Context is king when it comes to learning pretty much anything. Language learning is no different. Context is what gives true meaning and understanding to the words. Studying a word without context makes it difficult to understand how it can be used with other words to build proper sentences. It is much easier to remember words which are connected to something we already know.
As babies, we learn our first language through context. Our parent points their finger at an object and says the word. Later, we learn new words as they come up in sentences that describe something in front of our eyes. We connect new words to experiences and situations we already understand.
What can act as context for learning words?
You can write, collect and review example sentences with which you learn words more effectively than by just reviewing its definition.
That way, you imagine a situation or an object when you read a sentence and connect a new word to the feeling it gives you. This is more lasting than if you just read a word’s definition.
The context in Obstino has two forms:
Here is the list of example sentences for a word “barren” in Obstino:
The more examples you study, the better you understand the word.
Each time you add a word to Obstino, it sends you two examples of how the word is used in a sentence. Then every few days you’ll get another example, up to a total of seven.
You can view those examples by going to the Discover tab:
In the ‘Discover’ tab, read an example and either add it to the library or reject it. You should reject examples you don’t like. The added examples will be used in the ‘Review’ to practice words with.
Browsing the web in your target language is a great way to learn, whether you read news sites, articles, or blog posts.
While you browse the web, once enabled, Obstino’s Safari extension looks for sentences containing your words in the content of the websites you visit. This gives you the most personal and therefore most memorable examples with which to practice your vocabulary.
Safari seamlessly saves those examples to Obstino and you can go to the Discover tab to review them. Just like with the examples that Obstino sends you, either add them to the library or reject the ones you don’t like.
Practice vocabulary by writing your own example sentences. When you write, choose something personal like what you did this morning, or a local event that took place. Sentences that describe real experiences are more memorable. Don’t worry about the grammar so much, the important part here is to use a word in context.
Click on the ‘plus’ button to add a new sentence:
Every time you add a word to Obstino you should always copy over the sentence in which you found it. This is your most important sentence, you learn the word through it.