Remember Words Better When You Learn them with Movement
Researchers from Leipzig, Germany, have proved that students remember words better when they’re taught while doing a movement. Teachers have known this for years, which is why they teach children to act words out. For example if you teach a child the word “cook” you can demonstrate making an imaginary pot with your left arm and stirring its contents with your right hand. The child will do the same. They will already remember the word after a few times.
This makes sense for action words. However, what is special about the new research is that it became clear that this memory trick can also be used for other kinds of words. For instance, abstract words like “rather” or “still.” In the experiment the researchers conducted, students were better at remembering words which they had learned while they were doing a movement than remembering words they had learned while sitting still.
Why should this interest you?
Well, suppose you find it difficult to learn and memorize certain words. Or suppose you’re studying for your TOESL and you have a long list of words that you need to know the meaning of. Try inventing a movement with the word. Do this only when you’re alone, or people around you will think you’ve gone off your rocker! See if it makes it easier to learn the word.
In order for this technique to work, you need to invent a unique movement for each word that you learn. For instance, if you’re trying to memorize the word “increase,” make a movement with your hand going up. When you’re learning “decrease,” make a movement going down. It’s fun and you’ll also be getting some exercise!