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Cloze deletion (or massive context cloze deletion)

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Cloze deletion (or massive context cloze deletion)

Postby jeidsath » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:25 am

I have been experimenting with cloze deletion using Anki to improve my Greek. It has some of the benefits of composition without the major limitation (my poor Greek). I'm posting this because I think it may be a good learning tool for people at all levels.

Some things that I'm getting from it:

1) An intimate understanding of texts that are a bit tough for me to simply read through
2) Vocabulary/Accidence/Syntax/Grammar/Idiom practice
3) Fun

Basically, the idea is break up a paragraph of Greek text and to create flash cards from that paragraph with missing words. Ex.

Question:
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ <...>

Answer (to be typed):
Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος

I generally take a paragraph of Greek text at time. First I set up a temporary Anki deck, which generally I generally delete after a single day. Each paragraph takes me about 1 minute setup time, and 30-45 minutes study time.

The basic idea for this is floating around on the web in Japanese learning circles, called "massive context cloze deletion." Differences are that I'm not attempting long-term recall, and that I cloze out every element of a text, not just a single word or phrase that I'm trying to learn.

In this case, I'm reviewing the Symposium, which I recently finished, so I make a deck called Symposium 220c.

I have a special "Cloze Cram" options set that turns the number of "New" cards per day way up, disables burying of related cards.

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Next I create a new card by pasting in some text from Perseus. Notice that I've chosen a "cloze" card in the upper left.

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Then I select the verbs by highlighting each with my mouse and pressing the shortcut key (Cmd-Shift-C on a Mac).

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I've missed a few verbs, but that's all right, since I'll catch them as I go through the rest of the text. As you'll see in the following image, I then make every phrase outside of the verbs its own cloze card.

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At the end, I've got about 49 cards. This is actually too long. 20-25 is a good number. It would probably be worth choosing a smaller section of text here.

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Here is an example question.

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My first try at an answer.

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After 45 minutes or so, I'll be able to type out every answer correctly, and I will have an intimate understanding of this one paragraph. Because I'm forced to recall everything contextually, I actually find that this is more useful than simply memorizing the text (and perhaps a little bit faster).

Once I have gone through the deck and there are "0 cards" left to learn/review, I delete this deck and go on to another one. I'm not attempting long-term recall here -- a re-read later on will be good enough for review. And any important vocabulary or grammatical point will surely come up again (and again) in my reading.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: Cloze deletion (or massive context cloze deletion)

Postby truks » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:27 am

Thanks for the detailed explanation. This approach looks very interesting. :)
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Re: Cloze deletion (or massive context cloze deletion)

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:43 am

Well, I hope it works for anyone thinking of copying the technique!

I've been using it fairly frequently, with the adjustment that I only try a couple of lines of text at a time now. (ie. 10-12 cards max). That seems to work fairly well. And I haven't been consistent with this, but repeating the entire line aloud afterwards seems to be positive as well.

I tried doing the same with English as an experiment, expecting it to be easy. But I found that a random paragraph (from a Textkit poster, actually) gave a higher retry rate than Andocides. Good Greek is much tighter than random prose, I'm beginning to notice, will all of the pieces fitting together.

I find that this approach tends to make hard sections much easier to understand, but not always easy.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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jeidsath
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Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Cloze deletion (or massive context cloze deletion)

Postby Markos » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:13 pm

I like the method. I like the fact that there is no L1 interference. Joel, could you create and post on line some passages from, say, the GNT, with which we could try the method?
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Re: Cloze deletion (or massive context cloze deletion)

Postby jeidsath » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:56 pm

Markos, if you already have Anki installed, you can download an example deck here. I chose Hebrews 6:1-3 at random. If you don't have Anki installed, the application is available here.

It's important that you uncheck the two "bury related" boxes in your Anki options for the deck (they are on different tabs, so you'll have to get both). Screenshots in the first post show how to set up options for these cloze decks.

Here is the only card in that deck, if anyone wants to create a new deck instead of downloading the shared one:

{{c7::Διὸ}} {{c1::ἀφέντες}} {{c8::τὸν τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ λόγον}} {{c9::ἐπὶ τὴν τελειότητα}} {{c2::φερώμεθα}}, {{c10::μὴ πάλιν θεμέλιον}} {{c3::καταβαλλόμενοι}} {{c11::μετανοίας ἀπὸ νεκρῶν ἔργων}}, {{c12::καὶ πίστεως ἐπὶ Θεόν}}, {{c4::βαπτισμῶν}} {{c13::διδαχὴν}}, {{c14::ἐπιθέσεώς τε χειρῶν}}, {{c15::ἀναστάσεώς τε νεκρῶν}}, {{c16::καὶ κρίματος αἰωνίου}}. {{c17::καὶ τοῦτο}} {{c5::ποιήσομεν}}, {{c18::ἐάνπερ}} {{c6::ἐπιτρέπῃ}} {{c19::ὁ Θεός}}.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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jeidsath
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