By: Katarzyna and Mark
Creating mind maps or mind mapping is using a paper and pencil to draw out maps of connections between two or more ideas. You can use mind maps to learn a language with grammatical ideas, vocabulary and even conversational ideas such as question and answer. Mind maps look like neurons and dendrites or trees. This is not by coincidence. It is a refection how natural structures create connetion, including your memory. Each person draws a mind map in a different way. Some are clean and orderly others seem to be pure chaos. It does not matter. Your style of mind mapping is your style. You can use colors, pictures or whatever you want to make your mind map beautiful or fun.
Mind mapping and language learning
For me personally, I use mind maps to learn target vocabulary in a language. These mind maps often contain phonetics, and word building, but most important categorization. I am not good at drawing pictures, but I add a few once in a while. My mind maps are more like mazes with starting and ending points and many entrances and exits.
For example I will have a mind map with ten entry points, let us way for example connected with transportation vocabulary. For transportation, vocabulary I might have choices or verbs or nouns or adjectives connected with transportation, this route on my mind maps could wind all over the place, with further subcategories and pictures of brides and roads until I find an exit.
Why mind mapping works
I do not believe there are any magic pills to learn a language, except maybe with music; however, I think the act of mind mapping is what helps you learn a language. Creating drawing and planning your mind map is a fun break from learning a word list. Physically drawing the words and thinking about it is why mind mapping works. Maybe there are other reasons, but I have been learning and teaching languages for years and I believe every-way is a good way to learn a language and there are no great secrets other than putting the time in. However, if you enjoy what you are doing than the time you spend will seem like play or no time at all. Further there are efficient ways to learn a language and inefficient ways to learn a language. I think mind mapping is one of the more efficient ways to learn a language.
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