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Top ten tricks for learning & remembering vocabulary #1

1. make word association webs – our brain takes what we read an makes it into images, ideas, and feelings etc. and then makes connections between what we knew before and the new information (words and ideas). This is how we remember things. The “new” stuff is fitted into the “old” stuff.

Think of a tree. It is easier for you to see a big tree with lots of branches and leaves than it is to see a small tree with very few branches and leaves, right? Well, it’s the same for your brain. When you connect a new word or idea to things you already know you make it easier for your brain to find (see) it when you need to remember it.

How can you do this? Easy. Make an Idea Web. Start with the thing you want to remember (words, ideas, sentences) in the middle of a piece of paper. Then draw lines from it like a spider’s web. At the end of the line write down any ideas or words or even pictures that you think of when you say the word or idea.

This only takes about 2 minutes. Now all the words/ideas are getting connected in your mind. If you see or hear one of them it will help your brain remember all of the others. To make this work really well, you can talk to yourself about how each word/idea fits together with the others. The more you do this, the more connections you make. ‘Lots of connections makes it very easy for your brain to “see” the word you want to recall when you are trying to remember it.

For more about mind-mapping see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map