Teach English in Xinji Zhen - Hanzhong Shi

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Every person has the ability to learn, while not everyone can learn well. Students study long hours might end up with grade B, however, those lazy peers who seem never study after class get straight A. This is a common situation all over the world; top students are always capable of doing multiple tasks, rather than just sticking in the library reciting what the teacher taught them in the class. Some of them spend a lot of time traveling all over the world, attending national or international competitions, and then get the prizes and straight A at the same time. In my opinion, they just acquired learning techniques earlier than their peers; they might be innately advantageous using those learning techniques, such as scientific memorizing and mind map, yet people can also be trained to learn more efficiently. In this essay, I shall explain how to use learning techniques in English learning. Scientific memorizing is the basic technique in learning. We store information in our brain while learning, thus the better we can understand and memorize, the better the learning result is. In order to better understand and memorize, students need to know some basic theories of memory. To begin with, what are short-term memory and long-term memory and how to use them? People capture the information as a short-term memory for about 20 seconds, without doing anything, the information will be forgotten. And the capacity for short-term memory is limited to 5 to 9 items, so how to process information and make it last longer is the essence. Students who memorize words by letters would find it extremely difficult memorizing long words, such as “penultimate”. However, if we memorize it by syllables- “pe-nul-ti-mate”, it would be a lot easier. Once students saved some time processing this word, they can repeat this word for a few more times, which will increase the span of short-term memory. In the meantime, students need to attach certain context with the words, which serves as a trigger to pull of them from memory when it is needed. For example, they can think about the last digit of their phone number, then the penultimate number. Then as the Forgetting curves suggests that by reviewing in a scientific schedule, the information can be stored as long-term memory. If students process the information as the short-term memorizing stage correctly, they do not need to spend too much time reciting all the books and notes in the library. They can review the information everywhere, every time when they call someone, they dial the penultimate number and the ultimate number; every book has a penultimate page and ultimate page. Memorizing a word is surely easier than memorizing disciplinary knowledge, so when we have a whole subject to learn, how do we process the information and store them into long-term memory. This is where Mind Map should be introduced. A mind map is a diagram used to organize information; it helps students construct the knowledge as a system in an interesting way. For example, students who are learning past tense can draw a mind map of things he/she did in the past, intentionally includes the positive forms, negative forms, question forms, and as many verbs as possible, see if they can just set up a few triggers and express them in a great story of past tense. However, learning a language definitely requires a bit of rote learning, by that I mean, a lot of repetition and imitation to get the perfect pronunciation and intonation, it is more like a muscle building exercise to make you sound more like a native person. But it does not matter if a speaker has an accent, the things matter are the correct pronunciation and meaning expressed. Students have to learn how to pronounce by syllables and learn to associate one word to another to help memorize the pronunciation when repeating. For example, combine penultimate and ultimate. Imitation is also a way to learn a language, through which students can increase the exposure to authentic materials, such as songs, movie dialogues, and speeches, etc. There are many factors that make a top student; learning technique is certainly one of them. Learning techniques such as scientific memorizing and Mind Map can be great tools to use, while concentration also plays an important role in the learning process, without it, we might not be able to catch certain information at the first place. In order to achieve success in learning, we must start with the right skills of learning rather than roaming around the information that might not be able to be turned to a person’s knowledge.