How to Memorize Vocabulary of a Second Language with Mind MapsCindy
There is no doubt that you start learning a foreign language from its vocabulary. When you sing, you begin with Do Re Mi; when you read, you begin with ABC. Vocabulary is the spring of sentences, paragraphs, essays, and books that provide readers with knowledge. Actually, that’s commonly how vocabulary is taught to most students and how they review them following a linear structure. Does this words list work? Yes, but not that much. Such a structure can hardly make students gather words in defined catalog and groups. Since vocabulary is so important, how can you memorize them effectively? The best solution is to combine vocabulary memorizing with mind maps, a visualizing tool in managing information.
Why Mind Maps Work Better in Memorizing Vocabulary of a Second Language?
Different from traditional linear words list, mind maps work in a radiant structure and enriches your words map with colors and icons. As is known to all, intuitive things stimulate our brain better than monotonous elements. The process that a mind map develops is exactly how human brain flows naturally. In addition, the layout of a mind map usually adopts a radiant structure, thus helping you capture the connection between parts at first sight. What’s more, you are able to link the detail of a word from the second language with that of your mother tongue, making comparisons to strengthen vocabulary memorizing.
How to Memorize Vocabulary with Mind Maps?
Place the name of the language you are learning as the main idea in the center of the map you create. Add several catalogs such as “Clothing”, “Shopping”, “Information Technology” etc. around the main idea as main topics.
Create a new map as the submap with the main topics in Step 1 as the main idea of them respectively. Add hyperlinks to the map in Step 1 to connect the sub-maps with them in one click.
Get your sub-maps structured by branching out detailed main topics following the respective catalogs in Step 1. For example, here I branch off “Clothing” with hyponym like “Accessories”, “Bottoms” and “Full Body Outfits”.
Supplement your sub-maps with the vocabulary you are learning.
- Start by supplementing vocabulary in your mother-tongue, then branch off its translation as a subtopic following it.
- Insert corresponding images or symbols above the new word whenever it is possible. They stimulate your brain better than linear texts and helps memorize the target word easily.
- Furthermore, extensive associations such as relating words and example sentences of the target word can also be added into the map. This offers the target word a concrete context so that you can understand its meaning and usage in detail.
- You can add the phonetic transcription as a note inserted to the target word, just in case you might forget the pronunciation of it. This note works at your will – give it a click if you need it, or ignore it when it is not necessary. The advantage of inserting its pronunciation as a note is that it does not prevent you from skimming over the whole map at any time.
How to Make Full Use of the Vocabulary Mind Maps?
Since you create these maps on software, then they are stored as digital files which you can edit and update whenever you like. You may customize your own dictionary in the style you fancy.
Print your maps on a default paper size and stick the print – outs on the wall that you can see frequently, or make them into flashcards which you can put in your pocket. According to The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, people lost almost 75% of the knowledge they learned in six days if they don’t review them. In this case, even a glance at your maps facilitates the vocabulary to impress themselves on your brain deeper.
Mind maps do work out in helping people memorize the vocabulary of a second language fast and effectively. Do you like it? Try out the free trial of mind mapping software and start creating your vocabulary library!