Mind Mapping: A Wonderful Tool for Language Learning

Author: zemna
Date: April 17, 2021
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Copyright © 2010 by John Fotheringham. For more tips, tools, and tech for Mastering ANY Language, go to LanguageMastery.com

인터넷에서 발견한 마인드 맵을 어떻게 언어 공부에 반영할 수 있는지에 대한 내용이다.

크게 단어를 공부할 때, 회화나 수업이 시작하기 전에 정확한 문맥을 만들때, 생각을 글로 옮기기전에 조직화 할때 마인드 맵을 쓰면 좋다는 내용이다. ^^;

다른건 몰라도 단어를 공부할 때 적용해서 쓴다는 부분은 상당히 괜찮은것 같다. 글을 볼 때, 타이틀이 글의 제목인 마인드맵을 생성하고, 모르는 모든 단어를 주위에 배치하고 각 단어에 간략 정의, 동의어, 반의어 등을 적어서 배열하는 방식으로 공부해 보라고 한다.

The first thing I’d like to say about mind mapping is how upset I am for not knowing about it sooner!  Why wasn’t it taught to me in elementary school, or junior high, or high school, or even university?  Why did I labor through so many classes, books and professional or personal challenges without this amazing tool?!  Oh well, at least a little angel introduced the concept to me before it was too late… (Thanks Kim!)

So what is mind mapping?

The idea was formalized by British author Tony Buzan.  He defines mind maps as follows:

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.

While I like his definition, I think we can remove the flower pedals and whittle it down to this: A mind map is a non-linear outline. Instead of listing ideas vertically on one or more sheets of paper, you arrange your ideas on one sheet of paper in a web-like structure.  It is important to use only one sheet as this forces you to be brief and keep all of the ideas centered around the main idea written in the center.  This is a major advantage over using traditional writing which often makes it easy to lose focus on the main idea and get lost in interesting but distracting tangents.

Effective mind maps only use one word or phrase for each topic or sub-topic.  This is where many people go astray, adding Twitter-like entries for each bubble.  It is difficult to do in the beginning, but training yourself to choose one vivid, concise keyword has many advantages:

  1. It takes less time to find the information you are looking for
  2. It takes less time to review the entire mind map
  3. The keywords will instantly jolt your memory and draw up the desired fact or concept

In addition to keywords, a good mind map makes use of color and images to help stimulate the brain and facilitate fast recall.  Don’t worry if you look childish; this is one time when doodling is actually constructive!

How can it be used for language learning?

Mind maps are extremely useful for 3 main purposes in language learning:

  1. Learning vocabulary
  2. Building a clear context before, during and after study sessions, classes or conversations with a tutor
  3. Organizing one’s thoughts before writing

When listening to or reading an article, you can make a mind map that includes all previously unknown vocabulary.  Put the title of the article in the center of the map, and then fan the words around the center.  You can then add one-word definitions, synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, translations, drawings, etc.  depending on your learning preferencces.

If you are working with your LingQ tutor via Skype, for example, you could both use an online mind map such as Mindmeister.  This allows you both to view the same mind map and make changes in real time.  The mind map can act as both an agenda for the conversation and a visual tool to aid your listening comprehension.  After the call, you can refer back to the mind map to quickly review any new language that came up.  If meeting a  private teacher or tutor face-to-face, you can accomplish the same thing on paper.

And perhaps the most powerful use of mind maps is organizing your thoughts before you begin writing.  Here are some of the benefits of mind mapping first:

  • Greatly reduced  writer’s block in both your native and foreign languages. An initial time investment of 10 to 20 minutes often saves hours of lost time thinking about what to write next and second guessing and changing what you have already written.

  • Keeping focused on both the big picture and relevant details without getting lost in minutiae. If you just start writing paragraphs, it is easy to forget the main idea you presented in the introduction whilst filling out the details of supporting paragraphs.  But if you have a mind map to refer back to you, you can quickly and easily check the relevancy of what you are typing.

Take Action

  • Download a free trial version of iMindMap here (this is the program I used to create the mindmap shown above.
  • Or, set up a MindMeister account so you can use online, collaborative mind maps with your tutor.  You can visit their site by clicking this image:

  • Read any of Tony Buzan’s books on mind mapping and improving memory.  I’ve read them all; each one is a wonderful treasure chest of useful tips and knowledge:

Copyright © 2010 by John Fotheringham. For more tips, tools, and tech for Mastering ANY Language, go to LanguageMastery.com

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