How can I remember French words more easily? Why do I keep forgetting all these verbs and important vocabulary? I've been studying neuroscience for the past few years and have stumbled upon some information that can certainly help ameliorate these problems. But first, it's story time!
In the early 1900's a researcher by the name of Ebbinghaus sought to find out how long he could retain a list compiled of thousands of nonsense syllables. In the first hour he saw a huge decline in stored information. It only took him 20 minutes to forget 40% of what he studied. Two days later that number increased to 70%. By time day 31 arrived he could still recall around 20% of the syllables, so he lost 80% of the initial material. Ebbinghaus' little experiment showed us that forgetting follows a non-linear pattern and despite you losing more information as time passes, you don't lose everything. His findings have been replicated and repeated over the years.
That's great John, but how is this useful for my French vocabulary?
Through deep encoding.
Shallow versus Deep Memory Encoding
Cognitive psychologists propose that we store information in a continuum which spans from a shallow to a more deep understanding. What does shallow encoding feel like? You'll find out right now.