Learn a Second Language One Word a Day Bracelet




About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.

The universal difficulty of learning a second language is the fact that students' ears, mouth, eyes, hands and mind are not immersed in the environment. When they don't have the chance to use what they learn soon enough, students quickly forget what they learned. To solve the problem of lacking the environment and chances of using what is learned when learning a second language, I designed a watch in my mind (seond, hand drawn picture shown here) to create chances for anyone who is learning a second language to review and use the words they learned quickly, frequently, and stylishly. I was able to use a pendant to make something very close to what I have in mind and have all the functions I want in about 30 minutes.

I believe 3D printer can execute my design exactly which I don't have access to. I used what is available to come up with a bracelet which creates fun environment and chances to use what is leanred  when someone is learning a second language, such as Chinese.

Below are what I used, steps taken, and resultant first master piece.

Materials used: 
1 Hinged oval pendant with latch hook approximately 0.875 in by 1.125 in
1 Matching necklace chain
1 Small lobster clasp
1 Small jump ring 
1 Solder iron kit
1 Chain nose pliers
1 Round nose pliers
Computer Word program

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Step 1: Have a Pendant!

I have a modest ambition for my ABC child (American Born Chinese) to learn Chinese as second language: One word a day. To solve the problem that she doesn't have much chance to use what she learns everyday, I designed a watch in my mind which has hinge and latch hook allowing changing the word easily everyday. I strategically pick a word for her to learn everyday. She spends about 5 minutes writing and saying the word. Then she can show and tell about the watch in school, or tell what the word is when asked, look at the word at any time during the day. Thus, she has repeated chances to review what she learned and making it stay.

I believe a 3D printer can make this watch. But I don't have one. I had a pendant with hinge and latch hook, a bail (attached metal loop)which I had picked up a long time ago. The first thing is to solder another loop on the opposite end so it can be worn on wrist (I always feel a chain around children's neck is a safety hazard, so making a pendant necklace is not an option). In fact, that's almost the only thing to do.   

Step 2: Solder the Second Loop

 I happened to have a jump ring of matching color and diameter in my miscellaneous items and soldered it on. It is a bit big. A better thing to use should be a loop of matching wire coiled on round nose pliers with overlapped ends as shown.

This is my first ever jewery plus soldering experience. If I took picture of the process at the same time, I must have either ruined the whole thing, sent alarm off or soldered my thumb and point finger together. I did it with instinct and common sense. I'm not exactly handy either. So if I did it, you can do it. I also watched this great Instructable afterwards: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder-amateur-jewelry/ . I plan to make more of this bracelet to give as presents. I know where to improve in the next project.

Almost there already.    

Step 3: Attach Bracelet Chain, Lobster Clasp and Jump Ring

I placed the bracelet frame on the wearer's wrist, measured how long the chains needed on two sides, removed two chains of the needed length from the matching necklace chain, opened one jump ring on one end of each chain, slided it through the loop on the frame and closed the jump ring. I opened one jump ring on the other end of each chain, slided it through a slightly larger (easier to clasp the lobster clasp than the tiny jump rings on the chain)  jump ring on one end and and lobster clasp on the other end.

Done already!

Step 4: Print Words

I opened a Word document, drew an oval of 0.875 in by 1.125 in with no fill and light border line, copied and pasted it to fill a whole page, inserted a text box of 0.875 in by 1.125 in with no fill and no border line, copied and pasted the text box over each oval shape, typed one word in each text box/oval shape, saved the document and printed out the first sheet of words. One page can fit 81 words/oval/text box. I'll cut out one word a day, once all 81 words have been learned, the document will be saved in a different name and another 81 words will be typed and printed.

Step 5: Afterwords

This bracelet is versatile. The underside of the frame can be a picture of somebody dear to the wearer. It can also be used for an important message for the wearer.

Although I still prefer it wore like a watch instead of bracelet, I love the vintage industrial chic aged metal look. It looks cool on a girl or boy. As a family we are in love with the function and look of this first ever jewery I made.

If you liked it, vote for it. If you have any questions about this Instructable or learning Chinese as second language, please feel free to contact me.


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    17 Discussions

    I'm glad you love the idea. I still wish I can source a pendant/watch base that has the clasp and the two belt connectors to my likings. Do you use the same pendant or something different? Would you please upload a picture or pictures of what you made if you have a moment through "I made it!" button above?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for checking. On the days we stick to the resolution, it works wonderfully. Then there are days such low ambitious as learning only oone word a day can slip.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for voting. There are 1129 entries, 10 printers and 20 first prizes. The odds of winning is about 1:40. There are too many talented people here. I'm still new here. I'll be thrilled if I won.
    Which of your instructables was submitted to the UP! 3D contest?


    6 years ago

    then good luck for the both of us thous i voted for u coz ur idea was way more creative


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm glad you like the idea. When I put "sun" and "moon" together, it's "bright"; two "moon" together, it's the first word of "friends; "crying" is two "big" "mouth" and "a tear drop" ... My child got them easily. I was instantly hooked on a strategy and creativity in picking words to teach. I have never found Chinese words are so interesting before.
    Have fun!

    2 replies

    6 years ago

    its a great idea im doing it for sure and no worry about the time need to learn ones u get few of them the rest well come normally


    6 years ago on Introduction

    since a conservative estimate of the size of the chinese vocabulary is 100 000 words, learning one word a day would take 274 years. good luck though!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for taking time to comment.
    I have no idea how many words a conservative estimate of chinese vocabulary has. I definitely don't know that many Chinese words but no problem to enter and graduate college from there. I can also write letters, stories or technical papers, books in Chinese not to win literature prize, good enough to be read.
    I have a feeling that a vocabulary of several hundreds or a couple thousand (commonly used words) is enough for foreigners to go about in China.
    There are many really easy words in Chinese, once a learner masters them, they have learned parts of many more complicated words. The meaning and pronouciation of the more complicated words most of the time are close or related to the simple words they contain. With a good strategy (from a native adult teacher), learning one word a day means several words learned a day.
    Learning one word a day is a strategy for beginners. I expect no one has that much patience (or longevity, based on isaac's calculation) to learn the whole vocabulary one word a day. Neither is it necessary to know that many words in Chinese. Once a learner gets to intermediate level, they have the ability to take off on their own - find out the meaning and speaking of any words they meet and don't know it before.
    Anyway, learning Chinese as second language isn't as hard as it is rumored is my opinion.