YESNYOU – Remember me?

Hi everyone,

What was the topic of the last blog? Do you remember? Possibly not. Do you remember what you had for dinner last night? Probably, yes. Do you remember what you had for dinner on the same day last week? I certainly don’t! This week’s blog is all about memory – what it’s for, how it works, and how to make the best use of it in your learning.

What it’s for

Memory is essential for our functioning as human beings. It is at the centre of our personal identity. Without memory we would have no concept of having a past and no way to reflect upon our relationships with other people. Without it we wouldn’t be able to retain the information that we need to make future decisions.

How it works

Memory consists of three processes: registration, retention and recall.

Memory function

How to make the best use of it in your learning

How do you learn vocabulary? Do you keep a personal dictionary of the new words that you learn? How much do you read in English outside of work? Here are 5 quick tips to help you to register, retain and recall all those wonderful new words!

number1Repeat, repeat, repeat! It takes between 10 and 20 repetitions to really make a word part of your vocabulary. And that doesn’t mean just saying it out loud 20 times! Write the word in emails, say the word to friends and colleagues, use the word whenever you can!

2You’ve got a smartphone – use it! Look up words that you don’t know. Understanding where a word comes from and how it is used will definitely help you to remember it! Say words that are new to you into the recorder of your phone, or WhatsApp them to other people. Recording yourself lets you feel the words in your mouth, like fine wine!

3Don’t nibble, bite! Spend some of your time learning lexical chunks (there are three words for you to look up!) That means learning common phrases and not individual words. You’ll be ready to use the phrases when you need them, and you’ll be learning the words in context, which will help you to retain them.

4Use mnemonics! Mnemonics are memory tricks that help you to remember things. I remember the colours of the rainbow by saying “Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain” (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet), and the Spanish word for ‘hole’ (agujero) by thinking A GOO HERO. “A GOO HERO” doesn’t mean anything in English, but it sounds funny to me, so I remember it.

5Play games! There are lots of places online where you can play classic word games like Scrabble, Boggle and crosswords. One of my favourites is www.wordplays.com. If you have a spare five minutes, put your English to the test!

 

Of course, the best way to improve your English and use your vocabulary is to write to us! You can leave a post at the bottom of this page, write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es).

Until next time,

Al

 

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