- Focus. You first need to learn it before recalling it. So, in order to learn it well, focus on listening if you are in a language class or reading if you are doing that task. If you are doing self-study, make sure to select a quiet study space set up for optimum least distracting desk area. In this way, you will be able to focus and not be distracted by your phone, internet, or friends.
- As you are reading, ask yourself important questions about what you read
Of course, you are much more likely to recall it if you know your purpose for reading it. Ask yourself questions such as who (did the action,) what (happened,) where (did it happen,) when (did it happen,) why (what’s the reason for it,) how (did it happen) about the subject matter.
- Employ various learning approaches while studying
Studies show most humans remember 20% of what is read, 30 % of what is heard; 40% of what is seen visually, half of what is written down on paper (typed) or said out loud, and 60% of what is performed manually with movement. Remember when you study, to use all your different senses for learning different ways: write notes down, say your notes out loud and record them, or draw pictures to take visual notes.
- At the end of each study session, quickly go over what English you studied. If you skim the main objective and retrace the key points of the goals of each study session, you will remember the lesson at that moment, and the next time you study, it will help you recall them. Be sure to take a few minutes to summarize your notes using key words that will improve your memory later.
- As often as you can, look over what you studied as a short review
It is much easier to recall things with a regular study pattern. For instance, if you study once a week, review briefly what you did the last session. Or, if you study every other day, start your session by reviewing what you studied the last time. If you have time to study daily, then begin your study time by reviewing just a couple minutes what you did the day before. On the other hand, if you try learning everything at the last minute, your memory will not retain the information.
- Take time to recall your study sessions without your notes
Without referring to your books or materials, take a few minutes to remember what you studied. Give your memory a quiz make creating notes on what you think you studied, then go back and check your notes or texts to see if it is consistent. You will recall more if you practice this technique.