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5 Essential Steps to Re-Learn a Language You’ve Forgotten

5 Essential Steps to Re-Learn a Language You’ve Forgotten
If you’ve forgotten a language you previously learned, don’t worry.

The good news is that chances are, your language is not one of the 14 languages that face extinction everyday.
By the year 2100, 50% of the languages we use today will disappear.

The better news is that with the right methodology, it’s possible to relearn a language you’ve forgotten in 21 days or less.

Whether you learned Spanish during your study abroad in South America, or went to Paris last year and picked up some Francais, a lot of the knowledge you’ve acquired should still remain in your long-term memory.

Forgetting-Curve

    Psychologists have also stated that even after years without using the foreign language, it’s possible to learn a language again once you’ve forgotten it.

    The solution then, is to reactivate those unused memories stored in your brain in order to bring you back to the level you were, if not better!

    Day 1–7

    1. Assess where you are and plan

    With a strong plan and goal setting, you can reach your desired outcome in more effective and faster ways.

    The first step is to perform a self-analysis of where you are right now.

    Step I. Recall: Remember where you were with your language before you stopped practicing. Were you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced? Were your reading skills strong, but your speaking skills weak? Did you lack knowledge of grammar structure?

    Step II. Analysis: Now assess yourself in the 4 core uses of the language: (writing, reading, hearing, and speaking) by immersing yourself in the forgotten language in these respective mediums.

    • Writing: write a journal entry about your day
    • Reading: read a newspaper, book, or article
    • Hearing: listen to a podcast or movie
    • Speaking: reconnect with an old friend or work with your language coach

    Step III. Plan of focus: When you’ve finished your self-analysis, you’ll notice that you have better recognition of certain language components than others. Perhaps you have kept your ability to understand through reading, but your speaking skills have deterioriated.

    Now, you can focus your time, energy, and resources on improving the specific skillsets that you’ve forgotten the most, rather than spending your effort on skills that will only bring you 20% of the results you’re looking to achieve.

    2. Watch TV/Movies

    This may be one of the best, yet productive excuses to watch more TV.
    But there’s a catch: you need to watch it in your forgotten language.

    Free or premium platforms like Youtube or Netflix allow you to watch TV shows and movies in many of the popular languages you desire (just don’t expect to find the languages Yola or Avestan with ease).

    subtitle-of-a-blu-ray-movie

      Here’s a few recommended tips if you’re:

      • A beginner: Watch with foreign subtitles and native audio
      • An intermediate: Watch with native audio and foreign subtitles
      • An advanced-intermediate: Watch with foreign audio and no subtitles (or foreign subtitles)

      *These are just recommended guidelines. It’s better to push yourself to consume more foreign content than not. If you’re in doubt, go foreign.

      Day 8–14

      3. Take foreign immersion wherever you go

      By that we mean: listen to audio recordings in your foreign language as you commute, work and exercise.

      This can be in the form of a podcast show, radio, or a recorded audio tape.

      What’s great about audio is that you can do multiple things at once, and this form of relearning won’t interrupt your regular routines.

      Here are some recommended language content resources that are free (also great for learning a language for the first time):

      spanish-classes

        4. Review using a phrasebook

        It’s not always so bad to mix in some traditional learning practices that you used when you first learned the language.
        You should also have an electronic dictionary that allows you to quickly search up forgotten vocabulary without much hassle.

        Here are some resources we recommend:

        Day 15–21

        5. Speak it till your jaw hurts

        There’s no faster way to improve than forcing yourself to speak the forgotten language, especially in front of native speakers.

        It’ll feel uncomfortable and you’ll make mistakes, no doubt about it.

        With that said, it’s recommended you speak with a native speaker who is patient, can provide you professional feedback, and most importantly — make you feel comfortable.

        Finding a language partner would be the next alternative, but read about the potential downsides of conversation exchange when you learn a language before diving in.

        Here’s some places you could find a partner:


        We may have simplified the process of remembering your forgotten language, but know that it’s going to come with mountains of mistakes, hardship, and struggle.

        Don’t let that discourage you from getting started. It’s better to prepared for the path ahead than be struck with frustration.

        You’ve already done the hard work by learning the language in the first place.

        Now it’s your chance to reward yourself by reviving what you’ve already learned.

        Over to you

        Which foreign language have you previously learned but forgotten?
        Will you be implementing each of the steps we outlined to learn a language you’ve forgotten?
        If not, which ones were your favorite? We’d love to hear from you below!

        More by this author

        Sean Kim

        Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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        Last Updated on January 13, 2020

        11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

        11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

        Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

        Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

        Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

        1. Lumosity

        This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

        Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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        Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

          2. Fit Brains Trainer

          This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

          Free.

          Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

            3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

            Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

            First four games free, then $13 a month.

            cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              4. Brain Fitness Pro

              The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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              Buy for $3.99.

              5. Happify

              If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

              Free to use.

              Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                6. Clockwork Brain

                You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

                Free.

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                Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                  7. ReliefLink

                  Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

                  Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    8. Eidetic

                    Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                    Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                      9. Braingle

                      Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                      Free.

                      Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                        10. Not The Hole Story

                        If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                        Free.

                        Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                          11. Personal Zen

                          This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                          Free.

                          personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

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                            Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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