A few weeks back, I started a course on the Coursera online platform (https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn/home/welcome), and after completing it, I was requested to share my experience and tell people what learning techniques actually worked for me and how I had applied them in order to...actually learn something new.
Well, I did apply those techniques on a subject that proved rather challenging for me: learning basic Chinese (also a course I take on Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learn-chinese/home/welcome). Here's my 2 cents on that:
After taking the 'Learning how to learn' course, I realized that I was unconsciously using a few of the learning techniques presented. However, I also applied some of the techniques that were new to me to another course on Coursera, namely 'Chinese for beginners', and found that some of them were actually more effective and worked better for me than those I was already using. As such, I decided to share with others the techniques that worked for me, both old and newly-acquired:
- spaced repetition: In learning the 4 tones of Chinese I tried repeating them a few times and then do it again after a few hours of pausing and doing things around the house
- testing myself by discussing/presenting the learned material to someone who had no idea about it: I used to talk to my husband about the new words/phrases I has learned in Chinese and even made him repeat some of them to see how they sound from someone who had no idea of the language and no actual training about it.
- recalling what I had learned while taking a walk or doing jogging in the park: Surprisingly, I remembered much more while doing this than while sitting at home in front of the computer and repeating the same words/sounds all over again for 30 minutes or so.