Visit us frequently to get the latest news, developments and Brainy's useful learning tips.

Learn Tips: Grammar

1.    Anthropomorphization Trick

If the foreign language you are learning has genders, this may seem very arbitrary to you. In most cases, only a few regular patterns can be detected regarding how gender is assigned to a word. One way to remember the grammatical gender of a word is to imagine the object as if it were a woman or a man. In Spanish, for example, "la luna" is the word for moon. It is feminine. When you think of "moon", don't simply think of a genderless object, but image the moon having long eye lashes and lots of lipstick on "her" mouth. Image the moon having a higher pitched voice or wearing a skirt. You have to be careful with this trick, however, if you are learning two new foreign languages at once and if same words have different genders in each language.

Visual Categorization Trick

If your foreign language has many genders, imagine a large building with many floors, assign a different gender to each floor, and place words on the appropriate floor according to their gender.

You can also practice this trick with other categorizations such as different types of conjugations or declinations, or different groups of verbs. Instead of a building, you might imagine a big closet with shelves or a dresser with drawers.

Another way to learn the gender of nouns is to visualize a familiar place, such as your hometown, and to divide it into two, three, or however many genders there are in your foreign language. Then imagine nouns of one gender in one part of town and nouns of another gender in a different part of town.

Posted by Brainy
Monday, 27. July 27.07.09 02:30 in Brainy

Learn Tips: Vocabulary Learning

1. Chunk Learning

When we speak of chunk learning, we think of two types of memory training.

On the one hand, we can group sequences of information in our daily life. This is especially helpful in short-term retention. Often, we do this automatically when we need to memorize a phone number such as 3566671999. We tend to divide it into chunks like 356-667-1999. This way, instead of remembering ten separate digits, we remember three chunks of numbers.

On the other hand, we can also practice chunk learning when we want to retain information in our long-term memory. In this case, a chunk is a set of elements having strong associations with one another, but weak associations with elements within other chunks.

We tend to learn more efficiently, if we study frequently and for shorter periods of time than if we study infrequently for extended periods of time. Try to study regularly and structure the vocabulary you need to memorize in such a way that all vocabulary words in a chunk are related to a specific topic. Mind maps can help you structure your vocabulary words in this way.

MemoryLifter offers you the possibility to split your learning material into chapters. Furthermore, you could also print out flashcards of one chapter and arrange them into a mind map and create a big poster. You may think that this is tedious work, however, while making the mind map itself you will be learning the words unconsciously or along the way. The time spent will be worth it.

2. Micro Learning

There is a lot of free space in our daily lives: for example, when waiting at the doctor's office. You can review vocabulary while eating breakfast, recite the alphabet while showering or sitting on the toilet, count your steps as you walk between classes, name as many objects as you can in the target language on your to way school, or take your vocabulary flash cards with you on a road trip.

There are many moments during the day when you can squeeze in a few minutes of practice time. Through the repetition of material, it will become part of your everyday life and increasingly familiar, until it eventually becomes an automatic part of your language repertoire.

With the MemoryLifter iPhone application you can learn whenever and wherever you go and you don't need to carry much weight around with you.

Visit our forum to share your personal learning experiences with all MemoryLifter community members or to ask Brainy a specific question regarding learning methods! We are looking forward to meeting you and discussing with you.

Posted by Brainy
Wednesday, 10. June 10.06.09 02:05 in Brainy

Learn Tips: Application and Practice

1.    Pronunciation and Listening

Keep in touch with native speakers and try to converse with them via telephone, voice chat, or video conferencing. There are many free databases that enable you to find study buddies for foreign languages.

If you have learned some vocabulary words in your target language and you think that a word could be the topic of a song or video clip, enter it into Youtube and see what you find. This way your ear becomes familiar with the sounds and rhythm of your foreign language.

If you enjoy singing, try learning some songs in the language you're learning. This is a fun way to improve your pronunciation and vocabulary. You could also try learning to recite poems and stories. As an advanced learner you could incorporate mnemonic strategies into your songs.

2.    Reading and Writing

Read dual-language books or Wikipedia articles in the foreign language you are learning. If you read an article about the same thing in your mother tongue, you will grasp vocabulary words and expressions within the same context. If you have learned a certain chapter in MemoryLifter, you could also enter several words of one chapter into a search engine and retrieve texts that involve these words. Once you try to grasp the main idea of such a text you automatically learn more foreign language vocabulary words based on your stock of knowledge.

Contact us via the MemoryLifter forum, if you have any questions about how to create, add, or edit flashcards. We will be happy to hear your feedback.

Posted by Brainy
Monday, 25. May 25.05.09 02:17 in Brainy

"Teachers" - what for?

MemoryLifter allows you to customize learning, i.e. to adapt settings to your personal requirements. If you wish to avoid going through all of the setting options by yourself, however, you can choose a so-called "TEACHER". TEACHERS are presets for the settings offered in the "Learning Options" menu. The main differences between the TEACHERS are their mode of asking questions and expecting answers, their strictness regarding orthographical and typing mistakes, their tolerance concerning the number of items in an answer and time limits they set.

The STRICT TEACHER, for example, creates multiple correct answers in the multiple choice mode and expects all possible answers typed correctly in the standard mode. You learn under a certain time pressure. Mr. NICE GUY on the other hand is quite tolerant, does not set any time limits, is satisfied with one answer possibility and is case insensitive.

Posted by Benjamin
Wednesday, 20. May 20.05.09 04:31 in Brainy

Ready for a snooze?

Woman or man, boy or girl - with MemoryLifter you can learn efficiently and without stress. For this reason MemoryLifter provides an automated learning planner. This feature acts like a learning alarm clock to regularly quiz you and help you remember information faster and longer. If you are busy and want to pause while learning, you can activate the Snooze Mode (Tools->Snooze Mode), and MemoryLifter will go away for a specified amount of time and then popup to start again. To specify this amount of time open the Learning Options menu and click the "Snooze/Quit Planner" tab. Then select "After a specific time (min)" and type in the amount of minutes into the "Snooze and popup every" textboxes. Confirm with OK.

Posted by Rehana
Tuesday, 28. October 28.10.08 05:22 in Brainy

Audio recording made easy

You can, of course, also incorporate your own mnemonic compositions into your learning process. The MemoryLifter software enables you to include audio files easily. When you go to the Cards->Maintain menu you will see different buttons called "Audio". Click on them to include existing audio files or to create new recordings. MemoryLifter also provides the Opens internal link in current windowMemoryLifter Recorder as an additional tool, which makes recording and attaching sound files to Learning Modules easier than ever before.

Posted by Benjamin
Friday, 10. October 10.10.08 04:12 in Brainy

Learning on the go

Have you heard of the Opens internal link in current windowMemoryLifter Audiobook Generator yet? This tool allows you to create one single audio file from your Learning Module and take it with you wherever you go. My boss, for example, really likes learning by listening on-the-go and tried the Opens external link in current windowMemoryLifter English <=> Hindi Learning Module.

Posted by Brainy
Wednesday, 24. September 24.09.08 03:46 in Brainy

3, 2, 1, Action!

The MemoryLifter software also provides you with the possibility to include videos into your Learning Modules and offers you a way to make your learning experience something social, interactive and, of course, fun. For this you just need to go to the Maintain Cards menu (Cards/Maintain) and click on the Video button.

Posted by Benjamin
Tuesday, 26. August 26.08.08 03:42 in Brainy

Whom does the shoe belong to?

The MemoryLifter tool allows you to create your own distractors. In order to do this you have to go to Maintain Cards and choose the Synonym Mode in the Answer field (see green arrow). Then you type in the key (Cinderella) and the distractors (Dorothee and Daisy). To define the distractors you just have to right-click on them and select Distractor. The distractors are marked red now.

Maintain Cards

Posted by Rehana
Monday, 18. August 18.08.08 03:25 in Brainy

Leitner Box System

The MemoryLifter uses a slightly modified version of the Leitner box system, but the basic concept is the same. Here, all cards are pulled from the so-called pool which contains all available cards at first. To customize the software to your individual needs you can see and edit the box sizes. For this you select Show/Edit Box Sizes... in the Learn menu.

Posted by Benjamin
Friday, 18. July 18.07.08 03:20 in Brainy

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