"The most effective strategies of memorizing words while learning English at school"
Speaking Kazakh, Russian and foreign languages becomes an integral component of personal and professional activity of the people in a modern society. All of the modern life processes and changes demand a large number of citizens, possessing good practical and professional multi-lingual skills and receiving a real chance to take a more prestigious place in our society both socially and professionally.
"Kazakhstan should be perceived worldwide as a highly educated country, the population must know fluently three languages. They are: Kazakh language - the state language, Russian language must be used as a language of international communication and English - the language of successful integration into the global economy", has repeatedly stressed the President of our country Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to the current policy of our Republic, trilingual education has been conducted into the whole educational system.
Nowadays learning English becomes relevant and necessary. A number of people learning and seeking to learn English around the world grows day by day. It is known that in order to learn English quickly and easily, you need to choose the correct technique of self-study of the English language, which is ideally suited to you and will not cause difficulties while learning. There are lots of various methods of learning foreign languages. We were introduced to the most common of them from the primary school level. And almost all of us have been still using them.
One of the easiest and most affordable ways of memorizing English words is a traditional way of learning. According to this method, all the English words and their translations should be read carefully. Then you need to repeat the words again. After 10 minutes you should close the post with the Kazakh or Russian translation and try to translate these words yourself. Having done this work with the entire list you should make a 5-minute break, after the break read the entire list of English words and their translation for a couple of times, paying the particular attention to the words which you could not remember. So you are to do this until you remember all English words in your list together with their translation.
Speaking and listening practice is another widely used and well-known method. This method offers to use the studied words and expressions in speech, to pronounce them in the dialogues or listening to texts in English. Teachers of English often use this method in the English lessons. Almost all modern English textbooks are supplied with different audio programs full of exercises for speaking practice: in the form of dialogues, monologues, phonetic drills and many others. Listen to the English speech, especially from the native speakers is an important part of speech practice and language study. The words are perceived by students more effectively when they are being practiced regularly. Watching movies in English and reading books are also important and useful.
Association method can also make you a lot of good while studying a foreign language. In this method people can support the studied words by some striking manner (picture, sound, rhyme). Subsequently, during the conversation the image instantly pops up first and after the image the learnt word itself appears in our mind. This method is often used by the primary school teacher because it is quite interesting for young children.
The question of memorizing English vocabulary is highly relevant and often discussed, because there cannot be found the only full-fledged way of learning new words that would suit everyone and guarantee a perfect result. The options given by various methods are of a wide range, and a person can understand and find the best one only empirically. While studying the different scientific and linguistic articles on this issue, we have identified some unusual and innovative ways of memorizing of English words.
Flashcards (cards) is one of the most popular methods of learning words among Internet - users. To make the cards you can use leaflets blocks for records of small size. On one side write the word and on the other - the translation of the word or illustration. Blocks of cards of different colours can be grouped by themes, parts of speech, synonymous or antonymous series, etc. Cards are convenient because you can stack them in a pile, and take with you wherever you go. Cards with particularly difficult-to-remember words can be put in a separate pile and sorted out more than usual. Such memorization of English words is very effective, because hand-writing of the thematic cards and permanent work with them train our memory. All of the words are saved in the active memory part of our brain. That is why it is important not to print a word on a computer but write it by hand.
Polyglot method is one of the interesting modern methods of learning the foreign languages. This technique allows to memorize 100-150 new words daily and do it rather fast and easily. The mentioned method makes sequential thought processes and actions work that leads to forming of the strong and stable memory skills.
Memory circuit of "Polyglot" system is as the following:
•Translate the word.
• Choose pronunciation conformable to the word in your native language.
• Connect the image transfer to the image of the given word.
• Take a «photo» of the foreign word.
• Write the word
• Check how you remembered the word.
• Write it on the card.
Using stickers is also one of the most efficient ways of studying foreign languages popular with the beginners. When you study proper English topics, you can apply self-adhesive cards with English words on all the items at home or anywhere else. When you stop your eyes on the written labels, you'll automatically repeat words over and over several times a day as long as you need it to learn the vocabulary completely. This method is rather effective at the initial stage of language learning, for example, to memorize the vocabulary of household items. It can also be used in the form of a game to teach a child, or when the English language is studied by the whole family.
Story telling suits more experienced people whose English language skills confirm the intermediate and upper intermediate level. After reading the story, the student composes and writes down a coherent story in the English language based on the vocabulary that should be learnt. This method helps not only to remember new words, but also to translate the known words from the passive to the active vocabulary. The disadvantage of this method is the difficulty or impossibility to relate the vocabulary from different areas into the small text. Therefore it is better to use the words related to a definite topic or similar topics.
Mnemotechnics can be successfully used for studying foreign languages as well. It has been becoming the one of the popular methods of memorizing words. Mnemotechnics are techniques and methods that facilitate the memorization of words by means of associations and relationships with each other. This method is unique because it can be applied to almost all sciences, not only to language study. Mnemotechnics develops our memory and thinking abilities very actively. But the technics have got some features to keep in mind. Images must be colourful, large, dynamic and detailed. It is a very effective and interesting technique, both for children and for adults. Nowadays particular preference is given exactly to it. You can come up with a variety of images to any word or association. For example: the English word "creek" (translated as "bay brook") is consonant with the Russian word "scream". It is necessary to come up with the association of these two words. The brighter and more non-standard your association, the better you memorize the words. For xample, learning the word ‘creek’ imagine that you come to the brook, slip, fall into the water and scream with fright!
Another useful technique sounds like “translation - pronunciation – writing”. We all used to study the word in the following way: writing - pronunciation - translation. We have been doing it since the primary school. This technique is widely used in our English lessons: we write down the new vocabulary into the dictionaries and then learn the words. However, according to the latest psychologists and experts opinions, this method is flawed. They suppose it is correct to memorize words in the reverse order: translation - pronunciation - writing. Learning the English words in this sequence ensures a high quality and a high speed of memory recall.
Synonyms range technique allows students to memorize new words quickly by expanding the number of synonymous variations. It will be very helpful to keep a special notebook in which you enter new words of the lesson. As often as it is possible pick up new synonyms and repeat those which you had learned before.
Memorizing the vocabulary in this way allows the student express their thoughts in English accurately and richly, besides that, the above mentioned method increases the speed of speech.
• Energy - force - power - might
• little - small - tiny
• pretty - handsome - beautiful - nice - attractive - good looking
Active communication with a native speaker also helps a lot. There is no more effective way to learn a foreign language, especially to improve the spoken language than to plunge into a foreign environment, where you are able to interact with a native speaker. It is said that the best way to learn a foreign language is to get another foreigner. But to have such an experience, you do not necessarily have to go far from your country. Now it can be done without leaving your home, all you have to do is to find an English-speaking companion in social networks and try to establish contact with him or her.
Reading method by Ilya Frank may help you greatly when you study foreign languages. A new and unusual way to memorize foreign words has been becoming more popular day by day. The epitome of this method are the series of "Ilya Frank's Reading method" books published in the late years. These books have got a rather interesting and unusual structure: each paragraph containes unadapted foreign texts, mostly literary masterpieces. The same text is repeated twice - once with the indicated in parentheses word translation and commentaries, and the second time it comes in its original form. This method is very well suited for mastering reading skills in any foreign language. The words from the extracts are stored mostly in liabilities. But in spite of this fact, they are usually been memorized very well, as each word appears in a variety of contexts, with different shades of meaning. The one important thing in this method is to choose a really interesting book for you.
The method of reading by Frank is based on reading the texts of foreign authors in original and adopted ways. It can be used as an additional supplement in the language practice.
We found out that the majority of our classmates used the simple words learning technique and were rather satisfied by it. Then we offered them four unconventional and interesting ways to memorize foreign words, which were originally selected by us for the experiment. They were mnemotechnics, story telling, flashcards and the technique “translation - pronunciation - writing”. Each of these methods had been presented with their explanation and examples. Our friends selected the technics more convenient to their needs and abilities and applied them during one month while preparing for our English lessons. One month later, we re-interviewed the students and found out that most of them were interested in mnemotechnics and tested it in practice. They discovered the mnemotechnics as the most interesting and effective. Thus, we concluded that the majority of students were eager to know lots of new words through using new interesting techniques, rather than simply memorize them in a standard and boring way. Mnemotechnics was the most effective and easy way, according to the opinion of the students.
Studying various methodical literature and scientific works based on the topic, it became very clear to us how relevant and interesting the material was. We tried to give useful tips on mastering students' speaking, listening and reading skills. After getting acquainted with the four innovative and interesting methods selected by us for our experiment, there was a need to test these methods and choose the most effective and popular ones.
After summing up the results, we found out that students of our lyceum had improved the quality of memorizing foreign words. They have discovered a lot of non-traditional methods of learning, which could be used individually or could be combined, depending on the personal needs and characteristics of the student. To expedite this process, people need to learn the words in the most appropriate way that will develop and improve all kinds of students’ memory.
We also took into account the modern educational system features and demands. Having searched the questions of trilingual education in Kazakhstan in the nearest future, we came to the conclusion that the matter of learning the foreign vocabulary more efficiently and fast was at the top of the modern problems. We think that our research will do a lot of good for the students of our school when they start learning a number of subjects in English.
Thus, examining a number of the different ways of memorizing foreign words and having done several experiments, we have identified the most effective strategies of memorizing words. Among them, there is an innovative and helpful one is mnemotechnique. It recommended itself to be the most effective and universal. It is the technique that students want to practise while their English lessons.