How to learn English effectively

Mnemonics and mind maps

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Use mnemonics to learn English

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A mnemonic is a memory aid. Mnemonics are often verbal, are sometimes in verse form, and are often used to remember lists. Mnemonics rely not only on repetition to remember facts, but also on creating associations among easy-to-remember constructs and lists of data.

Let's suppose you just want to remember the meaning of words concave and convex. Concave means a surface that is curved inwards in the middle and convex means a surface curved outwards (like the surface of your eye). The words are very similar and it's easy to confuse them. That's where mnemonics come in handy. Have a look at the picture of convex and concave mirrors below. The hollowed-out interior of a concave mirror is like a cave, isn't it? Now it should be easy to distinguish the words from each other.

Use your imagination when you write down new words! Draw pictures, funny cartoons and whatever will help you remember them.

Three years ago, I drew a picture of a photo frame in my notebook with a caption in the picture. It had to remind me that we say in the picture, not on the picture as I used to say. And I still remember it!

You can also use mnemonics to help you remember the spelling of words. Here are two examples:

  • rhythm = Rhythm Has Your Two Hips Moving
  • necessary = Never Eat Crisps, Eat Salad Sandwiches, And Remain Young!

Remember that mnemonics can't replace doing repetitions. It's not enough to use a mnemonic that helps you remember the meaning or the spelling of a word - without repetitions, you will forget it anyway.

Draw mind maps

Mind maps can help you remember groups of related words. Here's an example:

Travel words - a mind map


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