A Trick for Learning Foreign Languages That is Easy and Free

By: Kathy Steinemann

If you are a foreign language student, you are probably accustomed to memorizing boring lists of words and verb conjugations. A visit to the dentist might even be more welcome! What if you could eliminate some of the drudgery? It is not as hard as you might expect.

This article explains how you can turn unexciting study sessions into events that you actually look forward to with anticipation.

First, you have to prove to yourself that this approach actually works. If you believe in something, your belief will help to propel you forward and encourage success.

Do not peek ahead to scan the rest of this article!

There is a mini-test below, preceded by two vocabulary sections. You will need some way to time yourself. Please grab an electronic timer, stopwatch, or enable your computer-based timer. Read the instructions in the following paragraph completely, and reread if necessary until you are sure you understand everything.

Starting with Section 1, set your timer for 60 seconds and study the vocabulary. When the 60 seconds are up, proceed to Section 2. Study the vocabulary there as well, but spend most of your 60 seconds repeating the first sentence to yourself (preferably aloud), visualizing the action in your mind as you do so. After a minute has gone by, proceed to Section 3, and answer the mini-quiz.

Do you understand the instructions? If not, go back to the beginning of the preceding paragraph and read it as many times as necessary until you fully comprehend.

Is your timer ready? Begin!

Section 1 - 60 Seconds - Memorize the 'Foreign Words':

tiaouzer - balloon
dleonen - to grab
droxcet - loud(ly)
chokzzon - to pop

Section 2 - 60 Seconds - Memorize the 'Foreign Words':

He klagrotted the tzooome and knusstiked it - braxxlo!
He grabbed the balloon and popped it - loudly!

Section 3 - Quiz Yourself

Without referring back to the previous sections, provide the definitions for the 'foreign words' below:

braxxlo - ...............
chokzzon - ...............
dleonen - ...............
droxcet - ...............
klagrott - ...............
knusstik - ...............
tiaouzer - ...............
tzooome - ...............

Did you get the results you expected?

Most people recall more words from the second section. This is because of the natural process of remembering things better in context. Your brain is remarkably adept at categorizing things and linking them with what you already know. The more senses you involve, the easier it is for you to imprint and recall facts. More importantly, the information stays with you longer.

How does this affect you?

Spend less time memorizing by rote and more time learning in sentences, involving your other senses whenever possible. Your time spent studying will be more enjoyable, you will learn faster, and the foreign words will be easier to recall when you need them.

Note: All of the 'foreign words' were carefully researched in Google. At the time of writing, they produced zero matches. If I somehow included an inappropriate word from a foreign language, I apologize.

(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann: This article is free to publish only if this copyright notice, the byline, and the author's note below (with active links) are included.

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