Memory: The Forgetting Curve

The learning process (and memorization) is long and tedious. When the information is finally memorized, the game is not won- the brain has the unfortunate tendency to destroy the information after only a little time. We cannot rely on our memory….Indeed, as can be seen on the graph below, the information memorized disintegrates rapidly following hours of learning. Let’s take a look at The Forgetting Curve and how it has an impact on your language learning.


Updated: 09/15/2016

Memory the Learning Curve

MosaLingua’s Forgetting Curve:

forgetting curve

This graph shows that when you learn something for the first time, the information disappears from your brain at a rapid rate causing you to forget the information in the first few days. After that, the rate of loss tapers slightly. There are several things that impact the level of retention.

Memory Strength

You can recall strong memories longer than weaker ones. This means that for whatever content you learn, it’s important that it has meaning for you.

The Amount of Time That Has Passed

The Forgetting Curve demonstrates that learners forget about 90% of what they learned within the first month. In fact, after a few hours of studying a language, it’s typical to have forgotten 50% of the content.

Repetition is Key

Repetition is really the key to success. The more frequently you repeat a word, the more likely it will stick in your brain. Research shows that when you review vocab in regular intervals it increases your retention and after time, you need to review it less and less.

Even though the forgetting curve has been around for centuries, it’s surprising that so few people know about it and is also responsible for why learning a foreign language can be discouraging. However, the good news is that MosaLingua uses the Spaced Repetition System, which is the most effective method of memorization.  You can read the second part of the article on the method of space repetition learning.

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