Using a summaries in your foreign language study to increase retention and understanding

18 Sep

How summaries can help language learning.

Self Taught Japanese

In a previous blog post I discussed how the element of necessity makes the brain more active in the learning process, increasing retention and understanding of foreign language.

One little trick I discovered is that if you are planning on giving a summary to someone about some media you are consuming (article, podcast, movie, etc.) then  suddenly you have some necessity and the above effect kicks in.

For example, if you are listening to a podcast in a foreign language, promise to yourself you’ll give a summary of that podcast to someone in the same foreign language. If nobody is available you can just write a blog entry about it, and even if you don’t publish the entry publicly it will have some effect.

Without some sort of external goal, you mind has less reason to really focus on each and every word, and less motivation to remember specific words later…

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