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memorising techniques

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by arcenciel, May 2, 2012.

  1. Hello, I was just wondering if anybody had any tried and tested techniques for memorising that they could share with me please? Is there anything that you have found to be particularly effective, especially with lower ability pupils? A little effort probably wouldn't go amiss where my pupils are concerned but other than that...? I'm just constantly met with 'I can't remember stuff Miss'. Great..!
  2. Hello, I was just wondering if anybody had any tried and tested techniques for memorising that they could share with me please? Is there anything that you have found to be particularly effective, especially with lower ability pupils? A little effort probably wouldn't go amiss where my pupils are concerned but other than that...? I'm just constantly met with 'I can't remember stuff Miss'. Great..!
  3. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    Are we talking about memorizing whole chunks of text? Or vocab items? Or both?
  4. I think that memorising is a skill that needs to be built up.
    I find it extraordinary that actors can memorise large parts e.g. Hamlet. I am sure that I could not ever do it. However they appear to do it relatively easily, presumably because it is a skill that they have gradually worked up.
    However I do not find it too difficult to learn the declensions and conjugations for the OU Latin course I am doing. This is because it is the development of a skill I already had. That is hard wired in my brain.
    The problem with the students is that they have rarely had to memorise anything, so this skill is very under developed. Obviously this requires effort but suddenly having to learn chunks of language is probably a big ask. I think that it has to be built on from simple vocab learning in year 7. The amount of vocab should gradually be increased. Verbs could be learnt off by heart!
  5. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    I think different things work for different people. Today I have had success with linkword vocab for a particularly reluctant Germanist (nett means nice - got him to think about how nice it was when he scored a goal and it went into the net , and Schwimmbad - got him to think about someone doing something very very bad in the swimming pool - and then because the Schwimmbad was large made sure someone else was doing something gross.)

    I then had three very reluctant year 8 French boys and one of them in particular really 'got' the first-letter technique and reasonably quickly had memorised a bit of prose by using the first letter of each word as a prompt. The two others were less enamoured with that approach though.

    I have found reading myself my little bit of prose with first-letter prompts, over and over again, really helps, and then I can do it without the prompts.
  6. There are tricks such as Linkword, associating a new word with a silly idea, e.g. "skilos" is Greek for dog - think of a dog looking for a ski he has lost in an avalanche. There is also the "memory palace": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci
    Flashcards (e.g. BYKI) may work: http://www.byki.com/
    But in the end it all boils down to practice. I was born in 1942, and memorising vocab (English at primary school and foreign languages at secondary school) was a weekly routine: learn 20 words for homework and then be tested on them the following day. We also had to learn whole poems and speeches from Shakepeare by heart. I learned "Once more unto the breach" (Heny V) and "Tommorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" (Macbeth) in the 1950s. I can still recite both speeches perfectly.
    Graham Davies
  7. I don't think that there is any short term substitute. Except of course for effort and motivation which really do make compensate for so much.
  8. Teafrog79

    Teafrog79 New commenter

    Some of mine have found that the first letter also helps them, others get me to record on their phone and they listen to it over and over. Some have told me (but I am a bit doubtful) that they listen to particular songs while they learn some chunks and it helps... A very hard-working y11 wrote hers over and over.
    Drawings maybe (although they are not allowed anymore on the planning sheets)
    Going on a twilight session next week about memorisation, will come back if there's anything interesting and new.
  9. whapbapboogy

    whapbapboogy New commenter

  10. whapbapboogy

    whapbapboogy New commenter

  11. whapbapboogy

    whapbapboogy New commenter

  12. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    One of my less able (as in gets Fs & Gs on past papers) Y10 boys astounded me by doing a beautiful speaking controlled assessment recently - lovely accent, sounded very natural and clearly knew what he was telling me rather than just parroting something off by heart. When I asked him how he'd practised it, he said that he'd turned it into a song and then proceeded to sing the entirety of it for me to the tune of Ed Sheeran's 'The A Team'.He's into drama and says that's how he learns all of his lines for plays as well. I was impressed!
    I have another girl who entertains me enormously whenever she has to do a speaking assessment because she has to stand up and mime the entire thing as she's saying it. She puts an action to everything she's saying and remembers it that way, it seems to work very well for her. I have another pupil who is deaf and knows sign language, and she signs everything as she's saying it as she finds it easier to remember the signs than just the words. .
  13. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I also try to draw on the acting skills. I have two students in my Y11 who were in the school play this year, one who had quite a significant role. I asked her to talk to me a little about how she memorised all her lines. She said she never really had the chance to forget them because they were associated with an action, or movement, or replying to someone's question, so I got her to speak to the rest of the group for a bit, and I think they made the link.
    There are some powerpoints on here about different memorising techniques, including putting post-it notes with one sentence on each around a room (or the whole house) and physically walking from one to the other reciting each one in turn. I think that probably is the closest to the actor learning his or her lines in a play - the physical movement associated with a particular phrase.
    Personally I have a very visual memory, so making links with the spelling of a particular word helped me (I guess this is the Linkword method then?). Writing things out again and again also worked.
  14. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I once thought it would be a good idea to learn and regurgitate 17 lines of Schiller's Willhelm Tell to show Tell's state of mind when he was forced to shoot the arrow at the apple. I needn't have bothered. The speech was used for the context question, but at least knew my stuff.
  15. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    It does have a passing resemblance doesn't it.[​IMG]
  16. my son memorised all of his controlled assessments with a hefty dose of TASKMAGIC.
  17. there is a website called (memrise.com), it helped my pupils learn there Arabic vocabularies . I tried it first to see how it works.It can be used for lots of languages.
  18. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Memrise has been recommended several times on twitter this week. Haven't had time to check it out yet but sounds good.
  19. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    For the record, I don't object to tricks and methods to help students learn. I just object to having to pay for them (particularly if I can't try them or can't see what I'm getting for my money). One of my weakest Y8 pupils was resitting a test on body parts today and was struggling to remember the word for "arm" - as soon as I told him "the silly one" he remembered (non-French speakers, it is le bras btw). So obviously the trick of seeing tricks in words is a fairly instinctive one...
  20. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    I've done a carousel lesson on memory techniques in the past. I used look, cover, write (or speak) check, an excel spreadsheet to do exactly the same (because you can hide a column), a computer programme such as vocabexpress and 'coaching buddies' - as I call it. In addition, I've tried 'running' games with a text at the front of the class and exercises where I have a whole text on a powerpoint; Slide 1 shows the full text, slide 2 has gaps, slide 3 more gaps, then the last one is blank - the pupils continue to repeat what's on the slide - alternatively with key structures, they can adapt it to themselves.

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