Mind Maps as a technology for effectively memorizing foreign words
Mind Maps as a technology for effectively memorizing foreign words

Mind Maps as a technology for effectively memorizing foreign words

We continue a series of articles on using the resources of our brain to the maximum and replenishing the vocabulary.

You met a foreign word, analyzed its structure (determined part of speech, compatibility, word-building forms, synonyms, etc.), studied examples of its use and introduced it into your oral and written speech. The teacher gave you a positive review: “Yes, so a native speaker would use this word.” What happens next ...

Ideally, the learned remains in your head forever. A word or phrase pops up in your memory effortlessly, and you use them almost as often as the simplest “hello” and “thank you”. This ideal outcome is rare. Often it turns out that the scope of the word does not belong to the category of everyday topics. Consequently, there is no chance at all to put the new knowledge into practice, and the economical memory wants to get rid of the unnecessary burden ... Or a more complicated situation: what is learned is necessary for the exam, and time is less and less. Is it really possible in this case not to use the good old lists of words for memorization?

Of course you can. But is a leaflet with a set of words in alphabetical order that you thoughtlessly run through your eyes so effective? Methodists and linguists have come up with many ways to work effectively with words. They connect our strong side of the brain - logical thinking. Today we will talk about one of these methods.

Mind Maps, or Mental Maps. This is a way of organizing words, which includes both the ability to combine information into groups (one of the highest cognitive functions) and the visual component. Maps are a scheme in which you break down words, phrases, or phrases into categories and subcategories. So you quickly capture the volume of the recorded. Along the way, you can use your eyes to highlight items by degree of importance (for example, the frequency of use in a certain professional field) for you. Thus, our logical thinking works, builds connections, and in the meantime we memorize more necessary material in less time.

Draw Mind Maps yourself or connect modern technology. For example, the MindMeister resource. At the click of a mouse, he will create convenient and neat schemes for you where you can add colors, pictures, and even emoji if you wish. These cards will be available day and night from your phone, tablet or computer.

Now let's look at ways to group words and choose the one that suits you.

  1. If it comes to words that mean material objects, then everything is simple: remember what other things they are with every day. Distribute the furniture into rooms, clothes according to the part of the body on which it is worn, food to vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products.
  2. Is it difficult to divide into groups words of the same subject? Connect a personal relationship: “like” and “dislike”, your favorite and least favorite character traits, hobbies and activities that you don’t like to perform ... Emotional significance will attract attention and allow you to remember words for a long time.
  3. A common problem for those who are preparing for the exam with oral assignments: “I know that my speech sounds poor, but I can do nothing. Only the simplest words from a primary school program come to mind. ” Recognized yourself? Then make a Mind Map with the synonyms of the expressions you need. Let “hilarious” and “hysterical” be added to “funny”. Remember to include sample sentences using these words to take each to the place.
  4. Mind Maps will help expand your vocabulary by combining nouns and verbs, adverbs or adjectives, which are often found in one topic. What actions do people perform with money? “Spend” (spend), “earn” (earn), “lend” (borrow), “borrow” (borrow), and much more.
  5. Mental maps are used to improve grammar. Mind Maps is a way to repeat phrasal verbs that are a headache for English learners. Here are just to group combinations should not by verb, but by preposition. Yes, yes, because it is the pretext that affects the meaning to a greater extent. So, the category “up” with the value “whole, full” will include “dress up” (to dress), “eat up” (to finish) and “burn up” (to burn to the ground).

We wish you a successful use of mental maps for learning foreign languages.


Anna Menshikova
Global English Ambassador

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