Auditory memory is highly correlated with achievement and learning and although auditory memory capacity is genetically determined, and therefore unlikely to change, it is possible to improve academic performance by improving the efficiency of existing capacity using memory intervention techniques.
Fundamental to the ability to recall information are the following:
- Active Listening
- Calmness – increased anxiety affects memory
- Adequate Rest – lack of sleep impacts on concentration and memory
A mnemonic is a specific reconstruction of the target content intended to tie new information more closely to the learner’s existing knowledge base and thereby facilitate retrieval. There are a variety of mnemonic techniques which can be used.
The first letter from a group of words is used to form a new word.
For example; SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)
SOWETO (SOuth WEstern TOwnships)
ROYGBIV (Rainbow Colours – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
Like acronyms, you use the first letter of each word you are trying to remember. Instead of making a new word, though, you use the letters to make a sentence.
For Example; King Phil Came Over for the Genes Special (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Genus, Species)
Sentences are often used to assist children recall sight-word spelling.
For example “South Africa Is Dry” = “said”
Betty Eats Cake And Uncle Sells Eggs = because
The disadvantage of acronyms and sentences is that they may assist with memorization but not comprehension.
3. RHYMES & SONGS
Rhythm, repetition, melody, and rhyme can all aid memory.
Just think how many children sing the “Barney” “I love you” song perfectly. 🙂
Many children learn the alphabet to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
A combination of rhyme and visual association is useful when trying to recall a list of items People learn a series of words that serve as “pegs” on which memories can be “hung.” (maximum 10). For example:
One – gun
Two – shoe
Three – tree
Four – door
Five – hive
Six – sticks
Seven – heaven
Eight – gate
Nine – wine
Ten – hen
To learn a grocery list for example, one might associate gun and bread by imagining the gun shooting the bread. Two is a shoe, so one would imagine a pouring tomato sauce over the shoe, and so on.
When you need to remember the list of groceries, you simply recall the peg-words associated with each number; the peg-words then serve as retrieval cues for the groceries.
4. METHOD OF LOCI
This technique combines the use of organization, visual memory, and association.
- Identify a familiar path that you walk.
- This could be from the entrance of the school to the classroom. What is essential is that you have a vivid visual memory of the path and objects along it.
- Imagine yourself walking along it, and identify specific landmarks that you will pass. For example, the first landmark on your walk could be the security hut, then the fish-pond, then the playground, the office and the classroom. The number of landmarks you choose will depend on the number of things you want to remember.
- Associate each landmark with each piece of material that you need to remember. You do not have to limit this to a path. You can use the same type of technique with just about any visual image that you can divide into specific sections. The most important thing is that you use something with which you are very familiar.
5. VERBAL REHEARSAL
Repeating words or numbers, either vocally or sub-vocally (e.g. try saying the numbers over and over, like this: 2, 7, 5; 2, 7, 5; 2, 7, 5.);
When you have large chunks of information to remember, it is easier to group related information together. This is the premise of “mind maps” which encourages children to identify key concepts and then group them together using visual representation.
On an auditory level, for example, when trying to recall a telephone number it is easier to recall 78 22 781 than each number individually.
Finally just to remind those who may have already forgotten
CLARRS (Chunking, Loci, Acronyms, Rehearsal, Rhyme, Sentences) 🙂
Children are miraculous! They are born with an innate knowledge of language. BUT children are not born with an innate knowledge of reading.
They need to be taught that text is read from left to right and that words are separate from images.
Although learning to talk and read are two distinct domains, they are also intricately related.
Early language skills are linked to later successful reading.
Young children need a variety of skills to become successful readers. Research indicates that children who enter school with more of these skills are better able to benefit from the reading instruction they receive when they arrive at school.
The following core skills have been identified as being crucial to the development of later reading.
Knowing the names of things is an extremely important skill for children to have when they are learning to read.
Help develop your child’s vocabulary by reading a variety of books (both fiction and nonfiction), and by naming all the objects in your child’s world.
2. PRINT MOTIVATION
Print motivation is a child’s interest in and enjoyment of books.
A child with print motivation enjoys being read to, plays with books, pretends to write and asks to be read to.
Encourage print motivation in your child by
• Shared book reading a special time, keeping books accessible, and letting your child see that you enjoy reading.
• Explain how reading and writing are used in everyday life, for example shopping lists, newspapers, TV guides, and computer screens.
A fun activity is to read through the TV guide with your child and bookmark a favourite programme to watch or record.
3. PRINT AWARENESS
Print Awareness includes learning that writing in English follows basic rules such as flowing from top-to- bottom and left-to-right, and that the print on the page is what is being read by someone who knows how to read.
An example of print awareness is a child’s ability to point to the words on the page of a book.
Your child’s print awareness can be encouraged by
- Pointing out and reading words everywhere you see them – on signs, labels and the supermarket.
- Going shopping with young children. This can be challenging, especially with all the sweet temptations within the child’s direct line of sight. I know that it is easier to leave your child at home when you go shopping, but try to make a point of taking your child with you at least once a week.
Something to keep your child occupied in the supermarket is to send him ahead of you in the aisle to try to find a certain brand of crisps/cereal/tomato sauce.
Use items that your child is motivated to buy 🙂
Drawing your child’s attention to prices also creates print awareness.
4. NARRATIVE SKILLS
The ability to understand and tell stories and describe things is important for children in order to understand what they are learning to read.
An example of a narrative skill is a child’s ability to tell what has happened at a birthday party, or a class outing.
Help your child strengthen his narrative skills by
- Asking him to retell a well-known story. Encourage your child to predict what might happen next in the story. Facial expression can create excitement about what might happen.
- Encourage your child to tell you about things he has done that have a regular sequence to them. For example, having a bath.
5. LETTER KNOWLEDGE
Letter Knowledge includes learning that letters have names and are different from each other, and that specific sounds go with specific letters.
An example of letter knowledge is a child’s ability to know that the letter B makes a /b/ sound.
- Playing games like “I spy” will develop phonemic (sound) awareness.
- Focus your child’s attention on the letters in the words and highlight the letters that are in your child’s name.
- Encourage your child to pay attention to the shape of letters and trace them with his finger.
6. PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds in words.
Phonological awareness includes the ability to hear and create rhymes, to say words with sounds or chunks left out, e.g. monkey without /mon/, and the ability to put sounds together to make a word.
Strengthen phonological awareness by
- Exposing your child to songs and rhymes.
- Encourage them to “make up” silly rhyming words
- Say words and sounds with a pause between the syllables and have your child guess what word you are saying. E.g. um—bre—lla
The environment and daily routines in your home can be one of the best teaching tools to help children develop pre-reading skills. A print-rich environment helps foster skills needed for reading. By surrounding your children with print in your home and talking to them about what it means, they will learn more every day. As your child points, labels, makes nonsense words, and tells you outrageous stories, they are practicing to be literate. The next time you hear the word “again p-l-e-a-s-e!” remind yourself that you are laying the foundation for life-long literacy. So with the same enthusiasm you’ve demonstrated one hundred times before, “READ IT AGAIN” as if it were the very first time!