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November 17, 2003

Memory and Mastery Worlds Apart

Last Friday's "Language Labo" feature by Mike Guest in The Daily Yomiuri looked at the difference between memory and mastery of a language. He examines how memory works at four levels and how many teachers fail to distinguish between rote memorization and actually being able to master and use language. As he puts it, "many teachers think of memory as merely a matter of recognition and hence tend to teach language "facts" or "rules" that later reappear on tests as multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions." Teachers are often unaware that they're dealing with only recognition, the lowest level of cognition, and such learning is neither deep nor long-term.
Daily Yomiuri article

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