Review of FlashSticks: A Simple and Effective Way to Improve Your Vocabulary

Teacher Activity Guide_Primary_v6.indd

Are you finding it hard to make your foreign-language vocabulary stick in your mind? Does your difficulty in recalling words get you into sticky situations? Are you looking for a vocabulary-building strategy that’s easy to stick to? If any of the above questions apply to you, you might want to check out FlashSticks, a new method of learning foreign-language vocabulary that’s revolutionary in its simplicity.

Aside from having a name that lends itself to corny puns, FlashSticks prove to be an excellent tool for the everyday language learner. The idea is simple: foreign language vocabulary items are printed on sticky notes, which you can then adhere to any surface in your house, office, or car. As a result, you’ll be passively exposed to a vast amount of foreign language vocabulary every single day. Walk into your kitchen, and your FlashSticks will remind you that “microwave” is microondas in Spanish. Go to your office, and you’ll see that Buch means “book” in German.

Stick them anywhere


The simple brilliance of FlashSticks lies in their exceptional ability to create strong visual memory associations. If I read in a textbook that sartén is Spanish for “frying pan”, there’s a good chance I will have already forgotten when I turn the page. But if I see it on the frying pan itself, I’ve instantly connected the word with a concrete concept, and I’m much more likely to recall it in the future. And if I don’t, that’s no problem — I’ll be reminded again the next time I set foot in the kitchen. (Though please, if you’re cooking, remove the FlashSticks from the frying pan. We don’t want to cause any fires.)

Interested in buying a pack of FlashSticks for yourself? Enter the coupon code langtrainers and receive a 10% discount on your purchase!

Additionally, FlashSticks come in small, portable packs. So if you don’t stick them around your house, you can bring them with you around when you travel. This is particularly useful for those who spend a lot of time in trains, buses, or airplanes, as you can study your vocabulary as you travel to your next destination, be it your day job or a brand new country.

Useful memory aids

FlashSticks are simple, uncluttered, and aesthetically pleasing: the foreign-language vocabulary word is printed in large font; below that, there is a pronunciation guide. At the bottom, there is an illustration of the word in question, as well as its name in English.

But that’s not all. FlashSticks are color-coordinated according to the gender of the word: masculine words are blue, feminine words are pink, neuter words are yellow, and words without inherent gender are green. In our pack of Spanish FlashSticks, for example, “el libro” (the book) is blue, “la mujer” (the woman) is pink, and “hacer” (to make) is green. We found this to be especially useful for English speakers, who often find it very hard to memorize to memorize gender.

FlashSticks App


When you buy FlashSticks, you can also take advantage of the free FlashSticks app, available for both iPhone and Android. With this app, you can simply hover your phone above any given note, and you’ll be redirected to a video of a native speaker showing you how the word is pronounced. This is an excellent feature, as the English-language pronunciation guides printed on the FlashSticks themselves — while they are useful — don’t quite capture how the word sounds like when uttered by a native speaker.

Of course, FlashSticks are not meant to be a replacement for more holistic language-learning classes and materials. They are a great way to memorize vocabulary, and are not meant to teach you about grammatical rules or other discourse features of language.

Overall, we glowingly recommend FlashSticks as an excellent tool for the language learner. By exposing you to vocabulary every day and creating strong visual links between words and concepts, they’re a superb way to boost your vocabulary with minimal effort.

FlashSticks are available in 8 different languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and more. See their website for more information. Don’t forget to apply the coupon code langtrainers to receive a 10% discount on your purchase!