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The Awesome Magic of Learning and Memory

The Awesome Magic of Learning and Memory. "Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume. " Jean de Boufflers. What is Memory?. Memory is at the heart of learning. It is truly the "sine qua non".

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The Awesome Magic of Learning and Memory

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  1. The Awesome Magic of Learning and Memory "Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume. " Jean de Boufflers

  2. What is Memory? • Memory is at the heart of learning. It is truly the "sine qua non". • Humans have memory by nature, but it shouldn't be taken for granted. • It can be improved by: • A) understanding it • B) training it • C) using techniques that maximize its potential for each individual ISUGA 2005

  3. The Concept of Short-term & Long-term Memory … • Short-term memory isn't much use in the long-term. • Most people forget up to 80% of what they hear unless it is transferred to long-term memory. • ERGO, transfer to LTM is vital. • So, what is needed to assure long-term memory retention? (LTMR) ISUGA 2005

  4. Long-term Memory depends greatly on: • the emotional intensity of first exposure to stimulus • the level of interest in & commitment to the situation or topic if you're not interested or emotionally-stimulated by an event, you won't remember it …. Ergo: GET INTERESTED - GET COMMITTED • This shouldn't be hard - it's what we're here for …. AND THERE'S A BONUS ….. • InterestED people are interestING people ISUGA 2005

  5. BEFORE A CLASS - THE PRACTICAL STEPS • PREVIEW the material: read up on it in advance. • Prepare QUESTIONS in advance. • Think about possible answers to these questions - IN ADVANCE. • Prepare physically, be interested, ask questions. • Ensure you get and UNDERSTAND answers during the class; it's difficult to remember what you don't understand! • Recite and/or reformulate teacher's points IN YOUR OWN WORDS = NOTES. • Reformulation AIDS LTMR; relying solely on teacher handouts DOES NOT. • Get things clear FIRST TIME -> first impressions are vital -> what is learned wrongly is difficult to correct. ISUGA 2005

  6. OVERLEARNING • Don't stop practice at the point when you can perform a task; DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN. • This considerably STRENGTHENS the learning. RECITATION • SAYING THINGS in your own words STRENGTHENS LTMR. • Ergo, REFORMULATE ideas in your own words. • Do Q&A practice with a partner. • TALK TO YOURSELF; repeat foreign language material in your head …… • When reading, consider "VOCALIZING"; evidence suggests this aids LTMR. ISUGA 2005

  7. ORGANISING MATERIAL • The FUNNEL approach - get clear understanding of OVERALL concepts before trying to master details. • Go from GENERAL to SPECIFIC. • Using ASSOCIATION enhances LTMR; you want to learn the word "steel", so learn it along with the word "iron". • Group similar ideas & concepts together. • Use GRAPHIC as well as VERBAL input: • e.g. Associate a noun with a PICTURE. • Use MINDMAPS; don't necessarily be LINEAR. stapler ISUGA 2005

  8. ACTIVE LEARNING • DOING, RECITING, QUESTIONING & PARTICIPATING aid LTMR • SITTING, LISTENING, READING & NOT PARTICIPATING DO NOT aid LTMR REPETITION & LEARNING "HOOKS" Practise using material you want to learn: • … on different occasions • … in different ways • … with different people Each different and separate exposure to - and practice of - material strengthens LTMR. ISUGA 2005

  9. TEACHING IT MAKES YOU LEARN IT BEST • Learn & revise with a partner, or in a study group. • Take turns to "teach" your partner(s) specific topics. • This involves you analyzing, reformulating, reciting and answering questions about the material. • Many people say it's not till they have had to teach something that they have fully understood it and that it all "hangs together". ISUGA 2005

  10. CONCLUSION • Some learning is automatic; much learning isn't. • You can improve learning with specific techniques. • A single exposure to input leaves little in long-term memory. • People who have "naturally" good memories are often those who pay attention to the above points. • Whatever your natural learning ability, it can be improved by focussed learning activities. ISUGA 2005

  11. What you have to do … ISUGA 2005

  12. PRONUNCIATION • ask teacher to repeat it • repeat it yourself, loudly or silently • exaggerate the stress • use it in a phrase • write it down with the stress pattern What you have to do …. Recording the stress pattern, e.g; for the word "container": Container: o O o - conTAIner - container - container - container- container Or indeed: conTAIner(o O o) o O o o Do the same with: "photographer": ISUGA 2005

  13. COPYING TO COMPUTER What you have to do …. • GET A GOOD DICTIONARY!! • set up an organised system • use Excel or a database • don't write just the word itself: add synonyms, words in the same group • use your system regularly ISUGA 2005

  14. an example of recording vocabulary ISUGA 2005

  15. Understanding the origin of words: Most words have a history. Knowing a word's history helps make it easier to remember. Here are some examples: ISUGA 2005

  16. Graphical aids to learning to abduct a child an abduction to produce production to abduct to conduct to induct to educate to deduce to introduce to produce to reduce to seduce to deduce make a deduction to seduce a seduction seductive to conduct electricity an electrical conductor to conduct onself good conduct to educate education educative duct lat ducere = to lead to induct = teach (to introduce or lead someone to) to introduce an introduction an introductory offer now do the same for the latin word: "tractare" an air duct as in a ventilation system to reduce to make a reduction a viaduct, e.g. a road over a valley an aqueduct (which leads water somewhere) ISUGA 2005

  17. Ordering, Sequencing, Hierarching Here's another example ….. platinumaluminiumbronzesapphirelimestoneleadgold emeraldraresilvermarblemasonrypreciousruby common iron metals stones alloys brassdiamondslate You’re told to learn these words. How do you go about it? ISUGA 2005

  18. Sort your words first!!!! - Ordering, Sequencing, Hierarching …. MINERALS Metals Stones Precious Rare Alloys Masonry Common gold platinum silver aluminium copper iron lead brass bronze steel diamond emerald ruby sapphire granite limestone marble slate ISUGA 2005

  19. The Origin of words - learn the ROOTS!! Copy and enhance this table ……… then make a table of SUFFIXES. ISUGA 2005

  20. Practising and Learning your words …. Make up some practice cards to test yourself or to work with a partner, for example: Side A symbiosis o o O o Side B the intimate living together of two species for mutual benefit ISUGA 2005

  21. Practising and Learning your words …. Use the two column method, for example to practise words in the "tractare" family: to take back or withdraw a statement to retract a statement to grow smaller to contract a person critical of someone else a detractor to remove or take out something to extract to take one number away from another to subtract person or company engaged to do a job contractor ISUGA 2005

  22. General practice reinforces vocabulary learning! • You MUST read English regularly: • magazines: "Time", "Business Week", "The Economist", "Asia Review" etc • biographies • novels, including crime stories • BBC • International Herald Tribune • CNN • SKY NEWS • TIME Magazine • You MUST check news websites every day: • You MUST try to listen to BBC Radio 4 regularly on LW 198. • You MUST watch TV regularly: news and other programmes, but also videos that can be borrowed …… ISUGA 2005

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