German version

There are no teaching or learning methods and no tips on how to study,

equally suitable for everybody! In instruction the methods are determined perhaps to a large extent by the teacher (they might be methods, with which he was trained or any methods, which just seem to be suitable). Also not all methods are suitable for all kind of learning stuff (one cannot possibly learn to do a dive by the mere description of the course of motion). Everyone must try out methods himself (for a while). Most humans learn mainly with the eyes (visual type of learner), few mainly with the ears (acoustic type of learner), others access something only, if they touch it (haptic type of learner).

Here are a few tips for trying out:  

  1. Write on DIN A7 or A8 format paper slips (cheap, but not very durable, coloured paper expensive) or  better, (index) cards (buy cardboard 120 - 160 g/m2, at DIN A4 format, coloured; at a bulk price; have it cut at a printers’ office); front: word/ idiom/ part of sentence/ sentence; technical term; question; etc. to be learned; rear side: translation/ response/ solution; to be written on by oneself: with typewriter/ PC (before cutting) or by hand (also possible after cutting; card with misprints can be thrown away; additions are possible; but: write large and well legible!); possibly add drawings/ sketches; ornaments; do not write too much on a learning card (e.g. foreign languages) (use larger cards for a card index file, DIN A5 or DIN A6 format); keeping boxes are expensive, make them possibly by yourself (cardboard, wooden strips, metal) or just bundle the cards with rubber bands and keep them in cardboard box (e.g. shoe cardboard box); make pile according to learning areas and make 3 groups each (1: new/ not yet known; 2: medium/ not yet sure/ not quite correct; 3: known/ everything’s clear; do not throw away, only put aside, check again after certain period); in the case of vocabulary or foreign word cards put them back again into the pile " known " but turned around; learn from 10 to 20 cards consecutively on bus/ train/ airplane; on the toilet; in bed; in a waiting room; in the swimming pool; on vacation; with background muzac or - watching television; arrange " difficult cards " new, leave them in your work or study area, pin them to the wall,  learn together with other people: test yourselves mutually; as game with points; lay the cards like in a memory- game, take away those you already know; do not process too many consecutively; rather look forward to next the time, it should be fun again the next time, too
  2. If possible, always study in a relaxed status it and rather stop if you notice that your mind needs a  rest (take worthwhile breaks); 1 hour for 1 topic  should be the maximum; physical/ sporty alternation (e.g. running; biking; relaxation exercises, the simplest: close your eyes, try constantly to 1 short word (Mantra) easily to be thought of, do not repel other thoughts, but let them flow by, do not give in to thinking about them); at least switch to a different topic for a change; study in as pleasant, positive an atmosphere as possible; without visual or auditive interference sources (except background muzac)
  3. Visualizing ("seeing" something in thoughts, putting it "in front of one’s mental eye"), particularly when learning foreign languages: items; situations; noises; practice (e.g. an apple; a noise; larger, complex items; landscape; person; in motion, etc.)
  4. Do regular repetitions (after 10 min.; after 1 hour; after 1 day; after 1 week)
  5. Set yourself clear learning goals, know beforehand, what/ how much and how you would like to learn
  6. Text work: operate with marker (if it’s your own book!);  marks with pencil at the margin (push-button pencil has a fine mine, need not be sharpened)
  7. Study and learn together with others  explaining something to each other, testing each other
  8. Fixed study times and places make studying a habit such as brushing your teeth
  9. Create associations (mental linkages) between items and particularly to already available things, well-known things, in order to help new things embody themselves in a “brain-friendly” way (basically the brain, similarly to the man at the door of a dicoteque, is inclined not to permit new items to come in, so that “computer” brain does not get not overloaded unnecessarily), so one must back up a little, if you want that something is stored in the long-term memory, i. e. permanently; the structuring of a "brain network" of basic items would be ideal, such that new things could “anchor”, “adhere”, or “hang” in suitable places, like an insect in  a spider’s cobweb, otherwise new information, which does not show any connections or make much sense, is not admitted to the long-term memory
  10. The representatives of the "think positive" movement suggest, that you should imagine (before the "mental eye")  having already reached your goal; top-class sportsmen use this mental training, in order to be the decisive seconds or centimeters ahead; it also includes "to really want" something and "really believe in it"; these formulas are well-known, without showing much effect, which may be because of the fact that one actually nevertheless does not actually believe in oneself; psychological inhibitions are indeed not to underestimate (also top-class sportsmen become a victim to them from time to time, and "fail", in the newspaper you will then read: “his or her nerves failed"); not few humans have unfortunately a negative attitude towards learning (and towards other things or even themselves, as well); possible causes of an "attitude of objection" against learning and other things ("act stupid") could be: defiance reaction (on earlier "violations" by parents or teachers); childlike assistance call (fear of self-sufficiency, sole responsibility); depressive basic mood (with physical or mental causes), which with is accompanied by a general lack of pleasure and drive; at least in easy cases positive thinking makes  successes possibles through simple, memorable intention formulas (handmade) and by visualizing the situation of success; with  intention formulas you should avoid the word "not "; because it is negative (and it does not fit therefore positive thinking) and one knows that the brain "overlooks" it, i.e. the opposite could occur at worst (example: the formula: I do not think of "black" usually leads to indeed thinking of "black" )

Special tips on particular subjects:

Maths (especially: proportionality functions/ percentage/ interest calculations):

  • Before beginning the calculation roughly estimate the result and note it (later compare the result with the estimation) (at least whether larger or smaller; plus or minus; so exactly that you will notice, if the comma is in the wrong place – that may occur even with simple multiplications or divisions done without pocket calculator!) (helps also to understand the function better and prepares the calculation method!)
  • If it is not required anyway, carry the units. So you can in the course of the calculation easily detect, if a number was – by accident or by mistake -  multiplied or divided, or vice versa (if the result is e.g. €² or kg²! )
  • Make rough sketches for a better understanding of the function  ("a picture replaces 1,000 words" - Chinese saying)
  • For proportionality functions:   What is being looked for (is located always on the right in the sentence-by-sentence approach!   From: "what is known? " create the sentence-by-sentence approach (2 or 3 sentences or high-speed version two-line equation system with " x ")
  • Make tables for pairs of value

Foreign languages :

  • One learns a language only by SPEAKING. Often there is a lack of opportunities to speak, or a lack of courage, or the knowledge or the talent to elicit a statement, and thus also a lack of the exercise. The secondary best method is WRITING. You have more time, you can leave gaps to be completed later, e.g. after inquiring or looking up words in a dictionary (the best thing to do would be both in speaking and in writing,  an option for correction through a native speaker of the language or a friend or, who masters that language better than youself.)
  • Find a pen pal (pen friend), or  E-mail-pal, (e.g. via  www.penpals.com ). It would be optimal, if each one wants to learn, improve or practice the other’s language, and is willing to have at least determined sections of one’s letter corrected (roughly or quite accurately - depending upon one’s personal threshold of frustration)
  • Translations: Always read the whole text, scan at least (one understands at least, what it is all about and what is to come).   It is useful to underline or mark unknown words or passages, or to use signs (e.g. question mark). Analyze sentences: subdividing clauses, above all labyrinth clauses. Look out for parts of a sentence: normally a clause contains one subject at least (who or which does or is something?) and a predicate (what is done, or which status is present: Verbs like: be or become). Some clauses have an object in addition (whom ? or who(m) or which ?) and adverbials (when ? with what ? why ? what for ?, etc.). Try to understand actually or apparently unknown words from the context.


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