tips i`ve learnt recently

April 11, 2007 at 7:45 am | Posted in Notes | Leave a comment

been reading a few books on memory. here a few easy tips i thought might be useful for us mnemonicists…

1. make it a movie, not a still frame. example – ringo = apple. don`t just have a picture of ringo (the beatle) eating a apple. see him playing drums while thousands of fans through bright red apples that splatter all over this drum set…etc. it only takes a little extra brain power to do this, but it helps alot.

2. exagerate. colors, sound, movement, everything. don`t hold back. ringo`s drumset isnt`t just getting hit by a few apples. its getting hit by billions of them. and they are punching through his bass drum. and ringo is screaming at the fans to stop throwing apples. and one apple is 50 feet tall…etc. the more senses you engage, the stronger its going to be.

3. as much as possible, use personal life examples. often you will have friends with names that appear in japanese words. if you don`t have a friend named LU (ru), FIND ONE OR MAKE ONE UP. those of you who know about ichidan verbs will know what i`m talking about. use your own personal history – that time you went sking, or had to fight a wild bear, etc.

4. if you have a mnemonic, but you constantly find yourself getting the word wrong by one syllble – sho jikkU instead of sho jikkI for example, then place what i like to call a `visual reminder` into your scene. in the above example, you somehow associate the image of a key in your mnemonic, even if its very minor adjustment. i get to the word, stumple because i`m not sure if its KU or KI, but then remember the ki signalling the KI sound. i hope you can understand how i presented this last tip. it sounds complicated but it really isn`t. i use it often to help fix mnemonics for words that i have trouble remembering the entire word exactly. if you need a better explanation leave a comment.

5. learn how to properly use flashcards. get 10 cards. review them, and try to get them into your short term using whatever methods you prefer – mnemonics, brute force, etc. then, when you can go through the ten cards recalling each word in under 5 seconds, stop, and go through the words backwards. if you can still recall all the words, put that pile aside and set your timer for 15 minutes. do something else (study more words, do some reading study, etc) untill your timer goes off. then grab your pile and see how many you can get. if your mnemonics or memory skills are reasonable, you should be able to get 7-10 of them. any ones you don`t get, put aside, and add them to your next batch of 10. then, review them again after a period of one day. this really helps to burn something into your memory. as a example, you space out your study periods. set of 10 cards, study grammer book or whatever, review 10 cards, new cards + cards you couldn`t memorize, grammer book again for 15 minutes, then review those 10 cards. lets say after after a few sessions you have 40 cards. then the next day, before you start studying you review the previous days 40 cards.

UPDATED NOTE : I now exclusively use mnemosyne and khatzumemo. Check the second and third site for more info about spaced repitition software in general, and why you should know about them if you ever want to have any hope of learning lots of information and keeping it.

ok see ya, sorry for the spelling mistakes. i`m writing this in japan and this browser is really old and i can`t spell check, etc etc complain complain.

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