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Learning Language: Why Would You Learn Words You Never Use In Your Mother Tongue? - Articles Surfing
The previous article explained why methods based upon mnemotechnics do not work (Alas!). However, you have to learn vocabulary in order to master a foreign language. Is a list of words a valuable tool?
Imagine a child sitting in front of a desk, his head in his hands, and mumbling various lists of words over and over. Does this child remind you of your own experience? If yes, I bet that "list of words" does not sound appealing to you. You are almost ready to swear that they do not work. Before you mortgage your part of paradise, it may be wise to make sure you are right.
You can open a dictionary and begin to learn it by heart (a dictionary is no more than a list of words). There are many illustrated dictionaries that offer you the same resources as plenty of websites do by displaying colorful pictures with captions. You know that because you have already tried to enrich your vocabulary that way. The scope of the task curbed your enthusiam. Though, it is not a bad way to learn vocabulary, it is even the better way for one person: the author of the list. Why?
You are unique. Your memory is unique, not only because your memories are yours, and only yours, but also because the way you store them is yours and only yours. For a large part, memory is about association of ideas and the associations you make depend on your experience.
Let's study an example to make it clear. Ask anyone to give you a word in relation with the common word "horse". You will get mare, race, chivalry or Trojan, etc, depending on the person who answers.
The more personal the links between the words, the easier the way to learn them. That is why a list works at its best for its author. The connections between the words pre-exist in the author's head. So, pave your way, prepare your own list!
It will fit in with your way of thinking;
In the third issue, we will see how to take advantage of scientific studies about human memory. There are many ways to learn a foreign language. Why would you choose the hardest one?
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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