By hook or by crook

#10 Language learning tips and tools

Let me share a story with you, a story about the wisdom of children, about how they instinctively know how to learn.

This story took place in December. I was studying the spelling and pronunciation of nasal sounds with a smart eight year-old. We came across the word "dindon" with a corresponding picture of a male turkey.

My pupil turned round to me and said: "This word reminds me of the sound ding dong". Without knowing it, she had created a memory hook for that new word. And to this day, she remembers it.

This strategy can also be used consciously in order to enhance our learning and retaining ability.

Hook a new word onto something that you already know, be it a sound, a concept, a thought, a picture, a sensation, a similar word in your own language, and you will make the acquisition of new knowledge much easier.

The more languages you already know, the more hooks you have at your disposal to learn new vocabulary, but also grammar, conjugation, syntax... The good news is that it only gets easier.

Happy learning!

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