For the longest time I've learned new vocabulary by adding a sentence multiple times to my main deck, and bolding/coloring the new word I want to learn, and to pass the card I have to read and understand that word. If there's more than one new word, I add the sentence again and mark that word. But lately I've been realizing it's really necessary to practice comprehending the sentence as a whole. If I attempt to do that with every card every time, it takes way too long, and the sentence is in there multiple times. If I only add the sentence once, it's much easier to fail because there are multiple new words.
So my solution has been to practice reading the material outside of anki, and my main deck basically functions as a vocabulary deck with a little bit of skimming over the context, and maybe read a couple of words around the target word.
...But now the amount of material I've added is pretty large, and it's getting hard to know what I should reread. So...I added another deck in anki for comprehending the sentence as a whole, along with what every particle is doing, etc. I'm not even testing if I remember the readings, just if I remember what all of the words meant and if I comprehend the whole sentence. Is this unnecessary? What does everyone think about testing the comprehension of a whole sentence vs. a single target word?
What does everyone think about testing the comprehension of a whole sentence vs. a single target word?
Well that's basically how you test grammar. I think we all have a vocab deck, and a sentence deck side by side. Usually, getting the meaning of the sentence right implies you also had the readings right.
What your describing is a natural extension of learning for some on this board. You first learn kanji which you later use words as helpful context. Next you learn words and grammar which later you use sentences as context. In both cases, while it's tempting to want to fully understand the context, its easier when you realize you're only testing the kanji or the word or the grammar.
You sentence conundrum comes up when you move on to AJATT type ideas or using Subs2srs. The context is the entire story or show you drew the sentence from. The idea at that point is that if you understand all parts of the sentence (vocabulary and grammar) you test to understand the sentence as a whole. Just to help out, you can add extra sentences that occur before and after that sentence to add even more context. Plus, in the answer field you can include definitions for words and sample sentences that use the same phrase as the sentence that helped you figure out what the sentence meant in the first place.
That said, if a sentence has a new word you may want to test that word as if it's a vocabulary word and not the entire sentence. Keeps the point of failure down to one.
This problem is solved by having separate sentence and vocab decks. The vocab deck should just contain the dictionary form of the word and possibly a picture, that's all. The sentence deck should only contain sentences containing useful grammar patterns or words that have unusual uses/nuances.
You don't need a sentence supplying context for every single word, as most (especially nouns) directly map to a context you're familiar with in English.