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Why are English words forgotten and how to deal with it

Anyone who tried to learn a foreign language, faced with this phenomenon: even if you repeat a new word a hundred times today, tomorrow there will be a white stain in its memory. Such forgetfulness has a reason, and it lies in the mechanisms of our memory. But the brain can be tricked, if you learn the words for a special pattern. Teachers of the online English school Skyeng talked about effective methods of memorizing words when learning English.

Фото: Depositphotos

How our memory works

Our brain works on the principle of Use it or lose it. That is, "Use or lose." It makes sense - if we memorized everything forever, the brain would be simply overloaded, like a computer that does not have free memory left. Therefore, we do not remember the names of all our kindergarten friends - we do not need them. But the names of the chief, best friend and the attending physician are often required and therefore linger in memory.

The brain removes unnecessary information very quickly. This process is called the “forgetting curve.” He was well studied by the German psychologist Herman Ebbingauz. The scientist investigated the mechanisms of forgetting and found out that in an hour no more than the 40% of what was learned would remain in memory, in 10 hours - the maximum of 35%, in a week - no more than 20%. It doesn't matter how hard you have crammed words - without practice, after 7 days you will forget 80% of them, and after a few years, almost nothing will remain in your memory.

Photo: Skyeng Online Schools

On the subject: How to dive into the US language and not drown: 6 lessons from Skyeng

What is interval repetition?

Can you use this curve to your advantage? It is possible, and the same Ebbingauz figured out how to do this. It is enough to repeat the information just at the moment when the memory is ready to erase it.

These intervals are the same for almost all people.

In order for everything learned to remain in memory, you need not cram up the words for several hours in a row, but repeat them at regular intervals: the first time - immediately after the unfamiliar word caught you, the second - in 20 minutes, the third - in 8 hours, and the fourth - in a day. Four repetitions instead of a long cram - and the word will remain with you forever, especially if you continue to use it from time to time.

How to memorize words for long

All this is wonderful, but how to build such a training schedule? First, you have to constantly remind yourself when it’s time to repeat what’s been done. Secondly, Ebbingaus developed an averaged algorithm, but in each particular case the intervals may vary slightly, because we are all different.

And here to help students come information technology. There are already applications for memorizing words that not only form a dictionary, but also help to memorize new vocabulary using the interval repetition method. The algorithm adjusts to each specific user and calculates the optimal time for repetition.

One of these Applications created the developers of the online school Skyeng.

It works simply: the user adds a new vocabulary, which comes to him in the classroom, in the section “My words”. You can simply load thematic collections of words, for example, vocabulary for travelers, businessmen or chefs.

Every new word is accompanied by memorization exercises. As soon as they are passed, the application begins to remind you at regular intervals that it would be time to repeat the word.

At first, the reminders follow the classic “Ebbingauz curve”, but the program records how well you memorize words, and gradually corrects the repetition mode itself, based precisely on your successes. If you often make mistakes, the application will shorten the interval, if you always answer correctly, it will increase a little. As soon as the program makes sure that the word is memorized reliably and precisely will not be forgotten, it puts it aside and focuses on other words.

On the subject: How the Skyeng School helps you get a job in the USA

How many words can you learn this way

Interval repetition works perfectly, but the process can be accelerated by adding other psychological tricks to it.

For example, psychologists have proven that words united by a common theme are remembered better than a random lexical set. And words in context are better than lonely constructions in an open field. Therefore, in the same Skyeng app, each word is accompanied by a picture, voice acting and an example. The fact that words can be combined into logical groups also helps to assimilate information faster.

With the help of all these kunshtyukov a day, you can memorize forevermore from 5 to 50 words - everything depends on your diligence and desire.

In order to speak fluent English, it’s enough to know about 3000 words - they cover 95% of all everyday speech. That is, if you deal with such an application diligently and systematically, you can learn all this vocabulary in 2-4 of the month! And if you add to this the lessons with a personal teacher and daily practice in the form of watching films in the original and reading texts in English, progress will be even more noticeable.

Try learning words with Skyeng app can be free. But for those who are serious about mastering English, we advise you to sign up for a trial lesson at this online school - which, by the way, is also free. The methodologist of the school will determine your level, show how the learning platform on which the lessons are held, and draw up a personal training plan. By paying for the course, you can not only study online with a personal teacher according to a convenient schedule (at least at night!), But also get access to a variety of tools for learning the language - mobile applications, talk clubs, useful newsletters, services for translating songs and movies.

And for readers of Forumdaily, the FORUMDAILY2 promo code is valid, which gives 2 a free lesson when you first pay. Sign up for the first free lesson here.

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How to learn English without having the ability and desire: a way for those who "can no longer"

How to improve English in two months in order to get a job in an American company

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Skyeng 3 tool for training the perception of English speaking by ear

Skyeng's 3 features for self-study English

Other English Educational program learning English language Skyeng to learn English
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