After researching a large amount of information, we summarized the methods of memorizing words and learning spoken English.

A problem student in the eyes of teachers since childhood, and a stupid child in the eyes of parents. For a class teacher whose eyes are full of excellent students, there is no room for an undistinguished student like me in his eyes. I have been on the road to understanding and redeeming myself, constantly exploring why others memorize words so quickly, why all online learning methods fail for me, and why everyone thinks it is my problem…

Einstein said: “If you judge a fish’s ability based on whether it can climb a tree, you will think it is stupid all your life.” In fact, everyone is a genius. It just depends on whether they can find themselves. of talent.

So, I came to the road of redemption, how to solve my difficulties in learning English, how to memorize words without results, and even how to solve my clumsy speaking problem, and even set a reasonable plan for my future learning of English.

I continue to study through the Internet, and pursue the entire process of the human brain’s memory of words and subsequent retrieval and query words, and open up the entire principle layer. In this process, I researched a large number of Wikipedia and some articles on the Internet, and summarized this method. , all reference links are at the end of this article. I am a person who has been constantly beaten, self-doubted, and extremely depressed since I was a child. I hope that the lessons I have learned from the hurt I have received can serve as a reference for others. Umbrella, hope to help more people.

The article involves as few professional terminology as possible. From my perspective, a lot of the knowledge learned in high school biology is posted directly. I will explain some complex terms in detail. If you encounter something you don’t understand, you can go to found.

Brain and Learning

First, it is crucial to understand how the brain processes and remembers information. When we learn new words, the hippocampus region of the brain becomes active, helping us convert short-term memory into long-term memory. Repetition and practice strengthen these memory traces, making learning stronger.

How the brain processes information

The brain processes information through complex networks between neurons. When we learn new information, the connections between neurons (called synapses) become stronger, a process called synaptic plasticity. Repetition and practice strengthen these connections, making learning stronger.

The formation of memory

The formation of memories involves multiple areas of the brain, among which the hippocampus is key. Not only does it help convert short-term memory into long-term memory, it also plays a role in memory retrieval. Recognizing this, we can strengthen our memory by reviewing it multiple times, rather than trying to remember all the information at once.

1. Encoding

Encoding is the first step in the memory process, which involves converting received information into a form that the brain can process. This stage determines how the information is initially understood or perceived. Encoding can be visual (something you see), auditory (something you hear), or tactile (something you feel). Effective encoding often requires attention; information without focused attention may be difficult to encode effectively into the memory system.

2. Storage

Once information is encoded, it is stored in the brain. Storage is a complex process that involves the formation of both short-term memory (also called working memory) and long-term memory. Short-term memory has a limited capacity, typically only lasting a few seconds to a few minutes, and it can handle a limited number of items simultaneously (about 7 items, give or take 2). Through repetition and association, information can be transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory, a nearly unlimited capacity storage system that can store large amounts of information for long periods of time, even a lifetime.

3. Retrieval

Retrieval is the process of recalling information from memory. This can be a spontaneous process, such as suddenly remembering someone’s name, or a conscious effort, such as trying to recall learned information during an exam. The retrieval of a memory can be triggered by a variety of cues, including sensory cues, emotional states, or thought processes.

Brain Areas and Memory

  • Hippocampus: Plays a key role in long-term memory formation, specifically transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory.
  • Prefrontal lobes: Closely related to working memory and decision-making processes, helping to manage information in short-term memory.
  • Amygdala: Associated with emotional memories, especially those of intense emotional experiences.

Rules of the hippocampus area

The hippocampus is a part of the brain critical to learning and memory. It is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain and plays a key role in converting short-term memory into long-term memory and the formation of spatial memory. Here are some rules and principles about how the hippocampus affects learning and memory:

1. Encoding and transfer memory

-The hippocampus plays a central role in transferring experiences and information from short-term memory (or working memory) to long-term memory. This process often requires repetition or strong emotional connection to be effective.

2. Emotional memory

-The hippocampus is closely connected to the amygdala, which processes emotional responses. As a result, emotionally charged memories (especially those associated with fear or joy) are more likely to be encoded and retained long-term. (It turns out that it was because of this that we were happy and scared when we were children)

3. Spatial memory and navigation

  • The hippocampus is critical for spatial memory and navigational abilities, helping individuals remember where objects are and how to get from one place to another.

4. Neuroplasticity

  • The hippocampus is one of the few areas of the brain that can still generate new neurons into adulthood, a process called neurogenesis. This plasticity is critical for learning new information and adapting to new environments.

5. Effects of Injury

  • Damage or dysfunction in the hippocampus can severely affect an individual’s memory ability, causing short-term memories to be unable to be transferred to long-term memory, or affecting specific types of memory, such as spatial memory.

6. Repetition and Reinforcement

  • Through repetition and reinforcement of learned material, the hippocampus can help strengthen neural connections, thereby promoting the formation of long-term memories. This is why review and practice are so important to learning.

7. The role of sleep

  • Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, especially the REM sleep stage. During sleep, the hippocampus exchanges information with other parts of the brain, helping to strengthen and reorganize memories, thereby promoting learning.

Rules of the prefrontal lobe

The prefrontal lobe is a part of the cerebral cortex located under the frontal bones and is responsible for processing higher-level brain functions such as decision-making, planning, social behavior, personality expression, and controlling attention and behavior. The prefrontal lobe plays a key role in learning, memory, and cognitive control. Let’s learn more about the role of the prefrontal lobe and how it affects our ability to learn.

Decision Making and Planning

The prefrontal lobe is involved in complex decision-making processes and planning future actions. It helps evaluate the potential consequences of different options, allowing individuals to make decisions that benefit long-term goals.

Attention Control

The prefrontal lobe is critical for controlling attention. It helps you stay on task, ignore distractions, and switch focus when needed.

Behavioral Inhibition

The prefrontal lobe is involved in inhibiting inappropriate or unwanted behaviors and responses, which is important for social interaction and adapting to different environmental settings.

working memory

Working memory refers to the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information in the brain, and the prefrontal lobe plays a key role in this process. Working memory is essential for understanding language, solving problems, and performing complex thinking activities.

Social and Emotional Understanding

The prefrontal lobe helps interpret and respond to emotions in social situations and understand the intentions and beliefs of others. This is critical to building and maintaining relationships.


Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adjust thinking or behavior to new, different, or unexpected situations. The prefrontal lobe enables individuals to adapt flexibly to change, allowing them to adjust strategies when faced with new information or circumstances.

Effects of damage to the prefrontal lobe

Damage to the prefrontal lobes may lead to a variety of cognitive and behavioral problems, such as difficulty in decision-making, reduced planning and organizing skills, inappropriate social behavior, reduced attention control, and increased impulsive behavior.

How to Support Prefrontal Lobe Function

  • Multitasking: While chronic multitasking may be detrimental to deep focus, moderate multitasking can enhance cognitive flexibility in the prefrontal lobe.
  • Decision Making Games: Participating in games or activities that require strategic thinking and planning can exercise the decision-making ability of the prefrontal lobe.
  • Meditation and Attention Training: Practicing meditation and concentration training can improve attention control and reduce vulnerability to distraction.
  • Social Interaction: Positive social interactions promote the development of emotional understanding and social cognitive skills.

The rules of the amygdala

The amygdala is a key structure in the brain, located in the medial part of the bilateral temporal lobes. It is part of the limbic system of the brain and is mainly responsible for processing and regulating emotional responses, especially fear and happiness. It plays a vital role in our emotional lives, memory formation, decision-making processes, and social behavior. Here’s a closer look at the function of the amygdala and how it affects learning and behavior:

Emotional processing

The amygdala is the center of emotional responses, especially the recognition of fear and threat. It can quickly process emotional information and activate the body’s stress response, such as the “fight or flight” response, to help individuals cope with potential dangers.

Emotional Memory

The amygdala plays an important role in forming and storing emotional memories. Intense emotional experiences, especially those associated with fear or joy, are more likely to be remembered. This is because the amygdala enhances the encoding process of memories associated with these emotional experiences.

Decision Making and Evaluation

The amygdala is involved in the decision-making process by processing emotional information relevant to the decision. It helps evaluate the potential emotional consequences of different choices, influencing our decision-making preferences.

Social Behavior

The amygdala is critical for the processing of social signals, including the recognition of facial expressions and the assessment of social threat. This is important for building and maintaining relationships and adapting in complex social situations.

Emotional Regulation

The amygdala also works with other parts of the brain, such as the prefrontal lobes, to be involved in the regulation of emotional responses. Good emotional regulation skills are essential for handling stress, avoiding overreactions, and maintaining mental health.

Hyperactivity of the Amygdala

When the amygdala is overactive or poorly regulated, it can lead to exaggerated fear responses, anxiety, or other mood disorders. This can be managed through psychotherapy, medication, or other interventions.

Improve emotional intelligence

Understanding the function of the amygdala can help us better understand the causes of emotional reactions and improve our ability to manage emotions by practicing emotional intelligence skills such as emotion recognition, emotion expression, and emotion regulation.

Learning Strategies

Explore some effective methods that can help us learn and retain information better. Using the right learning strategies, we can improve learning efficiency and make the learning process more efficient and effective. 🦌

  • Dispersed Learning: Spreading learning over multiple different time periods, rather than concentrating on studying over a long period of time (known as “crazy review”), can improve memory retention.
  • Spaced Repetition: Repeating learning material at different intervals, gradually increasing the interval, can effectively transfer information into long-term memory.
  • Deep Processing: Deep understanding of study materials, rather than just mechanical memorization, can improve the quality of memory. Trying to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge can help with deep processing.

1. Distributed Learning (Spacing Effect)

Distributed learning refers to spreading learning time into several shorter learning sessions rather than completing it in a single long session. This approach is more effective than intensive learning (mastering the material over a long period of time all at once). Research shows that by spreading study time over different days, information is retained better.

2. Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a study technique that improves memory by reviewing study material at increased intervals of time. This method uses the principle of the forgetting curve to combat forgetting through regular review, thereby deepening the memory impression.

3. Active Learning

Active learning means learning in an actively participating way rather than passively receiving information. This can be done by asking questions, discussing, teaching others, or applying what you have learned. Active learning promotes deeper thinking and understanding.

4. Multisensory Learning

Multisensory learning refers to using multiple senses (vision, hearing, touch, etc.) simultaneously to learn information. This approach enhances memory because it provides the brain with multiple memory cues, thus promoting better information encoding and retrieval.

5. Testing Effect

Testing yourself regularly not only assesses your mastery of the material, but is actually a powerful learning tool. Through testing, you can strengthen your memory and discover gaps in your memory, thereby promoting further learning.

6. Self-Explanation

Explaining your understanding process as you learn can help you clearly understand how new information connects to what you already know. This strategy involves continually asking yourself questions as you study to deepen your understanding of the material.

7. Emotional Regulation

Learning efficiency is greatly affected by emotional state. Learning to manage your emotions and maintain a positive learning attitude can help improve learning efficiency. Positive emotions can enhance learning motivation and memory.

Keep your brain healthy

  • Adequate sleep: Sleep is crucial for memory formation, especially the REM sleep stage, which helps consolidate newly learned skills and knowledge.
  • BALANCED DIET: A healthy diet contributes to brain health, especially foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, which are particularly good for the brain.
  • Regular exercise: Exercise can promote the growth of new neurons in the brain and improve brain function.

REM sleep

During REM sleep, there is usually no movement, which is a normal stage of sleep that occurs many times during the night. About 20% of sleep is spent in REM sleep, which is the time when dreaming occurs, mostly in the second half of the night.

Balanced diet

A balanced diet involves consuming a variety of food types to ensure that the body gets all the necessary nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, to promote good health and maintain proper energy levels. Here are the key components of a balanced diet and its importance to health and learning:

  1. Carbohydrates: The body’s main energy source, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, etc.
  2. Protein: An important cell building and repair component, sources include meat, beans, nuts and dairy products.
  3. Fat: An important source of energy and supplier of essential fatty acids. Healthy fat sources include fish, vegetable oils, etc.
  4. Vitamins and Minerals: Necessary for various physiological functions and can be obtained from a variety of foods.
  5. Water: Necessary to maintain normal body functions and metabolism.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise has significant benefits for both physical health and brain function, including promoting the growth of new neurons, particularly in the brain’s hippocampus, a region critical for memory formation. This process is called neurogenesis and has a direct impact on improving memory and learning abilities.

  1. Memory Formation and Retention: New neurons increase the brain’s ability to process and store new information, thereby enhancing memory formation and retention.
  2. Improved learning ability: Neurogenesis promotes cognitive flexibility, making it easier for the brain to adapt to new learning tasks and challenges.
  3. Mood Regulation: Exercise also helps improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by promoting the growth of new neurons, thereby creating an emotional environment more conducive to learning and memory.
  4. Anti-Aging: Regular exercise and the resulting neurogenesis help slow down the aging process of the brain and maintain cognitive function.

How to Promote Neurogenesis with Exercise

  • Continuous: Regularly engage in moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.
  • Variety: Combine cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises for overall body and brain health.
  • Consistency: Long-term persistence is key to maintaining an exercise habit. recognizing space and object shapes, so their right brain is developed (the above statement is not supported by contemporary neuroscience and psychology circles. Most functions In fact, both the left and right brains need to be involved). A large number of axons connecting the two hemispheres form a body called the [corpus callosum](https:// anatomy. The higher the area corresponding to the brain’s control area is located below the body, the more precise the action organs occupy, the larger the area.

Broca’s Area

  • Location: Located in the left hemisphere of the brain, specifically in the lower part of the frontal lobe.
  • Function: Mainly responsible for language generation and language output processing. This includes the formation of utterances and the processing of grammatical structures.
  • Related Conditions: Damage to Broca’s area may lead to Broca’s aphasia, in which patients have difficulty with speech. Although they can understand what others are saying, their speech becomes very slow and difficult. , usually accompanied by syntax errors.

Wernicke’s Area

  • Location: Located in the temporal lobe of the left hemisphere of the brain.
  • Function: Mainly responsible for language understanding. Wernicke’s area helps us understand written and spoken language and is involved in the language comprehension process.
  • Related Conditions: Damage to Wernicke’s area may lead to Wernicke’s aphasia, in which patients can speak fluently, but their words lack meaning and they have difficulty understanding language.

Other important divisions of the brain

  • Hippocampus: Located inside the temporal lobe and critical for memory formation and retrieval.
  • Prefrontal: Responsible for decision-making, personality expression, control of motor functions and complex cognitive behaviors such as planning.
  • Parietal Lobe: Processes tactile information and participates in human spatial perception and navigation.
  • Occipital lobe: The visual processing center of the brain, responsible for processing visual information from the eyes.
  • Temporal Lobe: In addition to processing auditory information, it is also involved in memory storage and language understanding.

Each area of the brain is interconnected through complex networks and collectively participates in processing our sensory input, motor control, cognitive functions and emotional responses. Research on Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas has helped scientists gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of language and how the brain coordinates these complex tasks.

The process of memorizing words

1. Encoding

  • Visual Encoding: When you see a word, the visual cortex of the brain is activated and begins processing the visual image of the word.
  • Auditory Coding: When reading a word or listening to someone else read a word, the auditory area of the brain (such as the temporal lobe) is involved in processing the pronunciation of the word.
  • Semantic Coding: Understanding the meaning of a word involves language processing areas of the brain, such as Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, which help you understand the meaning of the word and connect it to concepts you already know.

2. Storage

  • Transfer from short-term memory to long-term memory: Through repeated practice, words are transferred from short-term memory (working memory) to long-term memory. This process involves the brain’s hippocampus, which encodes new information and assists in transferring this information to other parts of the cerebral cortex for long-term storage.
  • Strengthening of Neural Connections: Reciting words repeatedly can strengthen the connections between neurons in the brain. This strengthening of connections is the physical basis for memory formation.

3. Retrieval

  • Triggering of Memory: When it is time to recall a word, the brain retrieves the neural network associated with the word. This process may be triggered by some kind of cue or association, such as seeing an item related to the word or thinking of a related concept.
  • The role of the prefrontal lobe: The prefrontal lobe of the brain plays an important role in memory retrieval, helping to manage and recall information in long-term memory.

Memory Generation Strategies

In order to improve the efficiency and persistence of memory when memorizing words, you can use the following strategies:

  • Multi-sensory learning: Using multiple senses such as vision (looking at words), hearing (listening to the pronunciation of words), and kinesthetic (writing down words) at the same time can improve the efficiency of memory.
  • Spaced Repetition: Using spaced repetition to learn words instead of repeating them multiple times at once can better enhance long-term retention of memory.
  • Build Connections: Making connections between new words and known information, experiences, or emotions can improve the strength of your memory.
  • Use memory techniques: Techniques like building a story, making a mind map, or using a memory palace can help you remember words better.

How to memorize words

Knowing the formation of memory above, let’s design a suitable method for memorizing words.

1. First acquaintance stage

  • Batch Learning: Break the words into small groups of 10-15 words each. Research shows that learning in batches is more effective than memorizing large numbers of words all at once.
  • Multi-sensory input: Use four methods of listening, speaking, reading and writing to learn words at the same time. For example, listening to the pronunciation of words (auditory), repeating the pronunciation in person (oral), looking at words and their meanings (visual), and writing words by hand (kinesthetic).

2. Deepen understanding

  • Contextual Application: Use new words in sentences or short stories, which helps understand the usage and meaning of the word.
  • Associative Memory: Connect new words with known information, images or emotional experiences, and use associative memory to deepen the impression.

3. Consolidate memory

  • Spaced repetition: Use spaced repetition to review words. The time interval can range from minutes to hours to days. Gradually increase the interval.
  • Self-Test: Conduct small tests on yourself regularly, such as practicing with flash cards or word apps to test your memory.

4. Practical application

  • Oral Practice: Try to use newly learned words to express yourself in spoken English, whether it is to introduce yourself, describe daily life or discuss topics of interest.
  • Writing Application: Regularly write short essays or diaries using newly learned words to strengthen your writing skills and consolidate your memory.

5. Feedback adjustment

  • Record Progress: Record learning progress and difficulties encountered, and review and evaluate learning effects regularly.
  • Adjustment method: Adjust the learning strategy according to the learning effect and personal preference, and find the most suitable method for memorizing words.

6. Use technology to assist

  • Applications: Use word memorization applications or software, such as Anki, Quizlet, etc., which provide spaced repetition, flashcards and other functions to help improve learning efficiency.
  • Online Resources: Refer to online courses, video and audio materials to increase the fun and variety of learning.

How do I design a plan to memorize words?

I have always thought that it is difficult for me to remember a word. All the previous information tells you that you need to read the word silently 20 times and spell it 20 times to remember it. However, I feel that I still forget it after reading it silently a hundred times. I agree. It’s because the nerve cells in your hippocampus are not strong enough.

But if you think about it carefully, the brain’s memory is actually clear. In fact, many times, it’s not that we have poor memory when it comes to learning, but that we can’t see the logic and connections behind the knowledge we learn. As a simple example, please pause reading now and think about what you had for lunch yesterday.

You will find that you can remember it if you think about it for a while, right? Then look at how you think about it. Do you first think about what I did around noon yesterday, who I was with, what I said, where I went before eating, or what I did in the afternoon, or what I did. Where should I go to eat before the incident? Then you remember what you had for lunch.

Excuse me, have you memorized what you had for lunch yesterday? No right. So how do you remember what you had for lunch yesterday? In fact, it is a logical connection. For you, what you had for lunch is not an isolated piece of information, but an event connected by many pieces of information and meaning. This information constitutes the multiple dimensions and connections of lunch, forming a path in your mind for inquiry. This is the memory retrieval process above.

So I understand that the first key to truly learning a word is the information dimension of the word, which is why we need this word and the logic behind it.

Secondly, in fact, when memorizing words, many teachers or APPs have the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve.

Baicizhan is a good example. I was using Baicizhan to memorize words. After memorizing them for a while, I found that I couldn’t remember anything. Memorizing them turned into memorizing the pictures corresponding to the words and directly selecting them. Such repetition is actually very inefficient.

In my opinion, only by ensuring the information dimension, adding the information dimension appropriately, or simply repeating it, can the brain internalize this structural information.

Thus, we know the three key steps to ideally learning a word

  • Enter enough information dimensions when you first come into contact with words
  • Ensure that the input dimensions are sufficient and repeated appropriately. This repetition can be a simple repetition, or it can further increase the information dimension of the word.
  • Try to use the word and get effective feedback, accept the feedback and internalize the word.

Two methods

On the basis of these theories, I propose two methods that are easy to practice. The second method is the best method in my opinion, but practicing this method requires additional conditions. The first method is a method with lower practical cost.

First: Use word software with multiple contextual examples and multiple example forms

Based on the theory I mentioned above, what kind of word memorization software do you think can achieve the ideal effect?

First of all, this word software must provide multiple example sentences in different contexts, because different contexts are the information dimensions and connections we hope to generate.

Secondly, this word software needs to provide examples in different forms as much as possible. For example, if the example is an example from a novel, we can check the context of the novel, or the example is from a sentence in a speech, and we can listen to the complete sentence. The speech and even the example sentences come directly from a certain sentence in the video, and we can view the video directly.

From the information dimension, video > pure listening materials > novel examples > single example > no example. Because video contains the most information, including tone, intonation, facial expressions, dynamic images and complete contextual situations. Even if we forget the meaning of the word after memorizing it, we can still recall the meaning by thinking back to the video we watched. Just like we remembered the lunch we had yesterday.

Based on these points, here is a software combination that allows you to listen to English easily without memorizing words.

Second: Use word software with memory function and complete definitions + daily input materials

This method proposes a simple but crucial change, which is to directly select an English book to start reading, and then when encountering words that you do not understand, input them directly into Solidmemory developed by the author /home? Do fixed word exercises every day to consolidate. You can also add examples to the words you enter. At this time, you can add examples directly from the book.

In fact, the principle of the memory part also uses the Espenho curve, but in this method each word does not exist independently. For learners, words are actually acquired in their complete context. From this perspective, the information dimension of each word itself is very sufficient.

However, this software is paid. If you want a free alternative version, I suggest you use a similar concept, and then directly input the new words we encounter from books every day, such as not memorizing words or scallop words. Word software with complete memory functions and definitions.

But there are two additional conditions for using this method:

  1. You need to find reading materials that are suitable for your current English level. You cannot understand all the words in a sentence, as this will easily lead to frustration.
  2. You need to read a certain amount of English materials every day and input the new words you encounter.

My word memorization plan

So at this point, I finally have a detailed plan for my vocabulary memorization and subsequent design.

First, here are the things you must do every day:

  • I am a loyal fan of GTD, so I have higher requirements on time. I hope to set aside an hour every day to memorize words.
  • While memorizing words, we need certain means to help us maintain our memory ability, and we need to spend at least an hour exercising every day.
  • We need to be sufficiently situational, and if possible, make the main language in our lives English. What we see and hear every day is English, and provide sufficient input of English materials.
  • Ensure about eight hours of sleep per day 8h
  • Guaranteed time for work and professional study every day from 9:30 to 9:30 pm, 12 hours
  • Guarantee reading requirement of no less than one hour per day 1h

Choose efficient tools

When choosing tools, focus on simplicity and efficiency and avoid overreliance on multiple tools. Choose tools that can directly improve learning efficiency and pay attention to their usage methods and steps.

  • NetEase Youdao Dictionary: used to collect and organize information to facilitate the production of vocabulary books, as the main tool for information acquisition and organization.
  • ChatGPT or other AI: Act as a spoken language learning assistant to assist in speaking practice.
  • YouTube: Provides a wealth of English learning resources to help quickly improve your English skills.
  • No Memorizing Words/Scallop Words: Focus on word learning to help memorize and review new words.
  • WeChat Reading: Provides reading of English books to increase language exposure and improve reading comprehension.
  • In addition to these, including other external APPs, such as X and Google Chrome, try to read first-hand information in English as much as possible