Mind maps or how to learn English using associations

I have recently discovered mind maps and liked this way of recording information at a glance right away. From a second glance, I fell in love with this simple yet effective way of organizing information.

This way of illustration is great for any type of information, but in this article, we'll show you how mind maps can help you learn foreign languages.

A mind map is a way of memorizing through associations, illustrations, and short, cobweb-like notations, centered on the main idea or topic from which subtopics branch off. 

Why use mind maps?

In this form of writing information, unlike traditional notes or linear text, the information is structured in a way that much more closely resembles your brain’s actual work. Since this is an activity that is both analytical and creative, it engages your brain much more intensely, assisting in all of its cognitive functions. And best of all, it's fun!

Compared to lists and line text, mind maps better reflect how our brains process, store, and retrieve information. They also make it easier to organize vocabulary by relations, category, and hierarchy, and put everything on one page for easy viewing.

Plus, drawing mind maps is much more fun than cramming word lists. And when we are doing a pleasant thing, the brain remembers and assimilates much more information.

Mind maps can be drawn on a piece of paper or you can use various sites for this, here is the best one I found https://www.mindmeister.com/

How to create a mind map?

The most widely used mind maps are for recording new words, usually in one category.

In the center, place the name of a group of words, and on the sides, like the rays of the sun, place subgroups with new words. It is recommended to use different colors for subgroups and to complement words with their images. Also, enrich the map by adding examples and associations. The more you add, the easier it will be for you to remember words, phrases and expressions.

Why is this recording format better than our usual linear one?

Using the “list format” you cannot group vocabulary by topics (food, clothes, etc.) and add other words and phrases to these groups. As a rule, pages are covered with lists of words that do not have any logical connections, thus it is impossible to write a new word referring to those already present.

Mind maps can be used for grammar, reading and writing, but that's another story altogether.

Author: Andrew Shapovalov

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