I’ve started a “program” to learn Chinese. It’s a website called KeeWords. All they teach you is vocabulary, nothing about grammar or context. You choose a language, pick a category (e.g. Home & Household or Technology), and a daily goal. The site gives you a definition on a flashcard. You can either type in the answer or flip the card over. When you flip, it shows you the word and reads it out loud (this is important for Chinese). As you learn, it randomizes the words, including ones that you have already learned. It keeps track of how many you know, and if you get one wrong, it removes it from your score.
I’ve set my goal at ten words a day. I spend about an hour in the morning learning the new words and reviewing the ones I’ve already learned. I then write them down in a notebook (writing helps me to remember), and I review them throughout the day. So far, it’s going okay–though I’ve run into some funny mistakes. For example… the word was “light” in the category “Home and Household”. My assumption was that it meant “light bulb”. Nope. It meant “not heavy”. A student pointed out the mistake and gave me the word for light bulb. So… bonus word for the day. 🙂
(The word for “not heavy” is qing 轻. The word for “lamp/light bulb” is deng 灯)