Learn Spanish, French, German, Russian and more at Language101.com

What Would You Love to Learn?

    How to Learn Faster

    How to Learn Faster
    March 14, 2013
    Brent Van Arsdell

    When you want to learn something fast (especially a foreign language) you should take a few minutes before you start to learn how human memory works.

    When you understand how human memory works, and when you use the right study methods, all your learning will be much faster and easier.

    Here’s the key fact about human memory that will help you learn fast.

    100 Repetitions Quickly Counts as 1 Repetition

    If you do a lot of repetitions in a short period of time, your brain will count that as just one repetition and you will forget it quickly, but if you do say 10 repetitions at time intervals that start at about 15 seconds and then increase, you will remember what you learned much better.

    You can prove this to yourself with the following party game.

    When you meet an interesting man at a party, try to remember his name by repeating it 100 times in a row. Then don’t talk to him or think about him for the rest of the evening.  Just before the party is over, find him and see if you can remember his name.

    You probably won’t.

    What’s the problem?  You had plenty of reviews. You reviewed his name 100 times, why did you forget it so quickly?

    Now try a different method. Go to a party, but this time take a stopwatch with you. Meet an interesting woman and get her business card.  Write a description of her on the back side of her card.

    Take her card and your stopwatch and leave the room (or people will think you are strange.)  Thirty seconds after you met her, ask yourself, “What was her name?”. Look at her description on the card.  Say her name out loud, and turn the card over to check yourself.

    Reset your stop watch for one minute and do the same thing.  Think about anything you want for that minute other than the woman or her name.  When the minute is up, look at her description again and say her name out loud.

    Do the same thing 2 minutes later then again after 4 more minutes, then 8 minutes after that.

    After five properly spaced repetitions, you will have a much more stable memory of the woman’s name, than if you had said her name 100 times quickly in a row.

    Of course you don’t need to go to a party, and you definitely don’t need a stop watch to try this.  Just write anything you want to remember on one side of a piece of paper and a description of it using different words on the opposite side.   For example write the words, “Pam’s phone number” on one side and write 555-1212 on the other side.

    Then remember and say her phone number out loud with increasing time intervals as described above.

    What our online software does, is take this proven method and makes it really easy to use.

    Two Essential Things for Making Memories

    1.  You need to be asked the question (not told the answer)

    2.  You have to be asked the question again at increasing time intervals.

    You can do this with paper flashcards, but it’s a LOT easier with software.

    When you study on our web site, our software tracks what you have studied, and when you studied it. The software then calculates when the word or phrase should be reviewed just before you were about to forget.  This makes a stable retrievable memory in the least amount of time.

    Try Our Language Learning Program

    Our language learning program is a very good example of how to use this concept.

    Here’s what to do:

    1.  Click on your language and watch the video.
    2.  Click “Try It” and watch the “How To” video twice.
    3.  Learn for 30 minutes right now!

    SpanishDanishGermanFrench

    Irish –  Canadian French –  Russian

    What if We Don’t Have Your Language?

    If your language is above, try it now.  If not,  please use the contact us form below to tell us what you want to learn.  We can add new languages very quickly.

    We strongly recommend Pimsleur if we don’t have your language.  Read our Pimsleur Review.  No we don’t get any money from them.  Their technology is obsolete, but it still works and most other programs don’t.  It’s also the best for the blind.

    Great Articles on Language Learning

    These articles will save you a lot of time, and make your learning a lot more fun!

    How to Learn Any Language (over 20 articles)

    Rosetta Stone Reviews – Why it Doesn’t Work

    Please tell us what language you want to learn and why. Writing it down will make it more real -- more likely to happen!

    * (denotes required field)

    Last Updated: March 14, 2013
    Leave A Comment

    7 Comments to “ How to Learn Faster”

    1. ben

      Hi

      As a linguist myself. Your site is very good. I like that you have a good question and answer forum like approach to answer any questions users may have about languages.

       
      Reply
    2. Zack

      I do this all the time! You go to Spanish class in the morning, do the homework in the afternoon, then try to recall as much vocab and/or verbs as you can in the shower at night!

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Zack -

        That’s right! Spacing the reviews and study materials gives the brain time to build the neural network of information! Good job sorting that out yourself!

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    3. I want to know how to learn some thing faster in 1 day

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        You can learn anything following these simple steps:

        1. Look at it and identify it.

        2. Speak it if it is words or other characters. Only speak it once – immediate repetition is only seen by the brain as a single instance.

        3. Write it down and put it away somewhere easily accessible.

        4. Let go of the idea of forcing yourself to remember it.

        5. After awhile, try recalling any of the information.

        6. Review the paper, speak the data out loud again.

        7. Repeat steps 4-6. Increase the time between reviews. Start with 5 minutes and work yourself up 5 minutes every time you get the majority of data right.

        8. Cheer yourself on. Leave the punishment outside where it can be warmed by the sun if you forget a piece of information. That doesn’t matter – what matters is that you ARE learning.

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    4. Jude

      How does one go about learning to speak a language easily when their own learning style is mainly visual not oral? Especially so when the language they wish to learn doesn’t use Roman characters for reading and writing?

      You give the example of meeting someone at a party and trying to remember their name. If I do it entirely by repeating the name, even with your method, I rarely remember it. But if I use their name in speaking with others (e.g. “Have you met ‘David’ over there?” “Do you know if ‘David’s’ parents are still alive?” etc) I will remember it.

      But the best way for me to remember is to write the name down while speaking it quietly. When I do it this way, writing & speaking it once is often enough for me to remember at the end of the party.

      Are there any language programs that would suit someone like me? Testing has shown that I learn 80% visual – 20% audio. So learning not just to speak but also read and write a language that uses characters rather than letters to write in seems formidable. Still, I really want to learn!

      Any comments or suggestions you might have, please?

       
      Reply
      • thomas

        Jude -

        Learning a language visually means seeing the characters, words and phrases, yes? Language101.com does this by offering the phrase both written down and then also spoken with an audio track (slow AND normal speed). Each word and phrase has the English equivalent written down during the ‘test’ phase of the phrase and a series of blank lines cueing you to the number of words the foreign phrase has in it. This helps visual thinkers like you recall how many words are in the missing phrase.

        As a visual learner the new characters (Russian, Mandarin or Japanese) might actually help you learn faster since instead of recalling Roman characters in a new order instead just recall the new symbol.

        If you want to learn a new language starting with single words associated with a shape and slowly build into people pointing and waving at one another as a symbol of wanting to know where the bathroom is then I’d recommend Rosetta Stone. They use convoluted images to help identify vocabulary words. Eventually they make attempt at piecing it all together to form phrases and sentences. It didn’t work for me as the images they presented were a) too busy in the symbols provided and b) too slow to progress into things I really wanted to say or get & comprehend the response I may receive in reply. After all, what does the image look like for “I need two apples, a large coffee with milk and where’s the bathroom?”.

        Thomas

         
        Reply
    (Will not be published)