We can all train our memory to make it stronger. To have a powerful memory, we must save information in an organised manner so that we can retrieve the stored information easily when we need it.
Generally, when we receive new information, it is normal for us to store it in a disorganised manner, however, we must work towards storing it in a compartmentalised way, like in a categorised filing cabinet which aids easy retrieval. When we store information in an orderly way, we maximise our brain capacity. This method helps us to learn languages, people’s names, maths formulas and speeches.
The DAS Main Literacy programme subscribes to this theory. We do not teach literacy based on rote memorisation. We concretise concepts for our students and we work towards developing their conceptual knowledge and skills. When we teach them different concepts we are slowly building up the “compartment” that we have created in their minds. For example, when we teach students about vowel teams – we teach them to visualise the vowel team as superhero pairs, like “Batman and Robin” a team that works together. Then when we introduce new vowel team patterns, we will fall back on the concept of “superhero pairs”.
MOVE FROM VERBAL MEMORY TO VISUAL MEMORY
All of us use verbal memory as well as visual memory to help us retain information. The more powerful between the two is a visual memory. Our minds think best in terms of pictures. Just imagine, if we are given a list of 10 items to get from a supermarket and if we try to remember all of the items by verbalising it, most likely we will only be able to recall 5 to 7 items on the list. However, if we were to remember these items using a story to create a visual imagery, the likelihood of us remembering the items on the list is much higher.
In doing so, we are moving away from the unconscious association (i.e. rote learning) to a conscious association (i.e. visually imagery).
As Educational Therapists, when we teach our students we do not use rote learning methodology. When we teach a new concept such as a spelling rule or morphology we give our students a visual imagery or we create a story to help them retain information into their long-term memory.
Memory empowerment tools save time in remembering things such as keywords for tests, presentations, standard operating procedures, things-to-do, things-to-buy. It will also aid us in memorising numbers such as facts, dates, bank account numbers, remembering names to faces.
Read more about the memory empowerment that can improve your memory in this article. Click here
By Sharyfah Nur Fitriya, DAS Educational Advisor, and
Sujatha Nair, DAS Assistant Director (QA), English Language and Literacy Division
This article was published in FACETS Vol 1. 2018