Monday, 9 December 2013

Memory matters...

For the last three years I've been fighting a losing battle with my university faculty to get them to appreciate how important proper language development is for any researcher studying outside the limits of their native tongue. Unfortunately there is neither the money nor interest in providing access to more than a token couple of hours teaching a week. For anyone that has tried to learn a language, this is not enough.

To meet the shortfall, one of the most useful and surprisingly intuitive systems I've come across online is the website: memrise.com

Memrise

Its a fantastic vocabulary builder, designed around the science of memory and learning. I've been using it for the last couple of years and if today's first lesson was any indicator, it really has helped me retain a decent sized dictionary of Russian verbs, nouns and adjectives.

I came away feeling pretty impressed with how well I was able to string these elements together and explain myself almost exclusively in Russian. Obviously the grammar I've learned over the years is essential to putting any vocabulary into a proper form, but its made me a lot more confident about how much I've retained during the last three years. Granted, it still takes time for my brain to process exactly what I want to say, but the pieces are there and when faced with a teacher with limitless patience, those planted seeds are allowed to blossom.

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