Y173 Tma

For many years now studies have been carried out on our memories and the way we can use

them. Memory is an everyday device which our brains use for work, play or even something

as simple as cooking the dinner.

One of the fundamental methods of memorising is to use mental images; mental images are a

process that stems back from as early as childhood. We can be taught to see pictures and

recall the name e.g. Apple, Cat, Ball is used when discovering the alphabet as a young

child. Mental images for recall as you become older could be in the form of picturing

something in your mind and using a mental image as a cue. The Y163 course book uses an

example of using mental images when discovering a new language where the key words of the

language can be turned into a mental picture such as the French term Pooh-bel which

translated means bin. This picture can be imagined as a bell upside down with rubbish in,

giving the image of a bin. Two guys (Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson) carried out

experiments after developing what we call key word techniques (cues).These experiments were

carried out on to groups of people learning Spanish. One of the variables of the experiment

was changed on half of the participants where words were given to prompt memories of

certain Spanish words and the results found that an increased number of people remembered

more words by using the key words.

When using mental imagery another strategy is the use of mnemonics which is a strategy used

to aid recall by way of using rhymes or acronyms. For example “Every Good Boy Deserves

Football” gives us musical notes when reading a musical piece by using the first letter of each

word E, G, B, D and F. Another I’ve always liked is; Big Elephants Can Always Understand

Small Elephants which can be used when learning or memorising to spell the word BECAUSE.

Many mnemonics are used at an early age and most people use them into adult life not...