I want to start this post with the caveat that I believe simple vocabulary based flashcards are less efficient than full sentences. The reason why I believe this is the same reason that mnemonic techniques like memory palaces work for memorizing facts and other information. The added situational context and detail makes forgetting less easy. And yes, I phrased it that way intentionally. It doesn't make remembering easier, it makes forgetting less easy. And to be clear, what I do not mean is that context-based learning of vocabulary is superior to simply using a flash card. The science on this topic is clear: in the long run there is no significant difference in retention of vocabulary learned contextually as compared to vocabulary learned via memorization and refreshed using spaced repetition. But there is a difference in short term memory retention between these two classes. What this shows is that a combined approach of context-based learning with spaced repetition for review is preferable for enhancing short and long-term gains in learning. So simply combining a list-based vocabulary Memrise course with extensive reading and listening can have a nearly exponential effect on vocabulary acquisition in the short and long terms.
And now, to the point. I've found a series of courses based on the book Using Italian Vocabulary that I think is very applicable to students studying at the B levels. The problem is they seem to be somewhat scattered. The Memrise user abilegge has created a huge subset of courses on the book but it seems she may have left some of the words out. Another user, arbor151, has created fewer courses but it seems like those courses are more complete. I have compiled them here and I will be creating the remaining courses once I get to them. Even though I have marked most of these as B2+, much of the vocabulary is applicable to a B1 level student but the vast majority is probably too much. My suggestions is that if you are studying at the B1 level, you should really pay attention to the levels in each course because your time might be better spent elsewhere. If you are confidently speaking and writing at the B1 level and you are ambitious, go ahead and get started.
Using Italian Vocabulary
- Towns, cities, and Buildings/The household/Gardens - B2+ [50% complete]
- The physical world/The animal world/The weather - B2+ [completed]
- The body/Health services - B2+ [50% complete]
- Physical appearance/Body language - B2+ [10% complete]
- Personality/Behavior - B2+ [completed]
- Clothing, footware, and accessories/Food and drink - B2+ [50% complete]
- Perception, moods, and the mind - B2+
- Quantity, shape, measurement, and size/Containers - B2+
- The arts/The media - B2+
- Literature and writing/Expressions, interaction, speaking, reading, writing, and phoning - B2+
- Leisure/Sport - B2+
- Travel/Transportation - B2+
- The lifecycle/Religion - C1+
- Education/Science - C1+
- Agriculture/Industry - C1+
- The business world/Employment - B2+
- The office and computing/Communications - B2+
- Law/Finance - C1+
- Geography/History and war - C1+
- Politics/Social services and issues - C1+
Update: Another excellent course that focuses more on phrases and expressions than vocabulary is 1100 Intermediate Expressions. It currently has more than 1250 items and was added to as late as July, 2017. This course has actually become the core of my SRS studies in 2017. Statuses above are up-to-date as of 2017/08/02.