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What is Accelerated Learning?

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Posted 24 February 2012 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

Personal Development Courses

We offer both:
• Bespoke in-house training.
These can be tailored to your specific needs.
• Open training courses at locations near you.
You may find the following will help with your Accelerated Learning skills training.

What is accelerated learning?

Accelerated learning is a way of presenting information to the mind so that you can more easily and accurately understand, memorise and recall it later.
Accelerated learning techniques are useful if you are a student, a teacher, a professional communicator or you simply are interested in improving your memory through training.

Some definitions

What is learning?

Learning is a difficult concept to pin down. There are various notions:

  1. The behaviourist's school say: "Learning is defined as a change in observable behaviour".
  2. Plato said "Learning is gaining knowledge of the universal abstract forms".
  3. Aristotle said "Learning is remembering".
  4. Michelle Thomas (the brilliant language teacher) said; "You don't learn by repetition, you learn by understanding. Once you really know it, you won't forget".

For our purposes learning is:

The assimilation, understanding, recall and accurate use of knowledge.

So, what is accelerated learning?

Accelerated learning is a method of study that helps the learner to encode, memorise and recall and then USE information more easily and efficiently than traditional methods.

As a Learner you have three important responsibilities:

  1. To understand the material as you first encounter it. This requires full mental focus.
  2. To memorise the material so you recall it AFTER the initial presentation.
  3. To actually USE the material once you have learned it.

Memory technique can itself be memorised by the following mnemonic:


R = Repetition
A = Association
I = Imagination
S = Structure
E = Energy
R = Repetition

If you hear it only once, you will probably forget most of it.

You need to hear it more than once.

Repetition is the mother of skill

Repeat your expose to the material which you want to memorize.

To memorise new material review at least five times

A = Association

Learning is sometimes seen as "Making associations what we already remember, to what we want to remember".

There are three steps to association

  1. Create a strong mental Image of the information
  2. Association the new information to some item that you can already see in your mind's eye
  3. Use Action

Use Action to associate and "glue" the images together.

Association requires Imagery

Imagery is the mental ability of generating vivid colourful pictures in the mind's eye.
Some people are better at this than others.
Using the imagination to create vivid associations is the key to memory techniques

Notes on imagery

To some degree everyone thinks in pictures.
If I were to ask you, "How many windows are there, in the back of your house?
You would create a mental picture in your mind's eye and start counting.
We all think in Pictures.

All memory champions become champions by developing their creative imagery.

They use:

  • Movement
  • Colour
  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Logic
  • Absurdity
  • Exaggeration
  • Impossibility

To make their mental images stick together.

But there are other forms association:

  1. Imagery
  2. Words
  3. Physical movements

Physical movements are what I call Muscle Memory
Muscle memory is "information encoded as movement"


Phone numbers can sometimes be encoded:
NOT as pictures
NOT as numbers

But as the movements of your fingers across the key pad of your phone.
Similar: PIN numbers at the cash dispenser at the bank.
You can't remember the number, but your hand remembers the movement.
Touch typist does not know the position of the keys unless she- he is allowed to wiggle fingers to access the information.

S= Structure

Knowledge is hierarchical.
Or at least should be.
Structure your message like a tree.

It has a branching structure, like a tree.

  1. Fundamental ideas form the "trunk". These are the three or four essentials of the message.
  2. Next come the "Major themes" that grow from the fundamentals, like branches.
  3. A number of "Minor themes" come later growing from the major themes.
  4. Finally there are the many details, like leaves on a tree.

It is important to organise your information in a logical order.

Organise your thoughts.

Let them come to your mind as a sequence of related ideas, not a mixed up jumble of concepts.

  • Decide which ideas are fundamental.
  • Decide which ideas are derivatives.
  • Decide which ideas merely details.

Make the connections between them clear.

Knowing the facts is not enough you must integrate them.

E = Energy

In nature the golden rule is:
Use it or lose it.

In relation to new learning: you must do something with the knowledge!
Integrate new knowledge with wider knowledge.

Apply! In real life application
Interact! Compare and contrast your understanding with other views.

Move! Use Muscle memory.
Add Humour and associate learning to pleasure


Accelerated learning is a method of study that helps the learner to encode, memorise and recall and USE information more easily and efficiently than traditional methods.
Memory technique can itself be memorised by the following mnemonic:


R Repetition
A Association
I Imagination
S Structure
E Energy

For more information about accelerated learning training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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