Día 3

Uh-oh, your vocabulary is expiring!

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Understand how we actually learn (and how we forget) and use this knowledge to memorize thousands of words effortlessly

At this point we have already learned the different parts of Spanish and the importance of working on all of them. Also yesterday we reviewed the thousands of resources you can use to get immersed in Spanish for free.

Step by step, you are understanding that learning a language is something more complex than simply watching La Casa de Papel on Netflix when you get home from work. And today we are going to learn how to memorize thousands of words in Spanish and hack your brain so we avoid forgetting them.

The first thing you must know is that, as absurd as it may seem, the brain needs to forget in order to learn. Yes! The American journalist Benedict Carey explained in his book “how we learn” what he calls “the forget-to-learn theory”. According to this author, “some breakdown must occur for us to strengthen learning when we revisit the material. without a little forgetting you get no benefit from further study. it is what allow learning to build like an exercise muscle

In other words, you don’t learn Spanish when you memorize information for the first time, but rather when you forget that information and struggle to retrieve it. 

But obviously, there are some rules. You cannot learn something new and try to retrieve that information a year later. The question is, what is the perfect interval to memorize words effectively? For this, the German journalist Sebastian Leitner developed one of the most effective methods to memorize vocabulary: The spaced repetition. The goal of spaced repetition is to find the perfect intervals to make learning more effective. 

Here I could explain the thousands of mathematical studies that have been done to try to identify the perfect spaced repetition interval. But I know that you don’t like math and you’ll be glad to know that today we have resources that allow us to apply the spaced repetition method in our learning without having to do a single calculation. I am talking about flashcard apps.

These apps will allow you to create flashcards with all the new words you learn when you study Spanish and review those flashcards as a game. After trying to recover a word, the app will ask you for feedback on the difficulty of remembering the word. Depending on your answer, the word will take more or less time to reappear. These apps already include all the equations that scientists and psychologists have developed in recent years thanks to the spaced repetition method. So all you have to do is add all the new words you learn to the app, and play 5 or 10 minutes each day trying to remember those words and giving feedback to the app.

Why had no Spanish teacher ever told you this? This is science AND it will help you memorize thousands of new words effortlessly.

Now download the document below and I will see you tomorrow

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