— by Jane Sandwood, writer and contributor at Mondly —
Whether you are young or old, learning a new language can be a challenge. The degree of similarity between one’s native language and the language being learned can introduce additional obstacles to becoming fluent. If you are struggling along in your journey to master a new language, don’t give up! There are numerous techniques available to use to help boost your memory and become fluent sooner than you thought possible.
Ready to supercharge your learning abilities? Check out these 7 incredible memory hacks.
Hack #1: Utilize mnemonic devices
A mnemonic device is “something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula.” You can create a mnemonic device (such as a song or an acronym) to help you easily remember new words and phrases. Get creative and make up a catchy device that you’ll have no problem remembering!
Hack #2: Use the method of learning that works best for you
Because everyone is built a little differently, we all learn in unique ways as well. Some learn best by reading materials, while others require visuals to help material stick. Once you’ve finished your core lessons, spend your extra study time learning in the way you respond to best.
Hack #3: Associate words with visuals
Even if you aren’t a “visual learner,” associating new words with images of the things and people they represent (rather than your native language’s equivalent word) is extremely useful. When you use this technique, you learn in a way that is similar to how you learned your native language (by associating words with images of what they represent).
Hack #4: Repeat information frequently
Regular repetition is key when learning new information. This is especially true when learning a new language. Take what you’ve learned from each lesson and review the content in spaced out blocks of time. Using this memory hack will help you store the information in your long-term memory, rather than cramming it into your short-term memory.
Hack #5: Go to sleep
In order to help our brains retain information, adequate sleep is an absolute must. Be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
Hack #6: Write words/phrases down on paper
Studies have found that the act of writing material down on paper helps commit that material to memory. Have several words or phrases that you can’t seem to memorize? Write them down on paper multiple times to help aid in memorization.
Hack #7: Try the “memory palace” technique
One of the oldest memory hacks in use is known as the method of loci or the memory palace. How do you use this technique? You first imagine a place with which you are familiar (e.g. your home, work). Next, you imagine various locations you could visit within this place. When given a list of new words, you can create scenes in your mind that associate each word with those locations in some way. The key is to make each scene memorable enough in your mind so that you can quickly and easily learn each word.
Do memory hacks work for everyone?
While individual memory capabilities vary, the hacks listed above have been scientifically proven to boost almost anyone’s ability to learn new material. You may find that some of these memory hacks work better for you than others. Once you decide which tricks work best for you, you can then use them to help you successfully learn a new language.