Working Smarter: An Efficient Method To Learn A Language?
Despite its challenges, learning a foreign language has many advantages. The ability to make new friends, improvements in cognitive ability and making travel convenience are all beneficial side effects of being bilingual, trilingual and so on.
The process behind it is the most challenging and tiring part, especially when trying to incorporating the practice into your daily life. To achieve your goals, you will first need to find a method that will allow you to spend your time strategically and effectively, without compromising the quality of your learning.
Before you go scratching your head to find that magic approach, we have just one for you! That approach being: spaced repetition!
What is Spaced?
As an unconventional method, this approach almost counter-intuitive: study less, learn more. This approach requires you to first break large pieces of information into smaller and sizable chunks before introducing spaces in between your usual study sessions. Studies have shown that the brain’s ability to retain and recall is enhanced, seeing as how you are allowing the brain to assimilate the pieces of information better. Thus, understanding and information retention improves despite the less amount of time invested!
As a metaphor, consider the example of working out at the gym. It’s common knowledge that working the same muscle group in every gym session is detrimental to long term muscle gain. Instead, effective long term muscle growth starts by allowing muscle groups to rest and recover, before working out the same group a few days or so. Similarly, by allowing your brain time to ‘rest and recover’ between study sessions, retention improves. Simple, isn’t it?
We’ve all been there. The late nights of last-minute studying before a test, in hopes to absorb vital information that is bound to elude us the very next day. We know the outcome every time, but we do it anyway.
What if we told you there’s a better approach? It involves going forward with the limitations of the brain in mind. First, understand that the brain cannot effectively store and recall lots of information in a short period, which just means that cramming data within a few hours before an exam is basically futile.
Subconsciously, the brain stores information it considers to be necessary and strengthening memories of things it encounters frequently. This is the science behind spaced repetition, and a great supplement for your lessons in the Korean language school.
How To Implement A Spaced Repetition System
For the analogue-minded among us, the easiest and most straightforward way to perform spaced repetition is to use flashcards and form a list by categorising them into groups. Set up a time each day when you will revise the cards in each group. Starting with the first card, if you translate the card correctly, you then shift this word into a group that you will revisit less often. Otherwise, you can place it in a group that you will need to frequently revisit.
Start slow and go through the first set of cards from the first group. Each of these cards will then shift according to your ability to recall the word and its meaning. Your goal is to move all the cards to a group of ‘mastered’ words. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can dismiss it once you’ve mastered all the words. Remember to revisit them often to ensure it’s still stored in your memory bank.
Spaced repletion is a fantastic tool to keep in your arsenal in your language learning journey. By combining it with our Korean classes in Singapore, you can really maximise the amount of learning you can achieve, and learn to speak fluent Korean in a much faster time.