Helpful Memorization Tips



Like the quote I just posted says: the information that we ‘plant’ in our students has more worth than what we pour into their heads. This of course accounts for the fact that we often ‘over pour’ in any given lesson :). However, there are sometimes when planting just isn’t enough on it’s own; you also have to remember where you planted, what kind of soil is best and what kind of bulb it is! This is where learning and memorizing form a precarious, yet harmonious balance. There are certain things that ‘just are’ and student simply need to remember them that way. This, Of course, should be paired with contextual practice and that is where the ‘planting’ comes in. I just read a short, but sweet article in the Cambridge Grammar Newsletter by Alice Savage that suggests these 3 things:

1. Break it up! Memorize in short 10-20 minute bursts and at optimal times like before bed or before exercising. These times are good because your leave your brain alone and it has the chance to process the info without your meddling thoughts and personality getting in the way.

2. Study in different places. If you always study in the same place, your brain will attach too much information to that one place and there won’t be a helpful trigger to bring the info back up. It is like when you study while listening to a song—Thinking about that song will help you remember what you were trying to memorize.

3. Marry the thing you are memorizing with a creative and odd visual. If you are trying to memorize the word ‘mukluks’ (a soft boot usually made of reindeer or seal skin and worn by the Inuit), envision yourself in the Arctic trudging through the snow in search of the illusive Yeti! You don’t have to go as far as that, but just like with tip number 2, the more you can attach to what you are trying to remember the more avenues you are creating for that info to travel back to you.

There are many other tips like using rhythm, chants and mnemonic devices. Also, how could one forget repetition! Anywho, I hope you find these tips helpful and can share them with your students!


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