The Only One of its Kind in the World By Creating Stories Connected to New Vocabulary, this Method of Self-Study Ensures You Never Forget What You’ve Learned – [III]

In the previous column, I talked about the importance of learning words in order to develop communication skills in colloquial Japanese. Japanese learners already know basic words for everyday things such as “station,” “park,” and “school,” in their native languages. They can easily and enjoyably increase the number of words they can use by learning how to memorize Japanese words by using phonics derived from such words in their native language.

For more information about MAMA Con, please check the website.

Picking up from where I left off, I will introduce how to effectively use MAMA cons and how to review them to fix them firmly in your memory.

How to use MAMA cons to accelerate memorization

There are five tips for learning words using MAMA cons. In this issue, I would like to introduce the fifth.

5. You can set up a specific character for a MAMA Con.

In the MAMA-con list in the Super J Academy textbook, for each Japanese sound, an English word is applied that is close to that sound, such as a common animal or food (a for alligator, ba for bat, etc.). If the sound is similar to the Japanese sound, it might be interesting to replace the existing MAMA-con with a character from a movie, anime, or manga.

MAMA-con are triggers to help you remember sounds in Japanese. Do not replace the MAMA-con (the icon in the text or the icon you have chosen to stand for that sound) with a different one each time you learn a new word. Always use the same combination of sounds and MAMA-con to avoid confusion.

Please feel free to create a unique story by combining the MAMA-con characters with the tangible meaning of the word you want to remember.

How to Review the Words Youʼve Learned so You Donʼt Forget Them

When memorizing new information, it is important to develop the habit of “remembering” what you have learned along with an effective way to remember it. When we use our minds to remember something, various chemical reactions occur in the brain, which increases our ability to retain memories.

・Put up Post-it notes with MAMA con illustrations and English words all over your house.

・Write MAMA con and English words related to the dayʼs schedule in your diary, in apps or in your calendar.

・Whenever you see a particular object or place, make a habit of remembering the Japanese sound

Think of ways you can incorporate them into your daily routine or implement them easily in your spare time. Reviewing before you have time to forget doubles the rate of memory retention, so I recommend this method as it’s something you can easily work on.

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