how to... learn a foreign language
• roman room mnemonic
using the tools:
foreign languages are the ideal subject area for the use of memory s. learning vocabulary is often a matter of associating a meaningless collection of syllables with a word in your own language.
traditionally people have associated these words by - by the word in their own language and the foreign language time and time and time and time again. you can improve on this way of learning by using three good s:
1. using mnemonics to link words
this is a simple of the link method. here you are using images to link a word in your own language with a word in a foreign language.
for example, in learning english/french vocabulary:
• english: rug/carpet - french: tapis - imagine an ornate carpet with a tap as the central design woven in chrome thread
• english: grumpy - french: grognon - a grumpy man groaning with irritation
• english: to tease - french: taquiner - a woman teasing her husband as she takes in the washing.
this was formalized by dr. michael gruneberg, and is known as the 'link word' . he has produced language books (an example is german by association) in many language pairs to help students acquire the basic vocabulary needed to get by in the language (usually about 1000 words). it is claimed that using this this basic vocabulary can be in just 10 hours.
2. the town language mnemonic
this is a very , effective mnemonic that fuses a sophisticated variant of the roman room system with the system described above.
this depends on the fact that the basic vocabulary of a language relates to things: things that you can usually find in a city, town or village. to use the , choose a town that you are very familiar with. use objects within that place as the cues to recall the images that link to foreign words.
nouns in the town:
nouns should be associated to the most locations: for example, the image coding the foreign word for book could be associated with a book on a shelf in the library. you could associate the word for bread with an image of a loaf in a baker's shop. words for vegetables could be associated with parts of a display outside a greengrocer's. perhaps there is a farm just outside the town that allows all the animal name associations to be made.
adjectives in the park:
adjectives can be associated with a garden or park within the town: words such as green, smelly, bright, small, cold, etc. can be easily to objects in a park. perhaps there is a pond there, or a small wood, or perhaps people with different characteristics are walking around.
verbs in the sports centre:
verbs can most easily be associated with a sports centre or playing field. this allows us all the associations of lifting, running, walking, hitting, eating, swimming, driving, etc.
in a language where gender is important, a very good method of remembering this is to divide your town into two main zones. in one zone you code information on gender nouns, while in the other zone you code information on nouns. where the language has a gender, then use three zones. you can separate these areas with busy roads, rivers, etc. to fix the gender of a noun, simply associate its image with a place in the correct part of town. this makes remembering genders easy!
many languages, many towns
another spin-off of the comes when learning several languages: this can cause confusion. with the town mnemonic, all you need do is choose a different city, town or village for each language to be . ideally this might be in the country. practically, however, you might just decide to use a local town with the foreign flavour.
3. the hundred most common words
tony buzan, in his book 'using your memory', points out that just 100 words 50% of all words used in conversation in a language. learning these core 100 words gets you a long way towards being able to speak in that language, at a basic level. the 100 basic words used in conversation are shown below:
1. a,an 2. after 3. again 4. all 5. almost
6. also 7. always 8. and 9. because 10. before
11. big 12. but 13. (i) can 14. (i) come 15. either/or
16. (i) find 17. first 18. for 19. friend 20. from
21. (i) go 22. good 23. good-bye 24. happy 25. (i) have
26. he 27. hello 28. here 29. how 30. i
31. (i) am 32. if 33. in 34. (i) know 35. last
36. (i) like 37. little 38. (i) love 39. (i) make 40. many
41. one 42. more 43. most 44. much 45. my
46. new 47. no 48. not 49. now 50. of
51. often 52. on 53. one 54. only 55. or
56. other 57. our 58. out 59. over 60. people
61. place 62. please 63. same 64. (i) see 65. she
66. so 67. some 68. sometimes 69. still 70. such
71. (i) tell 72. thank you 73. that 74. the 75. their
76. them 77. then 78. there is 79. they 80. thing
81. (i) think 82. this 83. time 84. to 85. under
86. up 87. us 88. (i) use 89. very 90. we
91. what 92. when 93. where 94. which 95. who
96. why 97. with 98. yes 99. you 100. your
the three approaches to learning foreign languages shown here can be very effective. they help to point out:
• the most important words to learn
• show how to link words in your own language to words in a foreign language, and
show how to structure recall of the language through use of the town mnemonic.
- [´ti:diəs] a.冗长的；乏味的 四级词汇
- [tek´ni:k] n.技术；技巧；方法 六级词汇
- [´mæ:skjulin] a.男性的 n.男子 四级词汇
- [´feminin] a.女性的 四级词汇
- [´nɔ:məli] ad.正常情况下；通常 六级词汇
- [ɔ:l´bi:it] conj.即使；纵使；虽然 六级词汇