It’s not what you learn, it’s HOW you learn

The key to learning a language is being abe to memorise words and grammar rules quickly and for these memories to become lasting (stored in our long-term memory). Nobody has a good or bad memory, the difference is in how you learn.

Here are 3 rules to help you memorise quickly and efficiently all the French you need

1. No distractions while you’re learning French

The brain records what is important. If you’re doing several things at once only the important information wil be recorded.

If you’re putting your keys away at the same time as talking to your husband, your mind will not record where your keys are or what your husband said …

It’s not that you forgot, the memory was never formed.

So, Rule number 1: when you’re learnning French, fully concentrate on the language and forget everything else going through your mind.


2. Use your perceptions to create memories of French words/grammar

Perception is the first step in the creation of a memory (when you meet somebody, your brain records their feature, the sound of their voice, their perfume).

You have probably noticed that you’re more visual, auditory, sensory or kinesthetic (touch). If you don’t know what you are, simply recall a brilliant holiday and use words to describe it. Notice the vocabulary you use. Do you refer more to what you saw, heard, smelt or touched? This will give you a good indication of the sense you like to use the most.

Once you know what sensory type you are, adapt your learning style accordingly. If you’re visual, watch French movies with subtitles, write things down, read. If you’re auditory, listen to French music, films, audio.

So, Rule number 2: find out what your primary sense is (visual, auditory) and use it to learn French.


3. Use space testing to remember French words/grammar for ever

Once a memory is formed, it is then encoded and stored but, if not reinforced, it will just fade and eventually disappear.

In order to remember French words/grammar, you have to strengthen these memories to make them lasting.

You do so by testing yourself at regular intervals.

The way you recall the memory is important. You’ve got to make it a test rather than just re-reading a list. In this way, the recall process becomes active and you have more chance of remembering what you’re stydying.

The frequency at which you recall the memory is also important. You’ve got more chance of consolidating the memory if you recall it just before you’re about to forget it, namely:
1- a few seconds after learning it
2- a few minutes after
3- a few hours later (so 3 times the first day)
4- the day after
5- the week after
6- the month after
7-a few months after
8-a year after.

So, Rule number 3: Test your memories of French words/grammar at specific intervals in order to consolidate them and make them lasting


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