I just have SO much trouble with remembering new languages! Does anybody have any ideas to help me remember and to have fun studying Spanish? (ie. flashcards...) I really need HELP!

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asked by Helen
  1. I sent your post to our foreign language expert, SraJMcGin. I'm sure she'll have several suggestions.

  2. First of all, if you haven't done it yet, learn what kind of learner you are: visual, aural, kinesthetic or a combination. Once you know that, you know how to "attack" anything you want to learn.

    1.  a personality test for "What kind of learner are you" but I'm sure he won't know what some of the words mean (seethe?):

    2.  this is more like what I did with my students:

    3.  3 types of learners:
    look at the menu above as well

    4.  this is more on his level:

    5.  fun one maybe for you?

    6.  more typical questions:

    7.  more background:

    I'll tell you more in the next post.

    Sra (aka Mme)

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  3. Some general ideas for memorizing:

    Take a deep breath and scan over what you are to memorize.
    Be sure to be in a quiet room with appropriate lighting.
    Look for patterns and other ways to break the material into groups of 3 to 4 familiar elements if possible. (a “set”)
    Try to find any elements from your own experience (memorizing by association) Create an acronym or a vivid “story” to help with tricky words.

    For Auditory Learners:

    Listening repetition will help remember the order of things. A hand-held recorder was great for this, but without one: read the first “grouping”, then repeat it without the paper. Then read the first and second “grouping” and then say it without the paper. Then read the first, second and third “grouping” and then repeat with out the paper. Go through the poem that way first. (It’s usually the ending that is the hardest to remember so it could take concentrating on the ending more.) Repeat that process until you can say all of it with out the paper. Repeat the poem aloud 3 times. If you can not, start all over!

    It’s important to take a 20- to 30-minute break once it is rough ly memorized. Relax your brain by doing something you enjoy. After the break, see if you still have it. If not, work on the sections that cause trouble. Take another break before you try recording it. That way you can practice “osmosis” by listening to it even while you sleep!

    Walk around the room while you are studying and repeating as that forces both the right and the left brain to work at memorizing!

    For Visual Learners:

    Begin in a peaceful environment with no distractions. Color code key words. (bilous green, yellow, etc. help “set” these words in y our mind. Put a “post0it” or small card in a location you frequent, such as the bedroom door. Read it every time you pass by. Frequently write and rewrite the poem. (in sections) Find someone to study with who has the same poem. Draw diagrams/graphs, write out explanations. Also walk around while studying and repeating to use both halves of the brain. Focus on important key words.

    For Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners:

    Try to be creative, pretending to be the main character in the poem, mimicing or picturing yourself as that character. (Stanislovsky) Take key words and put them on flash cards with stickers or drawings (anything visual to represent what’s on the flashcard), scramble them and try to put them in order. It’s a good idea to write the sequence down first so you’ll be able to check that you have the right order. Some of the tips for visual and auditory learners should help, especially learning by association and repeating aloud as you walk around. A kinesthetic learner MUST be interactive with the material.

    One of my students traced “footsteps” as flash cards which she laid out on the floor and walked around, seeing and saying outloud, as she stepped on each footstep!


    Getting stressed just makes it harder so relax and try to make it fun. Working in sections just before sleeping keeps it fresher when you wake up. Often if you learn each section in a different room, it helps. Eating while you memorize stimulates the brain (not fatty foods like cookies, but perhaps raisins or a small biscuit to reward yourself after you learn each section.) Short, frequent breaks are important so you exercise which also stimulates the brain.

    Things you’ll need (if possible):

    A list of what you need to memorize.
    A pen and a notebook.
    A tape recorder.

    The more you memorize, the easier it will be. The usual sequence: SEE it, SAY it, WRITE it, even ACT it out, SING it... Once you find what works for you, “go for it!”

    Now, if you tell me what kind of learner you are, I may have more ideas. If you also tell me your textbook, I may have special sites for that.

    ¡Buena Suerte!

    Sra (aka Mme)

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  4. Thanks for all that! I'm a visual learner, and in class right now we are not using our textbook because we are working on a Spanish country project, but we have to memorize some lines in Spanish for our presentation. So far this has really helped, thanks again!

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    posted by Helen
  5. I just wanted to mention politely that I am a girl.

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    posted by Helen

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