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.
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.