Improving your memory: 6 Minute English

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  • ℹ️ Description
Storing information is an important function of our brains and scientists are always looking at ways to improve it but also to stop it deteriorating.

Neil and Rob discuss ways of improving your memory and teach you new vocabulary - that they hope you'll remember later!


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Author

Neil
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil. This is the programme where in just six minutes we discuss an interesting topic and teach some related English vocabulary. And joining me to do this is Rob. 
Rob
Hello… err sorry Neil, how long did you say this programme is? 
Neil
Six minutes – it's 6 Minute English, Rob. 
Rob
Right. OK. Sorry, what's your name again? 
Neil
Neil! My name is Neil. Rob, what has happened to your memory?! 
Rob
Sorry, Neil – too many things on my mind, it's affecting my short-term memory, but what I can remember is that in this programme we're talking about improving our memory. 
Neil
We are and I think you might find it quite useful! Storing information is an important function of our brains and scientists are always looking at ways to improve it but also to stop it deteriorating – or becoming worse. 
Rob
Yes, and we all know that memories – that's the noun word for things we remember from the past – are nice to have but also important for remembering who people are, where things are kept and how things look. 
Neil
Soon we'll be discussing a new idea for improving your memory but not before I've set today's quiz question. There are many ways we can improve our memory but one way is through the type of food we eat. According to the BBC Food website, which type of food supports good memory function? Is it…
a)  eggs
b)  spinach, or
c)  bananas? 
Rob

Well, as a kid I was always told that spinach was good for me – Popeye ate it to make him strong – so I'll say b) spinach.   
Neil
Well, I'll have the answer later on. Now, let's talk more about improving our memory. Memory is the ability to encode, store and recall information but a number of factors can affect people’s memory processes including health, anxiety, mood, stress and tiredness. 
Rob
That's why, for example, if you're taking an exam it's important to get a good night's sleep and to keep healthy. But Neil, when you're revising for an exam, what helps you to remember facts? 
Neil
I tend to write things down again and again and again and again. 
Rob
Well, that's one way. But people have different styles to help them remember. According to the BBC's iWonder guide, there are three different styles - visual, auditory and kinaesthetic, that's learning by ‘doing’ and practicing something over and over again. That sounds like me. 
Neil
But recently, a new study has come up with a method that could possibly be the best way to improve your memory and that's by drawing. Daryl O'Connor, who's Professor of Psychology at the University of Leeds, has been speaking about it on the BBC Radio 4 programme, All In The Mind. See if you can work out why… 
Daryl O'Connor, Professor of Psychology at the University of Leeds
The authors certainly argue that one of the things that happens by drawing these particular objects, that it leads to this of the object in one's mind… It makes a lot of intuitive sense – the idea that if you have encoded something in a greater level of detail, you're more likely to remember it… It's much stronger than just remembering writing down the words. 
Neil

OK, so let's try to explain that. Drawing something leads to increased contextual representation of the object. When something is contextual, it is in the situation where it usually exists. 
Rob
So as you draw something you are creating a picture in your mind about what it is, how you use it and where it is used. I wonder if this means artists have good memories… 
Neil
Maybe. Daryl O'Connor says that when you draw you are encoding something in a greater level of detail, more than you would by just writing things down. Encoding is changing information into a form that can be stored and later recalled. 
Rob
That's because as you draw, you're thinking about different aspects of the object. He says it makes intuitive sense – intuitive means it is 'based on feelings rather than facts or proof' - so, you just feel it is the best thing to do. 
Neil
Of course this is just one more way to improve your memory. I have also heard that doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku can help, especially when you're older. 
Rob
Yes, as we get older we can often have more difficulty retrieving information from our memory - and people with Alzheimer’s find it very difficult to encode information – so any way to keep our memory working is a good thing. Basically we need brain training! 
Neil
Brain training and eating the right food Rob! You might remember that earlier I asked you, according to the BBC Food website, which type of food supports good memory function? Is it…
a)  eggs
b)  spinach, or
c)  bananas?
And Rob, you said… 
Rob
I do remember and I said b) spinach. 
Neil
And that is sort of the wrong answer. In fact they were all correct – they are all examples of food that can help support good memory. Apparently, foods rich in B vitamins are important as they provide protection for the brain as we age and support good memory function. I think it's time to change my diet! Now on to the vocabulary we looked at in this programme. 
Rob
So today we've been talking about our memory – we use our memory to remember things and memoriesis the noun for things we remember from the past.  
Neil
Then we discussed a learning style known askinaesthetic, that is learning by 'doing' and practising something over and over again. 
Rob

We heard from Professor Daryl O'Connor, who talked - when something is contextual,  you see it in the situation where it usually exists. 
Neil
Next we talked about encoding. Thatis changing information into a form that can be stored and later recalled. 
Rob
And we mentioned intuitive sense – having an intuitive sense means doing something 'based on feelings rather than facts or proof' - so, you just feel it is the best thing to do. 
Neil
And finally we mentioned Alzheimer’s – a disease affecting the brain that makes it difficult to remember things and it gets worse as you get older. 
Rob
Well there are lots of new words to remember there – but that's all for this programme. 
Neil
Don't forget to visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and our website bbclearningenglish.com. Bye for now. 
Rob
Goodbye!

Author — King Ng

Author

How good is my memory:
Remember all 10 years old songs’ lyrics, but fail me on semester exam 🤪

Author — English 5 minutes

Author

This reminded me of the time when my father gave me money to pay the electricity bill but instead, I bought a lottery ticket for a brand new car.
When I got home, I explained to my dad what I did and he beat the crap out of me.
But the next day, when my dad woke up and opened the door, outside my house was a brand new car.
We all got very emotional and cried, especially me because the car was from the electricity company, they were there to cut off the electricity and I knew my dad was going to beat the crap out of me again, as he did.

Author — Muhammad Ilyas

Author

After many years of listening practice, I can perfectly understand BBC now. BBC has helped me a lot.

Author — Abhi Das

Author

Memories
Kinaestetic
Contextual
Encoding
Intuitive sense
Alzheimer's

Author — Chenda Ven

Author

Hi, should we draw the picture of something we read to increase our memory?

Author — Irfan Ali

Author

BBC has helped me a lot my English is soo rusty now. I finished my English 5 Years ago. But now I had been remebered these days =)..Thank you guys

Author — Naty Moreira

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It's very useful, I really like BBC learning English

Author — N M

Author

Is this programme available on BBC Radio???

Author — amina akther

Author

"See if you can work out why…"
what does "work out" here mean?
Thank u

Author — Khải Uy Lưu

Author

I'm looking for English speaking partners! Is anyone interested?
I'm now living in Australia!
And I'm from Japan

Author — ひらちゃん

Author

this memory is very important for minded

Author — Mustapha omer

Author

Hello neil can you can me ???))) I've suggestion to you

Author — English Videos

Author

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Author — sana shaheen

Author

After ten years, I will come back to see this comment. Love from Vietnam.

Author — Music Worth Spread

Author

Thanks so much for this lesson it is so helful for me to perform my pronunciation

Author — Laura Elena Muneratti

Author

I want to thank BBC Learning English team for such useful and beneficial information that you give to englishlearners! This incredible programme helped me a lot to improve my level of English, especially listening and speaking skills ❤

Author — mimi nyan

Author

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Author — Cristian Soto

Author

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Author — Guitar Man

Author

This 6 min English is amazing to learn & get new ideas including vocabulary !

Author — Arsalan Iftikhar