Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner

Author:Gabriel Wyner [Wyner, Gabriel]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub
ISBN: 9780385348102
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Published: 2014-08-05T04:00:00+00:00

Find Pictures

Pictures are there to make your life easier. They trick your brain into thinking about the story within each sentence rather than some abstract grammatical relationships. This makes every aspect of grammar more memorable and more useful. You don’t need to know that the third person present indicative tense of “to have” is has; you do need to know how to talk about George and his monkey, and you can trick yourself into training that skill by adding a picture of a monkey to your George _____ a monkey (to have) flash card.

Unless you’re using a Leitner box and drawing your pictures, you’ll use Google Images. If you’re not learning new, concrete words, then you don’t need to search for images in your target language. We’re not playing Spot the Differences here, so if you need a picture of a man with a monkey, feel free to search for “man with a monkey.” This will save you some time and allow you to find practically any picture you can imagine. After all, the Internet is mostly in English; there are 625 million men with monkeys out there, and only a million hommes avec singes.

When you’re picking apart a sentence into a bunch of little pieces, you can carefully search for the perfect picture of a man/monkey and reuse it in every flash card, or you can haphazardly pick up a handful of different pictures of men and monkeys. The former—using the same, single image on every card—will probably take you less time, and the latter—different images on every card—will be easier to remember.

Try both variants out and see how your brain reacts. I like to use multiple images to highlight different aspects of the sentence. For my George _____ a pet monkey (to have) flash card, I might have a picture of a monkey and a grabbing hand, to emphasize the possessive nature of have. Experiment. You’ll find that after a few weeks, you’ll develop a sense for the sorts of images that work best for you.

Note that not every sentence comes with an obvious picture. Honesty is the best policy doesn’t contain any references to monkeys. In cases like these, find a picture of whatever comes to mind. You might grab an image of George Washington or a hand swearing on a Bible or Pinocchio. When all else fails, find a picture of anyone who would say your sentence—there are billions of images of people on the Internet (just search for “man talking”). Pick your favorite. Any picture will help turn an abstract grammatical idea into a concrete story. As a result, you’ll have a much easier time remembering your sentence.


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