Mnemonic Devices

An insight into how the use of mnemonic devices can aid students with learning difficulties.

This paper discusses how a great number of students with learning disabilities are at high risk for educational failure because they often have difficulty remembering materials covered in school and how their teachers can help these students improve their performance and their long term success through mnemonic instruction. It examines various studies on the topic and reviews relevant literature. It evaluates how the majority of research indicates that using basic phonetic instruction alone is insufficient, especially for students with learning disabilities. When basic skills are taught in conjunction with mnemonic strategies, memory improves because well established pictures in the memory bank to link new information and trigger a strong electrical impulse to help recall the new information. The research studies have consistently shown that mnemonic strategies can be taught to students of all ages and of all levels of learning disabilities. Studies have also shown that when students are taught mnemonics to help them study, they begin to use mnemonics on a regular basis and also begin to make up their own memorization techniques.
“The traditional theory of learning, which has been used in the past as a supplement to the mass schooling approach of the early 19th century, is that in order for a student to learn complex skills such as reading, he must first become adept at making sense of the smallest components of the language (for example letters) and then advancing to larger components (for example sounds, words, and sentences). Phonics supporters generally agree that by employing “the direct approach” in regards to instruction, as well as providing an undeviating focus on logical sequencing, students will effectively learn to identify words quickly and consistently, as well as improving their spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, listening, and thinking skills (Share and Stanovich, 1995).”