic order, or finding a-has or other links between them. Sometimes you can imagine links that are purely fictional, for example Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492 which Lucia Pacioli invented double-entry bookkeeping in 1491, a year earlier, so you can imagine Columbus whiling away his time in the vessel trying to get his head around this new skill so that he would have a profession to come back to if there wasn’t a way to India that way after all, assuming he didn’t fall off. This can help us to remember what happened in what order, and also what was new at a time and what wasn’t. We make such a mental image not in a forced way, we merely think about what we are writing, not treating it just like lines set by a prefect for flicking ink at his back, we take an interest in how the events in the dates fit. When learning history, we take advice from the maxim of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “there is, properly, no history; only biography” and concern ourselves with the lives of the characters we encounter there, and the interplay between them, whether they met, who would have been older and by how much, what they though of one another, etc. Then the dates start to come more alive, and this become the stuff of more permanent synapsę building. Learning date as an ars gratia artis exercise will also work in the GLM, but will be less pleasant and less effective. One should include full dates in the headlist, but one should ask oneself whether, to build a very good panoramic view of history, one really needs the exact date, maybe month or even season of the year is adequate for some matters. If we look at how history is buidling now, we can almost talk about how the Brexit issue looked more decided in the Autumn of the year than in the Spring of 2019, but the key date of this is not clear. Certainly the election which gave Boris Johnson a decisive victory is known, but I already cannot remember which date of December that was, only that it was around the middle of the month and so it probably was with contemporaries of the events you may be studying in your history books.

      Hope this helps.

  5. One way to ensure a consistent workload is as follows: Week 1 and Week 2 (when there are no distillations to be done), add in 1000 words each week to the headlist.

    Thereafter, add 300 words per week to the headlist, and deal with the distilations as they become due.

    This will ensure a consistent workload of 1000 items per week all the way through until you run out of headlist items, when the load will gradually decrease.

    1. That should work, if you can manage the thousand. Personally I have multiple projects going on in alternation, which also works a treat.

  6. Hello dear David.
    Excellent method I am eager to start using it. But first I have some questions:
    1-I currently have a notebook in which I put my notes about the material that I am using to improve my English. Would my golden list replace that notebook?
    2-What is the way to add lines to my golden list? for example “I see a chapter of my material, I analyze it and then I include what interests me in my golden list. Or as I advance I write down my lines.
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the questions. The GL can certainly supersede all the other notebooks used. I find I only need a GL and a rough book for exercises when doing a mathematical or scientific topic, but not languages. For languages the GL is enough, and keeps everything in one system.

      You can prepare the material or do it “live” as you encounter it, as you prefer. The key is to transfer all you will need next time from the material to the GL, so that you only need the GL when distilling.

      1. Thank you very much for the quick answer.
        just now I got the materials (I mean notebook and pens of various colors to make my lists seem more attractive to the brain) to start with the method. The GL is just what I needed. Previously I did not try to memorize the content by repeating it, but rather I analyzed it carefully, trying to somehow not forget it with that analysis. But I had no way of verifying that I would really remember it later, much less keep a tally (system) of my progress.
        Thank you again for such a great method.

  7. Dr. Holiganov, I have several questions.
    Because the images are not very clear, they are very far away and I don’t recognize the languages you are writing in the HeadList.
    1. Do you write the phrases in the target language that you are going to learn? o 2. Do you write the sentences both in the language you are going to learn and also in your native language? It is not possible to distinguish at a distance in these images.
    3. If you only write in the language you are going to learn or target. When you distill, how do you verify that you are correct and correct?
    4. If you write in both target and native languages, when you distill how do you hide your native language and verify that you are ok?

    1. Hi Guillermo,

      1) If I am using the GoldList to learn a language, then I tend to write from the left hand side either a rule or expanation in English or whatever language the material I am using is prepared in, or else if I am doing dictionary style work, then I would put on the left the item in the other language. If it’s clear what it means then I won’t put a translation on the right, but in most cases I would.

      For other kinds of learning it would depend on the materials. Often one sentence covers more than one line.

      2) If I am writing phrases, then I’ll provide a translation only to the extent that the original is not clear. Likewise on distillation, if I remember the meaning because I remember all the words, but still want to remember the exact wording of the phrase, I might rewrite the phrase without the translation.

      3) and 4) One can do this in a kind of quiz mode whereby one covers up one side, but I never found that I personally needed to do this. I can usually feel when I know something well enough to drop it entrely, or only well enough to combine it or recombine it or summarize it more briefly, or retain it entirely. If you liek to do hiding one side and quizzing, then set yourself up for that by keeping the pages divided into two halves. I personally do that practically never, but you can if you want. Remember we are going for passive knowledge (like the ability to read or listen rather than write or speak, which comes later) so you don’t have to be able to remember the foreign word from your own language, it’s enough to go the other way.

      1. Muchas gracias DR. Holiganov. por su amable respuesta y sus valiosas observaciones para utilizar este método tan maravilloso. DIOS continúe bendiciéndolo mucho.

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