I recently signed up to a French class. The group meets online once a week for 2 hours and we are working our way through an A2 book filled with practical exercises, vocabulary and grammar rules.
Fortunately, I have found a great group – only 3 adults, all motivated and all at a similar level. We have a kind, supportive and instructive teacher to guide us through the exercises and answer all our questions, so what wrong with this picture? One of my fellow students hit the nail on the head last week when she exclaimed, with frustration:
“ I can’t remember what we learned last week…
…never mind spending time on this grammar! ”
Now the subject of what grammar to learn when is a subject for another day! For now I just want you to ask yourself what method are you using to commit what you learn to memory?
It’s all very well putting in 2 hours of effort in class once a week – taking the time to understand those grammar rules, learn some new words, and practice new phrases, but if you don’t have a method for remembering those things, how long before you forget them? And then have to learn them again… and forget them again… and…. ( well, you get the picture! )
It’s well known that in order to commit something to memory, you need to review it! The real question is: how many times, how often, and how can you organise all these reviews? It could be as simple as using a notebook to keep a note of all you learn, flash cards or perhaps you prefer to use a spreadsheet or a text document on your computer? There are also dozens of apps out there which will organise your reviews for you, such as Anki, Memorise, and even DuoLingo’s lessons are based around regular reviews of the words and phrases you learn.
Stay tuned for my top 5 favourite ‘review’ apps – coming soon!