Saturday, 21 April 2012

How to Memorise Things

This is a snippet from a recent talk given by Tim Murphey which you can read about here.
Five ways to help us remember:
1.   Chunking from back to front; that is, taking a sentence you have to remember and splitting it into short chunks which you then build up from the end back to the beginning.
For example:
“I’m afraid he’s not here at the moment.”

                                     at the moment.

                        not here at the moment.

                 he’s not here at the moment.

 I’m afraid he’s not here at the moment.

2.   Using rhythm – marking a beat by tapping on the palm of your hand or stamping your foot or touching your head.  The actions help you to remember the words.

3.   Putting words into song tunes – we all remember learning the alphabet as children by singing it – in fact, I’m sure a lot of us still remember the tune!  This is an extension of that.

4.   Shadowing – repeating in your head everything that you hear.  Studies have shown that this is even more effective if you move your lips whilst you do it!
5.   Use it or lose it! – practise all the time!!

I’m sure that we can all think of ways to apply these memory techniques in the language classroom.  I welcome your comments.

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