Studying English is always one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions

Clara Akemi
Although people make an effort to learn English, they often have difficulty memorising new vocabulary and grammatical rules. However, this may be because they are not aware how their brains work.

According to research carried out on some of Brazil’s brightest students, they were not geniuses but had strategies to help them remember. For example, they often used mnemonic devices to help them remember new information. And beyond that, all of them reviewed their class notes every night for 15 to 20 minutes before hitting the sack (going to bed). Scientists say that what people experience in the last 20 minutes before going to sleep stays in their memory all night, and has more chance of entering their long-term memory.

Nevertheless, everyone can develop logical-mathematical ability, creating their own mnemonic system with lyrics, poems, images, etc. Repetition is the key to learning. The context is also fundamental, it includes new vocabulary in a phrase which is relevant to your life. This is a wonderful trick to aid memorisation. In addition to that, the brain enjoys movements and colours. When a black pen is used, only the left hemisphere is activated. If coloured pens are used, the right side is activated. So, try to write in at least two different colours, in big, bold letters, to emphasise essential things.

Everyone can get a good memory. You have to study for no more than 50-minute sessions followed by about 12 minutes of rest. After that, your performance drops tremendously. But most importantly, remember that learning is most effective when it is fun!
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