Achieving fluency with memory techniques?

I’m very interested in using memory techniques to learn foreign languages, but I’m not sure exactly how the entire process works in practice. I’m hoping to get some insight from somebody who has used memory techniques throughout the language-learning process, from start to fluency. Specifically, I’d like to know how you achieve fluency while using mnemonics.

Is it that you use mnemonics (or some other technique) to accrue vocabulary, and then you slowly practice speaking (retrieving words from a memory palace, for instance) until the mnemonics are no longer needed, a little like using scaffolding to build a structure and then removing it once it’s compete? Or are the mnemonics always in place and being used during speech, even when speaking fluently? I’m asking because it seems like fluent speech would be too fast to illicit vocabulary using memory techniques. I’d like to use techniques myself, but I feel that to do that I need to know exactly how the process goes (from start to becoming fluent).

I would appreciate any feedback. :slight_smile:

I think that mnemonics won’t create fluency in a language, but they can speed up vocabulary acquisition, which is an essential part of learning a language. Once speaking fluently, I think that people generally aren’t using mnemonic images while speaking, unless mentally searching for a word or definition.

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Okay, that makes sense. That’s pretty much what thought. I think that when I start using mnemonics I’ll use them just for vocabulary and then just practice the words in the context of speech until the mnemonics are no longer needed. The speech associations would go into long-term memory, whereas the mnemonics would mostly be confined to short-term.

“Fluency” is an interesting word and there are many stops along the way. By some definitions, we’re never even fully fluent in our own mother tongue.

One thing for sure is that, even if your mnemonics remain, you want to have the info secure enough in the muscle memory of your mouth that you’re able to speak.

In terms of your requirement of needing to know the whole process from beginning to end, is this really realistic?

We know from the Four Learning Types theory that some people really do feel this need, so there’s nothing wrong with it.

But at the end of the day, memory techniques, like learning a language, are learned by doing. And since fluency never ends (even in your mother tongue), if you’re waiting for the complete picture, I strongly advise that you stop and just dive in. This is a picture you paint and define in so many ways as you go along.

To not take action is to not use the art of memory. No amount of study will teach you nearly as much as an hour in the field with some Memory Palaces, vocab and phrases and a willingness to experiment. That’s where the magic happens.

Hope this helps!

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