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Learning A Foreign Language: Learn From The Blind - Articles Surfing
Scientific studies about memory can help you to enrich your vocabulary quickly and, if not easily, far easier than you think. According to the criteria for accessibility, a website menu should not count more than 9 items: it is the larger number of items that blind people can memorize at once. And, most of the time, the blind are more able to focus than average people.
The most effective list contains 5 to 6 words at a time. Yes! Your larger list contains 6 words. Are you still afraid of the task? I'm sure you can deal with 6 words at a time. If you could draw your memory, you would draw a two room flat. The first room, your instant memory, is large enough for 6 items. Your deep memory, the second room, has no limit, but it can receive no more than 6 items at a time and wants you to confirm your order.
If you are determined to learn a foreign language, you can't rely on luck to enrich your vocabulary. Don't fight against Nature, use it. Take advantage of this human feature instead of struggling with it. You have got six-item boxes, but the number of boxes is unlimited, and anyway, long lists are boring.
Fill a box, send it, confirm your order! again and again. It is the fastest and best way to enrich your vocabulary. Do you recognize the "first five minute factor"? When you begin a novel, when you start watching a movie, you meet the characters. Honestly, how often do you have to rewind the tape to encounter them a second time? Never. Neither need you to re-read the first chapter of a book. (Though I admit I have some trouble with Dostoievski's characters.)
Make the first five minute factor the slave of your memory.
1- Check 6 words in a dictionary.
2- Learn them. Each time it is possible, learn words in association (see part II): table/chair, son/daughter, inside/outside, high/low etc. Make associations that are meaningful for you. I think easy to learn "son" and "daughter" but you may feel easier to learn "son" and "boy". Any association that works for you is a good one.
3- Take a break in order to empty your immediate memory. (For me, singing a verse is enough.) Let the new words "sleep" for an hour while you fill other boxes. At the end of the session, revise everything.
4- The day after, revise the whole list again, carefully, box by box, before filling a new one.
It seems slow to learn that way? It is not. Remember the waste of time it has been to learn and re-learn the same words in your school years, and still not to know them. Put this method on trial while waiting for the next issue: why and how to become a kind of ventriloquist.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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