Remember Foreign Words and Write Better Essays

on 11/04/2018

Problems with Memory

It`s believed that Americans and the British aren`t in a hurry to study foreign languages. Why would they? English is an international language of communication. No matter where you are and who you are talking to, everybody is supposed to speak English, right?

Sorry, dear native English speakers, but it`s far from being entirely true. There are so many countries where you would end up getting lost, staying hungry and with no roof over your head for a night simply because you were hoping that everybody spoke English there.

And we`re talking not only about Africa or outlying islands. You can get into awkward situations in Italy or France, and only God knows where else.

Of course, you know that an ability to speak a widespread foreign language is very beneficial for your development and career. This knowledge will give you so many opportunities. So, if you weren`t paying enough attention to language classes at school, the university is the best time.

Besides, perhaps, you`d like to come to a non-English-speaking country to get a master`s degree, so there are many advantages. However, there may be many disappointments as well.

The most common one is absolute inefficiency of your memory. No worries, we`ve got a special recipe to help you out with that. You`ll get familiar with some really cool techniques which will help you get considerably better at remembering foreign words.

And if you want to provide your mind with some better nutrition which will be extremely beneficial for your memory, this article will get you straight to the point.

At Least Foreign Words Make Sense

Hermann Ebbinghaus is a prominent German psychologist who was incredibly successful in his experiments at the end of the 19th century. To avoid boring you with some facts of his biography, let`s just say that he was a pretty cool guy who discovered a method to remember unknown words in the most effective way possible.

What do you know about a learning curve? I bet you`re at least familiar with the term. You can refresh your memory with the aid of this site. Meanwhile, let me go on because we will obviously come back to a learning curve a bit later.

Patience is the key, ladies and gentlemen.

So, what is Hermann Ebbinghaus` contribution to the big world of science? He decided to find out whether there was a limit of human memory. I bet that`s the question you`re asking yourself during every exam session, right?

The psychologist gathered a group of examinees and made them memorize a huge number of words. Well, these were the words that made absolutely no sense. They simply didn`t exist. It was just random combinations of letters like “lor” or “biv”, or whatever.

This so-called “word” had to have two consonants and one vowel. These combinations of letters were placed in a certain order, and participants were supposed to memorize that order. There were thousands of those words. Poor examinees!

But they were suffering for the sake of science. Thanks to all that work the researcher came up with a method which made the memorizing process very effective. You can try it and see for yourself if it helps you write essays in a foreign language.

Practice Makes You Perfect

Learning a Foreign Language

The more you repeat the words the better. That`s what you`ve been hearing for a long time since elementary school. It actually works, but a few amendments are still needed.

There is a particular effective method you should apply while memorizing the foreign words. Time intervals are very important. That`s actually what the learning curve is all about. It points out that right after memorizing we remember 100% of the information given, which is logical. Within one hour we forget more than a half of this info. And after a week we manage to recall only 20% of it.

If you need to memorize some amount of information really fast (like when you have to pass an exam you’ve completely forgotten about) here`s a plan to help you out.

The first repetition should be right after memorizing. The second one – in 15-20 minutes, the third one – in 6-8 hours, the fourth one – in 24 hours. But remember that this technique works mainly for short-term memory. So, in case you`re studying to be a doctor, please don`t try to put the knowledge about human body into your short-term memory. You`re definitely going to use it very often.

In that case, you might prefer a learning method that will make the information stay in your head for a really long time. It`s useful when we`re talking about foreign words.

Just like in the Ebbinghaus` experiment, these words sound just like a bunch of letter combinations to you. So, it`s highly applicable to your purpose. You should repeat what you`ve learnt right after memorizing it. The second repetition comes in 20-30 minutes. The third one – in one day, the fourth one – in 2-3 weeks, the fifth one – in 2-3 months.

It seems that learning new words efficiently will take quite some time. But you`ll know for sure that each and every of them will stay in your long-term memory. Of course, only if you do everything right. If not, don`t blame us or Mr. Hermann Ebbinghaus.

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