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Keyword Mnemonics to Improve Ability to Memorize Facts

A keyword mnemonic involves two steps.

In order to learn the Spanish word for grass, which is pasto, first think of the word pasta (the keyword I’ve chosen) and then imagine pasta noodles growing up out of the grass. When you are asked what the Spanish word for grass is, that should trigger the image of pasta growing up out of the grass and then help you recall the word pasto.

Foreign Language Acquisition

Several studies have been conducted on the use of keyword mnemonics in foreign language acquisition. The learning and recollection of foreign language vocabulary have been repeatedly demonstrated to be superior with the use of the keyword mnemonics method as compared to other methods of study.1

Science and History

The researchers also wanted to test if the students were able to effectively apply the mnemonic strategy to a different area of information. The students were given Revolutionary War facts to learn, and once again, those in the keyword strategy group significantly outperformed the other students in their ability to recall the information.2

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