SRS is an acronym for “Spaced Repetition System” and is a technique of memorizing information which is based on the action of our brain. Exposure to information that is being learned should be repeated several times for it to be remembered well. When initially learning a word in foreign language you should repeat reviewing it more often, but later you can repeat it less and less. You should repeat a word at the moment when the word is is close to being forgotten and time to this moment increasing with every repetition of the word.
This kind of repeating of words is used in some flashcards systems. You have flashcards with the native language word on one side and the target language word on the other and you use boxes for these flashcards. When you remember the word it is placed in the box to be repeated a day later. The next time it is repeated a week later and after that time a month later. So you repeat known word less and less.
An SRS is ideal to use in computer applications. This type of system can be more advanced than flashcards. An SRS application remembers how much do you remember the word and makes its appear for review in a proper, calculated day. So you don’t have to repeat too many words in one day. Everything is planned by the system with consideration as to how your brain learns new information. For example if you have several thousands of words in the system and these have been systematically entered, there should be only about one hundred words to repeat in one day. Other words will be waiting for the right time to be displayed, i.e. when the word is probably close to being forgotten.
Maybe the most popular application for SRS is Anki. This application is free and gives you the ability to use it on smartphones, so you can review your words every available moment. There are some other systems based on SRS like FullRecall, Mnemosyne or OpenCards. One of the most famous systems was created in Poland – it is called “Supermemo”.
You could say that the school system is something like an SRS. You have material presented in one class; you have homework to do for the next class and a week later it is possible that your teacher will organize a test. After that, the next repetition may be required at the end of the semester. But who works in school so systematically?