Most of us learned the multiplication tables or practiced spelling words in elementary school reciting, but have forgotten just how powerful it can be. Recitation works for several reasons:
First, when you know you are going to recite something in your own words, you pay more attention. It forces you to employ the principle of intent to remember.
Second, you get immediate feedback. You know if you are able to explain something in your own words out loud. You understand it.
Third, when you hear something, you have used an entirely different part of the brain.
Some tips for recitation:
Make use of flashcard of anything you need to learn.
When you finish reading a paragraph in your reading assignment, stop and recite. You will soon see that understanding what you read and explaining it out loud are very different. If you can explain something out loud, you are well on your way to learning it.
Find a partner and ask each other questions and answer out loud.
What Does the Research Say?
The more senses we use the stronger the neural trace.
The more feedback we get, the faster and more accurate our learning is.
Recitation is where the difference in understanding something and knowing become most apparent.
Seeking feedback is a natural and essential learning tool that helps us minimize false impressions before inaccurate memories are formed.