The Intensive, Tough but Super Effective Method for Memorizing Vocabulary in Any Language

You guys, you and I both know that forgetfulness must be one of the most annoying elements that hold you back from learning a language. Remembering vocabulary can be difficult, especially with all those little words like prepositions and conjunctions. Personally, I am blessed with reasonable memory so I am a pretty good reviser, but as part of my research for The Vocab Cookbook I got to know a few new tricks! 

For example, I got to meet one of the “gurus” of learning how to memorise stuff. Anthony Metivier is a Canadian living in Berlin, and spending some quality time in his memory palaces. If you get a copy of my book, you’ll be hearing directly from him about his methods. But today, I want to share a review about his work directly, because Anthony has some pretty firm ideas about language learning that he shares in his Udemy Course “How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary of Any Language”.

Signing up through the course links in this article supports my site, by the way, so please do it! You will get the course at half price with the code FLUENTLANGUAGE, please do not forget to type it in.

Where Can You Learn This Method?

I like spending time on Udemy interacting with my own course crowd and discovering new ideas for what I could learn, and Anthony’s course does stand out quite a bit. Not only has it attracted over 5000 students already, but it’s also rated 5 Stars by most of the students.

Anthony’s course is huge, it’s split into 12 sections covering every possible angle of memorising vocabulary in a memory palace that you can imagine. He starts off by sharing his own story - like so many strong believers in a method they’ve discovered, he says that he actually used to be pretty bad at remembering stuff. In his words, the Magnetic Memory Method has completely changed his life. And with that in mind, it’s definitely worth checking out the course.

A full review for this course might run over thousands of words (and ain't nobody got time....well I'd just never do it!), so instead I recommend you check it out for yourselves over at Udemy. Here is my short link for you: http://bit.ly/memorizelanguage. Read on for a speedy review of the essentials - and my verdict on whether this might work.

Does it Work?

One of the core advantages of Anthony’s method is that the way he has put it together is pretty unique. The theories and the methods he works with are not hot off the press news but that’s irrelevant. They are tried and tested, and he does a great job of bringing everything together for language learners here. Do you currenly use a memory palace? Do you currently break a word into sounds and components while trying to remember it? If not, then you want to take a look at this stuff.

My own results for using word association and location have been extremely successful. You have often heard me mention sticky notes in your house, but I had never thought about using all of the different rooms together as “memory palaces”. It’s great - basically it’s taking the next step and now you mentally label your whole house (familiar places, that's the key), then move through it in your mind (though make sure you follow Lecture 7 to know what NOT to do). The real memory anchor is building mental images that you put into those memory palaces. So you build them, then you populate them, then you store and test, and then you never forget anything, like ever, again. 

It’s not easy, it’s not spontaneous, it requires both dedication and spreadsheets. You better work through those 21 worksheets, but if you are ready to commit that much effort to your Magnetic Memory Method you will succeed! It does work and it will make even the most annoying little words stick in your mind for a long long time.

How I Applied It With Russian Vocabulary

memorizing vocabulary

For what it’s worth, here’s a picture of the little doodle I made when I first looked through this course - a mental map of a house (memory palaces), and the stairs populated with words that have the ц letter in them. It’s a sort of “ts” sound, so it reminded me of “st” in stairs. Yes, this already sounds crazy but the beauty of a great memory method is actually that it only has to work for you!! So in my stair room, there’s a bird bouncing down the stairs, making the sound “peep”! Why? Because Russian for bird is “pteetsa” (птица), and now I’ve bundled together the p from peep, the meaning of the word and the reminder that the spelling has a ц in it. I won’t forget the word any time soon, that bird is flying down my staircase all over my mind right now. So as you can see, Anthony’s guidance creates crazy associations - they are colourful, fun and so very memorable.

The pacing of the course is difficult to gauge because it’s obviously self-paced through videos. I would however recommend no more than one section per week and that means you can become a memory wizard in about 3 months here! 

Value for Money

You getting soooo much time and tuition out of this course, and the benefits are extremely valuable if you only put your mind to it. Go with the exercises, complete the worksheet, and observe how Anthony’s methods really do improve your memory. For 97 dollars (and save money with the code FLUENTLANGUAGE, don't forget!!). At the current exchange rate, that’s actually a great deal.

Video Quality

The videos are focused on audio and projected words onto the screen, which is the area where I believe we have some room for improvement. I would *love* to see more of Anthony talking directly to us and demonstrating his method live as he moves around the memory palace. I would really love a few screencasts, seeing him take even better advantage of having video in this course. The audio quality is absolutely fabulous and I also really appreciate the written materials that Anthony supplies.

Instructor Quality

Anthony is a special instructor because he has that thing you do want in any teacher - full dedication to his subject. This man is living the Magnetic Memory thing, so he'll make sure it works for his students. Plus, his voice and calm delivery are very pleasant and add to the value. You may have seen my cat Abigail say hello in my own French Grammar Course on there, but Anthony is too much of a pro for that! Section 12 of this course is particularly special, as this is where he has added extra recordings to help course participants apply the method. The questions are all asked by language learners, meaning this section focuses on everything to do with memory and language learning. For example, in Lecture 50, he gives you a full walkthrough of the memory palaces that work for a Greek alphabet.

Overall Rating

The Udemy Course “How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary of Any Language” offers great value for money and will keep you perfecting your memory method for months to come. It's not suitable for someone looking for a quick fix, but if you're dedicated and excited about learning something new, this will be for you. Pretty good videos, calm delivery and extensive documentation mean I'm giving this a 4.5/5.

Remember:

Use this link to sign up: http://bit.ly/memorizelanguage. You will get the course at half price with the code FLUENTLANGUAGE, please do not forget to type it in. 

Linguistic Sidenote

If you have ever become confused about whether to spell the word for remembering stuff as "memorize" or "memorise", you're not alone. These days, it's tough to know which one to go with. Especially with the added confusion of autocorrect on phones and spell checker when you type, I don't even really know whether I am consistent anymore. Here is the lowdown:

  • "Memorize" is the more widely popular and "official" (according to my 2002 Pons English Learners' dictionary) variant.
  • "Memorise" is a British spelling variant, and less common.

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Insider Post: What the A-Level exams were really like

 As promised, this week the blog will shed a little light on exams in the school system and today I'm extremely honoured to present you with some notes from the front line! Tom Pandolfino has been sweating over this year's A-Levels and he's now one of millions of students anxious to receive their results tomorrow. In today's blog post, Tom lets us in on his thoughts about the last two years of language in the school system, and whether he thinks it was worth it.

International Readers: A-Levels are the UK's school leaving exams at 18, the senior high school is called "Sixth Form", and GCSE are the ones at about 16. They love exams in this country. 

Judgement day...? Perhaps for some!

For many young students, tomorrow is seen as the 'make it or break it day'. It’s already that time of year again in which we as students receive our A-level results. There is much pressure upon us to get those grades in order to go to the university of our choice or to go on with future life achieving the best possible results. I am sure that many finger nails will have been bitten to shreds! 

Transient

Having worked hard for the past two years and particularly hard in the last year, the summer time came around and it was time for my exams. Being stressed is an understatement as to how I felt. I can safely say that this was a shared feeling for the majority of my friends and other students. You really feel like your whole life depends on these exams, however sometimes you just need to remind yourself that it is not the end of the world and that there really are much worse and more serious things in life than writing on a piece of paper in timed conditions. 

In my own case, I feel nervous about the results tomorrow, but I maintain the mindset that it is all done now and I tried my best, so I cannot be tough upon myself, whatever is to happen. Yet at the same time I am very much looking forward to getting my results as I want to go on with the next stage of my life and start a new chapter at university! 

The beginning of the past two years...  

After my GCSEs, I personally decided to continue with my studies in the form of A-levels as I hoped to go on to study at university. Having been successful in both French and German at GCSE level, I decided to take the plunge and continue them both on as two of my A-level choices. 

Foreign languages had always intrigued me whilst I was at school, and I got so much satisfaction in communicating with others as there is so much to be learnt about our wonderful world! I still find it thrilling now talking in a different language as it allows you to see and feel the world in a different light. My other subjects that I decided to study for A-Level along with my languages were Economics and Government and Politics. These were subjects that I chose as I thought they would be relevant to and linked with languages, in a modern and inter-linked global world.

So what are these exams really like?

I spent my two years of sixth form working up to the A-Level exams, and after a total of 8 exams in the exam season just gone, I can happily say that I feel they all went well! Some of course were harder than others and there are always parts of the exam paper itself that were very difficult. You know that dreaded after thought of ‘wait...should I have written this instead?’ or ‘was it actually A and not B?’ Perhaps though as far as I am concerned the most difficult exams are the writing exams for the languages.

It is my belief that the speaking exams remain the most nerve-racking even though I feel that is where I am strongest. At the end of the day, my favourite part about language learning is using the language face to face and getting stuck in to conversation. In these exams, I noticed how much confidence I had gained in speaking the languages as I really pushed myself throughout my last year of A-levels to not just get an A-level grade in my languages but to actually try and be able to really USE them. It is such a shame in my opinion that many people will leave school, often having studied a language and sometimes even to a fairly advanced level, such as A-level standard, but will never use their skill. They will just let their knowledge fade away. 

Find out if it was worth the work

It really did soon become quite clear to me that having studied both French and German, I had reached quite a high level of proficiency from having done my A-levels. I can by no means claim that I speak them perfectly and I do not understand every single word that I hear or read, but I have achieved an intermediate or upper intermediate level in both languages. With the internet at my disposal I can log on and quite confidently have conversations in these languages about most subjects with people around the world. Of course once again I do not know every specific word related to fixing a car or to sky diving but I can make myself understood. For me that, is my goal: to make myself understood as best as I can. Of course I would hope that by doing this and learning from my mistakes my linguistic abilities will improve as time goes on. 

All in all, I would say that having taken languages as two of my subjects, I have had great fun. It is tough work whatever someone decides to do for their A-levels but languages in particular will require a lot of commitment to really try and get the best possible grades.

If anyone reading this is unsure whether to take a language or two or even three (I know someone who did this) for their A-levels, go for it! You will benefit so much from being able to understand and communicate even at a basic level and it is so much fun! It further shows that you are not afraid of a challenge! But to all those who get their results tomorrow I wish you all the best and I hope that you all get the grades that you want and can like me go on to the university of your choice! 

 You can follow Tom on YouTube, and please do leave a comment to wish the guy good luck for tomorrow!