|What is Graduated Interval Recall?
Graduated Interval Recall is a complex name for a very simple theory about memory. No aspect of learning a foreign language is more important than memory, yet before Dr. Pimsleur’s work, no one had explored more effective ways for building language memory.
In his research, Dr. Pimsleur discovered how long students remembered new information and at what intervals they needed to be reminded of it. If reminded too soon or too late, they failed to retain the information. This discovery enabled him to create a schedule of exactly when and how the information should be reintroduced.
Suppose you learn a new word. You tell yourself to remember it, but after five minutes you can’t recall it. If you’d been reminded of it after five seconds, you probably would have remembered it for maybe a minute—then you would have needed another reminder. Each time you are reminded, you remember the word longer than you did the time before. The intervals between reminders become longer and longer, until you eventually remember the word without being reminded at all.
This program is designed to remind you of new information at the exact intervals where maximum retention takes place. Each time your memory begins to fade, you will be asked to recall the word. Through this powerful method, you progress from short–term to long–term memory without being aware of it, while avoiding the monotonous rote repetition used in traditional language courses.