Importance of repetition in learning

Importance of repetition in learning

15 Sep 2022

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We often hear of the three different types of learner: Kinetic, Visual and Audio. Whichever type of learner you may identify as, repetition is seen as the key activity to really ensure newly acquired knowledge sinks in and is remembered long term. This CPD article will explore key elements that you should familiarise yourself with, such as what is repetition learning, why is repetition important and how is repetition used in learning?

What is repetition learning?

We all know the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ and that essentially, is what repetition learning boils down too. Repeating the learning that you wish to undertake several times, to allow your brain or body to retain the information or skills as necessary. This is true whether it be reading a mathematics formula until it is memorised or kicking a football at a goal until you have perfected the technique.

Spaced Repetition

You should know that repetition works best if you space it out over time — something aptly called spaced repetition. If you are trying to commit something to memory, try repeating the information throughout the day, at increasing intervals. For example, you might first, look at a word on a flashcard, and repeat it in your head a few times. Then look at it one minute later. Then five minutes later, then ten, and so on.

Why is repetition important?

Repetition sounds simple enough, but it requires a high level of patience. When stimuli are learned by repetition, they are remembered better and retained for a longer time. Studies have shown that the brain forms new pathways when a task is repeated often, thereby optimizing the performance of the skill. Even your nerves, muscles and bones may grow and adapt when challenged with repeated patterns of usage.

Examples – how is repetition used in learning?

How is repetition used in language learning?

In the same way young children learn to speak, repetition and imitation is one of the oldest methods used to teach a second language. Verbal repetition refers to articulating a word after hearing it. This process is important in language acquisition, both developmentally and in learning a second language, and has applications in language rehabilitation.

Repetition being used in language learning

How is repetition used in early years childhood development?

Whether you’re a practitioner yourself, or a manager looking to explain the importance of repetition to your staff, the first step is understanding what repetition is to a child, and why it matters. To adults repeated experiences can be seen as boring because it is reliving the same thing over and over again. In their early years, children don’t find repetition boring because each time they do it they are experiencing it in a new way. 

When a child is first exposed to something new they are often just taking in the experience. It’s very difficult to really learn from it. As they repeat the process, they go from experiencing to anticipating, from understanding basic concepts to exploring the activity to its fullest extent.

How to become a CPD accredited training provider

We hope this article on the importance of repetition in learning was helpful. The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation, with over 25 years’ experience supporting CPD providers across all industry sectors. 

If you are considering becoming a CPD training provider, please contact our team to discuss in more detail. Alternatively, if you are looking to record your Continuing Professional Development, please go to the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.

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