How to Learn a Second Language with Mind Maps Part 2

Mind maps are great for studying and memorizing, which is why they can make learning a second language easier, faster and a lot more fun. Students of all ages can use this simple technique to memorize vocabulary, learn grammar rules, brainstorm and outline their texts, and summarize books and articles. This is the second part of our series “How to Learn a Second Language with Mind Maps”, which will deal with grammar maps.

To read the first part, which focuses on memorizing vocabulary, click here.

Studying Grammar Rules

Memorizing all the grammar rules of a new language can be quite the challenge. Dozens of rules and exceptions to those rules have to be internalized in order to form correct and coherent sentences. A few easy tips will help you to do this successfully and efficiently:

1. Centralize the rules

Whether you’re learning a second language in school, taking private lessons with a tutor or doing a self-study, chances are you will find the various grammar rules spread over multiple sources – in text books, on worksheets, in online presentations and in your own notebooks. This can become quite confusing and your brain has to spend a lot of time and energy trying to remember where a certain piece of information can be found and how it relates to the information from other sources – time that would be better spent on memorizing! Centralizing all grammar rules in one place might cost you some time initially, but in the long run, you will benefit greatly from this one-time effort.

Mind maps are a great format to collect and centralize all your grammar rules. The biggest advantage of such grammar maps is the clear overview and structure they offer: You can view all rules at a glance, make out their relationships to each other and easily add icons and colors as mental triggers.

  • MeisterTip: You can create an index map for all grammar chapters (i.e. Nouns, Adjectives, Syntax, Tenses etc.), and create a new submap for each topic, which is automatically interlinked with the corresponding topic in your index map.

Here’s an example for a grammar map about English tenses:

2. Print your mind maps

If you’re using mind mapping software, a good idea is to additionally print your maps and hang them on the wall somewhere in your apartment where you spend a lot of time. The bathroom door is a good place, as is the wall next to your bed or the place on the left of your computer screen. Every time you see the map, even if you only look at it accidently, the image will burn itself into your memory a little deeper.

  • MeisterTip: If you’re a fan of flashcards, you can create presentation slides from your mind map, export them as image files and then print them in whichever format you find most comfortable (e.g. 10 x 15 cm or 6 x 9 cm).

Here’s another grammar map for your inspiration: