One of the first steps we take when learning a language, be it our mother tongue as children, or a foreign language later on in life, is expanding our vocabulary by memorizing words (usually nouns and adjectives at first). Memorizing is done naturally when we’re living in an environment that forces that particular language on us (such as our homes as children, or as visitors in a foreign country) but it can also be “forced” through several methods. The following article will try to present some of these methods that could help you learn how to memorize words faster when learning a foreign language.
Flashcards are the basic tools for word memorizing and although they are used mostly with small children, they can also be useful for grown-ups when learning a new foreign language. Basically, a flashcard is a piece of carton containing an image of a noun (usually nouns, although they can oftentimes contain colors, actions and so forth) with the appropriate word describing it and possibly, a small text that explains what the object is. They are a good way to take your first step into the vocabulary of the foreign language you are learning and they can be fun to use together with your children.
Using Mnemonic Links
A mnemonic is generally described as an abbreviation or a symbolic representation that helps humans memorize a certain “something” easier. Mnemonics are used to enhance and develop the assimilation of data into memory and there’s no better use to them than in learning a new language. Since when you’re gradually building your new vocabulary for the new language you will inevitably translate and think those words out in your mother tongue, you can use such a mnemonic to make this translation easier to memorize. For example if you’ve just learnt how to say “seaside” in the foreign language you’re studying, imagine a picture of the seaside and then switch back between the native and foreign language words of what you’re seeing. The image, which is easier to remember than a word, will act as an intermediate between the two languages.
Memory Enhancement Nutritions
There are several natural supplements out there that help you memorize stuff faster and for a longer period of time, as well as help with concentration during the learning process. Some of the herbs that are known to have a memory enhancing effect include Ashwagandha, Reishi, Ginseng, Bacopa, Mucuna Pruriens or Fo-Ti. Ginseng is one of the most popular in the list and it is widely used as a supplement in language learning classes as well as generally used by students before exams or during the school year. There are no side effects to these herbs but you might be allergic to one, so it is best if you visit your medic before taking any of them, asking if you are allowed or not to start a long or short-term memory enhancement plan.
There are also several vitamins and nutrients that could help out with memorizing new words, the list including: carnitine, lecitine, carnosine, choline, inositol, tyrosine and several others, but these are not the point of our discussion.