I’ve always liked to learn. But sometimes I’ve found myself in trouble for not being able to learn something efficiently or easily. That’s why I’ve developed several techniques to eliminate the principal problems I’ve noticed I’ve had in the process of learning. In this series of articles, I’ll try to explain some of the best tips, tricks and/or techniques for learning languages I’ve developed.
One of the most common problems people may find when trying to learn a foreign language is memorizing new words. I know the best thing you can do for learning new words is to use them in a conversation, as only memorizing them could give you the problem of not understanding well how to use that word in a sentence. I highly recommend you to learn your first words doing or reading conversations, but if you already know the basics of the grammar of the language you’re learning, I believe memorizing words isn’t a bad idea.
For this technique you’ll need: post-it notes, a pen and a dictionary. Search for words you’d like to learn in your dictionary and write them in the post-it notes (one word per post-it). Then just paste your post-it notes in places where you’d see them frequently, like in the bathroom, in your bedroom, in your car, etc. That’s all! Pretty simple, right?
The secret behind this so simple technique is the subconscious mind. When doing your daily tasks, you’ll be reading the words you posted subconsciously, making it easier to remember them. Now, it’s important to say that you won’t be memorizing all the words you posted magically; this is just a technique for making the memorizing a lot easier. After some days after all the looking to those yellow papers, try to study a few minutes the language you’re learning, and I bet you the words will become more “familiar” and will stay in your mind forever.
If your concern is to memorize a huge number of words quickly, you can use flash cards and this technique; combining these techniques results in a fast memorizing, but be warned: using flash cards sometimes makes you not to remember the words for a long period of time (well, at least that’s what happens to me), which can result as a waste of time and effort.
That’s it, this is a very simple way of making the language learning a bit easier. You can use the post-it technique to memorize other things, like answers for an exam, concepts, or even a script! Actually, I once used this technique for memorizing a script in high school; just leave the script pages around the usual places you visit, and try looking at them occasionally, without actually reading them.
Remember, this technique is for helping you remember what you want to memorize, not to magically memorize everything.