In studying English, you may have experienced forgetting what you have already learnt and feel down or blame yourself saying “I know I’ve done this before!” Or maybe you have even lamented over memory lapses. From my experience, I feel it is quite difficult to get what we have just learnt to sink in all in one go unless it makes an impression on us. Most of time, even though we think “I got it” at that moment, as time goes by…
To begin with, what does “learning” means? Some believe it is all about being taught something new. That maybe true in a way, but when it comes to learning English, it is nothing more than the first step of the journey.
If compared to cooking, learning new things would be like merely preparing ingredients. However, there seems to be many of those who assume they must, or should, master what they have just learnt immediately. It is irrelevant that the dish, or the fruits of your labor, is expected even before the cooking has begun. The process between getting ingredients prepared and completing the dish is cooking, which is repetitive practice in terms of learning a language. Those who know they know it but can not remember are amid cooking. Don’t lose heart and keep working on it until the dish is done.
While repeating the same task over and over, you may feel you are making no headway and wasting your time. However, this process is very important in order for you to be able to command what you learnt at will. When you learn new things, instead of saying “I got it” and being satisfied, practice it repetitively. “Repetitive” in this situation does not mean a few or several, but literally “repetitive”: this week, next week, the next and so on… use it over and over. Taking time for it is not meaningless; it is rather essential.
Trying to prepare and cook all at once is nothing but a burden, just as is trying to master English in one go. Start from one everyday expression. Practicing day after day, week after week, and you will surely get the feel of it being cemented into your memory.