The first step in learning a text is to read it out loud. This sounds obvious, but we’ve been reading silently for our entire lives. That’s a lot of habit to overcome. These tips will help you avoid sliding back into silence.
Read the verses out loud:
- loudly and slowly
with rhythm and expression
How loud? Loud enough to hear yourself.
Don’t mumble. When you mumble, the words only happen inside your head.
You need to be loud enough to hear your own words, as if someone else were talking to you. This activates a whole different set of mental processes, and these lead to stronger memories.
One key to remembering is to activate as many different kinds of learning as possible. Each kind of learning has its own set of mental connections. The more connections you make, the stronger your memories.
Slowly and Clearly
Don’t rush! When you’re first learning new verses, speak slowly. Not painfully slow, but a little slower than you usually talk.
In normal speech, we slur past common words. Here, you want to pronounce every word clearly.
Form each word with your tongue, lips, and mouth.
When you can feel the “shapes” of the words, you get clarity. It’s like a muffled voice becoming clear.
You’ll be surprised how different your mouth feels when you pronounce clearly. You don’t need to be constantly aware of these sensations. That could get distracting. But they’re another layer of experiencing these words.
If you give some attention to shaping the words, especially when you’re first learning verses, it can help etch the words into your mind. These shapes help make words and phrases unique. The more unique they are, the better your mind can remember them.
So, speak these verses out loudly and slowly. In our next articles, we’ll talk more about rhythm and expression.