My first ever review, yay!
So at the beginning of January, someone from the company FlashSticks contacted me and asked me what I knew about their product and said they’d seen my blog and would I be interested in writing a review for them? I said that I had briefly seen something about them on Pinterest and that yes I would – and here is that review for you now.
What I said I would do for them was both a video and text review (because I’ve never done a video before, so I thought it might be a plan to have some video to back it up) – and so here is that video, for all your viewing pleasure:
If you are not so interested in watching me ramble for 12 minutes with some seriously dodgy looking cuts (literally never made a video before; it is harder than it looks!), then the text review continues below…
So, FlashSticks are basically a pack of post-its you get that have words already pre-printed on them. They offer them in lots of different languages, at different levels – for instance, I got the Spanish Intermediate pack, which has 100 words and phrases in Spanish.
In the Spanish pack, you get the words separated into feminine nouns (which are pink), masculine nouns (which are blue), verbs and others (green) and adjectives and others (also green).
So, when I got back to Austria, I started sticking them around my room – and honestly, they have been pretty helpful. For instance, above my computer I have the word trabajador…
And on my wall planner, I have recordar…
So I see these (and a few other) words every day – and this really has been helpful in getting me to learn them; I’m a very visual learner, so having the word spelled right out in front of me with a picture really fixes them in my brain.
You can see that on the FlashSticks, there’s a written pronunciation – if you have an iPhone (or apple devide) or an android phone, there is also an app you can download. If you have the app and don’t have the FlashSticks, then I don’t think it’s super useful, but if you do, then it allows you to scan the FlashSticks and then plays you a video of a native speaker saying the word, so that you can hear and copy the correct pronunciation.
All of this, I think, is incredibly cool and means that I am interested in checking out some of their other products (currently, FlashSticks are offered in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, English and British Sign Language) in the future – especially when the intermediate or advanced Mandarin FlashSticks are made available.
However, there are a couple of limitations I’ve found to these. First of all, there are the terms used. Don’t get me wrong, I like that they send you 100 words, because the reason I’ve never used this technique before is because I get fixated on concrete nouns and can’t quite work out what to do with the abstract terms. However, there are some words and phrases that I’m not sure where to put, so they’ve been left in the pack for now. The example I use in the vido is la autopista – motorway; I know I may need that word in the future, but where to put it?! I think if you’re good at using this technique anyway, it won’t be a problem – I just don’t want to stick a bunch of them on my door, because I won’t learn them like that.
My other main problem is also that currently, I’m learning these words entirely out of context – which isn’t the fault of the company or anything like that, because that’s not what they’re offering, but learning words in context does make them stick a little better; even better than seeing them every day does. So what I would recommend you do (which is what I will be doing at some point) is when you stick these up, get another plain post-it and find or write a sentence using that word. It gives you context and helps you to learn a sentence that is tailored just for you, so you’re more likely to use it in the future.
What I would hope FlashSticks would do in the future – because this would also, I think, encourage people to download the app; I do have the app right now but I’m honestly not using it as much as I thought I would, because the pronunciation of individual Spanish words isn’t always too difficult – would be to provide their native speakers in the app saying a sentence that uses your word. I really think this would add a more helpful element to the app and would help you learn the words a little more easily than might otherwise be the case with them just stuck everywhere.
But yes, I think that’s more or less everything I had to say about FlashSticks – I do really like them and I think in and of themselves they’re very cool. You can buy them online from the FlashSticks website, or I think at certain physical shops (I know WHSmith is one) in the UK.
So if you buy them – or if you have some already – get sticking! The #FlashSticksFriday hashtag is used every (you guessed it!) Friday for you to share where you’ve been sticking and this is mine for this week:
Let me know if you’ve used FlashSticks and what you think of them; or if you’ve used this technique in general and it’s been successful (I’d love to know how people choose their words) – and yeah, if you do have some, share them with the hashtag!
I hope the video wasn’t too terrible (if you watched it) and I’ll be back with a post sometime early next week because it’s my semester break now so I’m off to Rome this afternoon!