With the unstoppable globalization of economy, careers and culture are breaking barriers and making a borderless world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in careers. Internet has literally become the window to the world. As information and opportunities abound, the choice in careers is no longer limited to a region, but spread wide across the world. This has opened the field for newer pastures and wide range of job opportunities. Consequently, the need for learning foreign languages has become necessary.
Besides, in the highly competitive business world that we are in, knowing additional languages invariably gives you the added edge. But learning a foreign language has its own subtle intricacies. The pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and the use of proper syntax are just some of the major problems confronting any learner. However, there are some sound techniques for mastering a language. Ideally they are best done using memory techniques. One of the basic methods is to associate the foreign word with a similar sounding word in the language you are very fluent in.
For e,g., the French word for rug/carpet is 'tapis'. You can associate the word with tap in English.
Similarly, the equivalent of grump in French is 'grogon'. By associating 'grogon' with the word groggy in English, which means sleepy and tired, you will be able to remember the French word. Another memory technique is to use images for improving your foreign vocabulary.
So for the above two words in French - 'tapis' and 'grogon', you can imagine taps being open and water running on a rug or carpet, and use the image to reinforce the meaning of the word 'tapis'. In the same way, you can use a grumpy looking sleepy face to remember 'grogon' to convey the meaning grumpy. The image of drooping eyelids and mouth can be visualized to remember 'grogon' as grumpy.
Yet another well-known technique is using town language mnemonics. Since the basic vocabulary of a language pertains to everyday things - things that you will find in a town, village or city - you can use the different areas and objects to link the images and the corresponding foreign words. You can associate all the food-related words by visualizing a familiar supermarket and substituting the images and the words of food items sold there with the corresponding foreign language words. Likewise, all foreign words concerning animals and birds can be remembered by imagining a zoo, and linking the images of different animals and birds in the zoo to the corresponding foreign words. In this way, you can cover different working zones of a town, village or city such as library, park, shopping mall, etc.
, and master the related foreign words associated with each sphere of activities. This way you will reinforce your foreign language vocabulary thoroughly. Incidentally, Tony Buzan in his book 'Using your Memory' lists 100 basic words that are elementary to any language learning.
This could be used to learn the primary words of the foreign language. In all these methods, it would be obvious that memory has a chief role to play in learning a language, more so for increasing your vocabulary. You need to be familiar with the words in order to use them effectively.
Since Mind Mapping technique was born out of the need for enhancing memory, Mind Maps serve as an indispensable memory tool. Indeed Mind Mapping is the most ideal method for improving your memory. Using Mind Maps to learn foreign language is a highly useful and proven technique for mastering a foreign language. Many people are using Mind Maps as a vital tool for learning languages. As the Mind Map technique is based on information processing abilities of the brain, Mind Maps have a crucial role as a memory-enhancing process.
And deploying this technique for mastering foreign language can only speed up the process of learning. The simplicity of the technique and the efficacy of its process, gives Mind Maps not just a clear edge but in elevating it as a time-tested method for mastering any language. .
By: Vj Mariaraj