Wednesday, September 06, 2006


To English speakers it's known as the Hippocampus.
No, I'm not talking about seahorses or hippos.

Does it sound Greek to you? Guess what, it IS! The hippocampus does take its name from the Greek: hippo = horse, kampos = sea monster.

Okay- but what's so intéressant about this "monster"?
Well, this monster is in our brain. It's the part that's responsible for memory. It can be ton meilleur ami or ton ennemi juré in language learning.

Réviser, réviser, réviser! Words of wisdom gladly repeated by teachers
everywhere. In this case, French. But what if you've reached a plateau and reviewing isn't getting you anywhere anymore?

According to Berhard Hobelsberger's article in issue three of
Brigitte Balance (bonjour aux lecteurs allemands!) there's a better way to review. And it has to do with the Hippocampus.

The Hippocampus is basically not a friend of repetition. What does that mean for those of us who want to avoid being at odds with our français and our hippocampe? It means saying the same thing in different ways - instead of just repeating the same phrase over and over - is going to help you learn it faster and better because l'hippocampe likes to hear "new" things.

Hobelsberger's other tip to get your Hippocampus friendly and listening?
Change the tone of your voice!

mon exemple:

Je crie. I scream.

Tu cries. You scream.

Nous crions tous pour une crème glacée. We all scream for ice cream.

Tu as criè, "Je veux une crème glacée". "I want ice cream", you screamed.

Tu veux crier, "crème glacée!" You want to scream "ice cream!"

repeat after him:

ton meilleur ami your best friend

ton ennemi juré your worst enemy

réviser to review

La photo: Atherton Tablelands en Australie. Octobre 2004.
Posted from the air en route to Indonesia! Merci Boeing connexion!

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