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The Science of Cognitive Psychology

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Boosting Spoken English Proficiency with Procedural Memory

For English learners: You can boost your spoken English language skills in less than 30 days.

The power of procedural memory in strengthening language proficiency stands as an underappreciated tool that has the potential to revolutionize the way language learners increase their vocabulary and fluency.

Learning a new language, or enhancing your current spoken language skills is a dynamic process that has a lot to do with various facets of memory. Among these, procedural memory plays a pivotal role in helping speakers not just acquire, but truly master their linguistic skills.

Procedural memory refers to long-term memory associated with the unconscious or implicit memory system, responsible for automating tasks, skills, and habits. In the realm of language acquisition, tapping into procedural memory is a game-changer, enabling learners to internalize and acquire various aspects of language use, especially spoken English.

1. Fluency and Natural Expression

Improve your spoken English quotes

Achieving fluency in a new language is like unlocking a secret door to effective communication. Imagine it as training your brain’s procedural memory – the memory that helps you do things automatically, like typing, riding a bike, etc.

When language learners tap into this intelligent memory system, they’re not just becoming competent; they’re unlocking a whole new level of language mastery.

Picture this: you’re in a work meeting, being able to express your ideas without stumbling over words. Or maybe you’re involved in a laid-back chat with a friend, effortlessly sharing your thoughts without the mental agony of translating thoughts into your head.

That’s the power of fluency. It’s like the difference between reading a script and delivering a heartfelt speech.

To make it even clearer, think of fluency as the GPS of your language journey – its job is to guide you seamlessly through the linguistic landscape.

So, whether you’re aiming for a polished presentation at work or just want to chat comfortably with friends and family, embracing this aspect of fluency with the help of procedural memory opens up a world of possibilities.

2. Reduced Cognitive Exhaustion

Another way to think of procedural memory is as your brain’s personal assistant, helping you store language skills without overburdening your mental to-do list with grammar rules, syntax, and vocabulary.

Procedural memory steps in to neatly organize new words and phrases so that you can access them effortlessly when needed. It’s like having a well-organized toolbox; you don’t waste time searching for the right tool because your brain knows exactly where to find it.

"Simplicity is the key to scaling." - Tim Ferriss

Now, here’s the cool part: this organization reduces the mental heavy lifting, meaning you don’t have to constantly strain your brain to construct sentences. Instead, you can focus on the exciting part – expressing your thoughts and ideas.

It’s like upgrading from manual to automatic mode in language learning, letting you cruise through conversations with less stress.

3. Skill Transfer

Think of procedural memory as the fantastical superhero cape for your language skills – it’s all about skill transfer. Once you’ve mastered certain language tricks, like navigating a simple conversation or being able to place an order without fumbling, procedural memory steps in to ensure that these skills aren’t confined to a specific setting.

It’s like having a superpower that lets you seamlessly apply your language prowess, whether you’re in a formal meeting or having a relaxed conversation with friends.

Picture this: you’ve aced the art of introducing yourself confidently; now, thanks to procedural memory, you can whip out that skill at a job interview or a casual networking event without difficulty.

This adaptability isn’t just a bonus; it’s a key feature in your language-learning toolkit. So, with procedural memory by your side, you’re not just learning skills; you’re becoming a linguistic chameleon, effortlessly adapting your language superpowers to conquer any situation.

4. Automated Language Skills

Think of procedural memory as the ultimate language autopilot – it’s your ticket to automated language skills. Here’s the trick: once you’ve honed your pronunciation, intonation, and grammar, procedural memory steps in to make these skills second nature.

It’s like learning to ride a bike; after a while, you don’t consciously think about balance and pedalling – it just happens.

Similarly, with procedural memory, language skills become so ingrained that using them feels like second nature.

Now, picture this: you’re having a conversation, pronouncing words, modulating your tone, and structuring sentences without missing a beat. That’s the power of automation.

It’s not just about speaking; it’s about speaking spontaneously and confidently. This language autopilot becomes your secret weapon, setting the stage for effective communication in both professional settings and everyday life.

So, thanks to procedural memory, you’re not just learning language skills; you’re turning them into your own linguistic superpowers.

5. Enhanced Listening Skills

Improve your spoken English quotes

The concept of “shadowing” is when you mimic and repeat language input like a pro. It’s not a mimicry game; it’s a powerful tool that taps into procedural memory.

As you actively involve this memory wizard in your listening practice, something magical happens. You can notice native-like pronunciation and intonation in your own speaking. It’s like tuning in to a radio station and suddenly hearing the nuances in the music.

With enhanced listening skills, you bridge the gap between merely understanding a language and authentically reproducing it.

So, thanks to the dynamic duo of shadowing and procedural memory, you’re not just listening; you’re crafting a symphony of real-life sounds that bring language to life.


now, this is where we step in...

for feedback and correction

By actively giving feedback on your language use, constructive feedback effectively helps refine and strengthen your language skills, especially speaking and listening skills.

to connect concepts like procedural memory to personal experiences

Relating cognitive concepts to your lived experiences guides you to reflect on your past experiences, especially when and how you acquire a new skill or habit.

Incorporating active learning techniques to help you engage with the language you’re learning. Also creating situations that mimic real-life communication, allowing effortless use of different aspects of English, such as pronunciation, sentence structure, and conversational skills.

Identifying instances in daily life where procedural memory comes into play.

to experiment with different learning approaches

Everyone learns differently. When it comes to language learning, there is no universal approach; every lesson plan has to be customized and personalized to fit your unique needs. Some learners may benefit from structured lesson plans, while others may thrive in more immersive, interactive environments.

for consistent practice

With one-on-one sessions, you will be able to set aside dedicated time for language proficiency. Through casual conversations on different topics and discussing ideas, we’ll celebrate small victories and progress along the way.


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