Learning : How do we learn new words ?
Hello Everyone , Its been a while I made a blog post as I have been busy , but while I am preparing for GRE , I have noticed a lot of patterns as well as problems in learning new words .
I want to enumerate some of my observations below
1. Conceptual Models : Conceptual model is again borrowed from the design world , for more information you can read my previous blog post regarding ( https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiltpjG2cjQAhVBr48KHSyEDOgQFggdMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.saurabhorange.com%2F2016%2F07%2F02%2Fdesign-of-educational-technologies%2F&usg=AFQjCNHiTglHnps2iAcyohGRJxU4sF0Z8w&bvm=bv.139782543,d.c2I )
But We have conceptual models for every words that know in our brain , consider a simple word like apple , Try saying it one time , do you see a visual image ( conceptual model ) in your brain ? This basically provides evidence to my first observation . However , there are a lots of words for which we have hard time retrieving a good mental image , or perhaps we cant associate them with images .
2. We Strive for patterns in world , and words are no different , We naturally try to relate new words with ones we are already quite familiar with , a simple and obvious example is that , when my brain already knows the word audacity quite well and I havnt used or heard the word audacious , I know by my natural instincts that it is related to audacity.
3. STM ( Short Term Memory ) is quite limited and not be stressed too much , We have a capacity of introducing new words to our brain everyday which varies from a person to person , but we shouldnt put too much load on STM.
storing words on LTM ( Long Term Memory ) requires quite effort , but once done is quite effective , This can be achieved if you learn a word thoroughly , see various examples associated with it , learn it to use in different contexts.
4. It can be very useful to associate few chars of word to something we can extract meaning of the word from ,
for example I came across this word bucolic, which I havnt heard but when I read its meaning which is relating to country , village , rural area. I somehow associated bu prefix of word with the word buffalo , and It basically created an association of the following kind
bucolic -> buffalo -> rural area, village
So we see that these forced mappings can actually be very useful .
There is one more design concept hidden in this observation , Knowledge from the word and knowledge from the head .
Knowledge in head requires a lot of effort in extraction , whereas knowledge from external world is relatively easy to identify , but both have advantages and limitations , the ideal case is carefully making use of them both , in the above example we identify bu prefix from external world and then retrieve buffalo from brain and then further retrieve true meaning of the word .
5. We learn by actually doing things ( Constructionism ) : This might seem very simple , but is very powerful , if you write words manually youself by your hand , you are in a way using this principle, It can be used in a more powerful way by creating a virtual simulating environment , lets say you are learning a new word , if we can design a system that can give us a task/activity to do and in that activity we mimic the true meaning of the newly seen word , and then we use it in a sentence . Its hard to actually find a suitable example here , I might update this post soon
6. We learn more quickly and can have a better conceptual models if we can associate images that capture the meaning of the word partially or completely .
Maybe if we are learning the word swiftly , and we are provided with a speedy car moving on a street , we can get a better meaning.
7. Frequent rehearsal of newly learnt words is very essential to save the words permanently in LTM.