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The importance of memory in language learning.

 

Importance of memory in language learning.

I'm pretty qualified to write this as my education is medical based.

Firstly, have any of you ever thought about how important memory is when learning?

I want in as fun and simple a way as possible to share my knowledge. :)

First, providing you are normal & healthy..remembering something involves 3 stages.
1st: "encoding" - taking information in
2nd: "storage" - storing information
3rd: "retrieval" - finding information from our stores when we need it.

So therefore we can logically conclude that ways to improve these 3 things will help you to remember and then recall a new word or information.

A key important thing to know is that our memories are highly organized and we can improve our recall by adding meaning and structure to information we take in.
So with English we learn first by hearing and then noticing a word, we then try to understand the significance of what we just read or
heard by checking it against like a data base of previously known information, then once we understand it we try to memorise it.
So How can we add structure to help that stage 2 "storage"? we kinda simple...

- When learning a word, don't learn it in isolation.
e.g iron. but instead, learn it along with lots of other similar items found in a home.
- Also have word lists showing the phonetics, translation, picture, collocation, grammer, and a target example sentence containing the new word.
Again..this structuring helps categorise information in the hippocampus. (The part of the brain responsible for storage of memory)


Also in terms of 1) "Encoding".
Consider this cool sentence...
"The great eagle quickly swooped down to grab the rabbit." I bet you were imagining the eagle right? Good! :) That's what is called "Semantic processing" of memory. This is the deepest type of memory encoding.
Semantic = meaning

You can memorise semantically by just visualising in your mind what you want to remember happening, and the more emotional, bizarre or silly the better!
This works much better than acoustic encoding of memory - just saying a word over and over as this encoding is shallow and not deep.

Also, get some sleep! :)
This is vital because during the night in the stage of deep sleep, information is taken from the neocortex to the hippocampus to be consolidated.

That's all...hope I have helped you all & have fun in your learning!

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