English Daily Workout: Mnemonics and How They Work

Mnemonics and How They Work

    Mnemonics and How They Work
          One useful learning technique is mnemonics. The ancient Greeks developed this memory system from their worship of Mnemosyne, who was the goddess of memory. They learnt that you can remember things by linking them together in some way. 

          For example, as soon as your brain registers the word “apple” it remembers the colours, tastes, textures, smells, etc. of that particular fruit. So memory links can be made ber and longer-lasting by following these principles:
    1 IMAGINATION. The more you apply your imagination to memory links, the more easily you will remember something.
    2 EXAGGERATION. Exaggerate the size, shape, sound, etc. of all your mental images.
    3 HUMOUR. The funnier and more ridiculous you make your images, the more memorable they will be.
    4 MOVEMENT. In any mnemonic image, movement makes it even easier for your brain to remember things. 
So, if you wanted to remember the order of the nine planets from the sun, you might simply create a fantastic story in your imagination. For example, imagine that you are in space, reading a giant thermometer which breaks and covers the floor with tiny balls of silver liquid (Mercury). A beautiful goddess (Venus), who is wearing white, comes in to see what is happening, etc.
This all sounds very good, but is there any scientific support for these beliefs? The answer is yes! After all, what the ancient Greeks were suggesting means that we use both the left and the right side of our brains, and there is a lot of evidence that association techniques do work.


Now, here's a list of idioms with the word "memory":

commit something to memory

freeze someone or something in one's memory

if my memory serves me correctly

in memory of someone

jog someone's memory

know something from memory

Something you could do to help you learn/remember these idioms is create a mindmap like this one:



You can choose a different colour for each idiom according to its meaning. For example, I chose white for the "freeze someone in one's memory" bubble because the word freeze reminded me of  ice.

I chose blue for the "commit something to memory" bubble because blue is the colour of loyalty and the word "commitment" is related to it.



But the best technique to remember words is the one that you can invent. Everyone tried, Except the Jiraffe. How about you?



Article: from Streetwise Intermediate by Rob Nolasco
Mindmap created in bubble.us