CHAPTER SIX READING Pages 80 and 81
Joyce wanted to have a feature about memory. She and her editors all agreed to write short articles on this topic.
I read in a book that we have a short-term memory and long-term memory. When people get older, their short-term memory becomes worse, but we can still remember things that happened a long time ago. My Grandad told me a joke about memory. He said," When you get old, three things start to go wrong. First, you start to lose your memory. And I can"t remember what the other things are!"
Memory is essential for life. I saw a programme on television about a man, who had had an accident and injured his brain. Afterwards, he could not remember any thing for longer than a few minutes. His wife visited him in hospital every day, but he forgot her visits a few minutes after she left. He was often angry with her because he thought that she never visited him. It was very sad.
One basic way of improving your memory is to use the link method. If you want to memorize something, you must make a picture in your mind. If the picture is silly, strange and colourful, you will remember it better. For example, I am trying to remember the word "smiles". An easy way to do this is to imagine there is a "mile" between the first letter and the last letter. This makes it the longest word in the world!
In the Guinness Book of Records, we can find some amazing stories about memory. For example, Gong Yangling from Harbin in China has memorized more than 15,000 telephone numbers. And Dominic O"Brien from Britain remembered the correct order of 1,820 playing cards, after seeing them just once.
Memory is connected with our feelings. For example, if someone says "This is a spider," and then puts a large spider on your hand, you will probably remember the word "spider"! When something dramatic happens, we usually remember it well, and we also remember where we were and what we were doing . For example, 98% of older people in the USA can remember where they were when they heard about the death of President John F Kennedy in 1963.
LISTENING Page 83 Testing your memory
These exercises will test your memory.
Listen, but do not take notes.
Write short answers to the questions.
The first one is done for you.
1.a dog a cake
a lion a book
How many animals were in that list?
a television set
What was the first item in that list?
How many fruits were in that list?
How many of those words ended in "man"?
In that list, what was the word after the word "water"?
6.a car a ferry
a bicycle a ship
How many of these vehicles have wheels?
How many of the words in that list begin with the letter B?
What was the fourth word in that list?
9.a bridge a tunnel
a mountain a river
How many of the things in that list are not made by people?
10.Peter Ann Steven
What was the second name in that list?
Yesterday afternoon, Grandma, that"s my mother, lost her glasses. We were not surprised, she is 83 and she often loses things and forgets things. So everyone in the family had to help her to find them. "They cost over 2,000 yuan", she said, "we must find them." My son James said, "Grandma, you"re wearing them." But she said, "No, these are my old glasses. Look, these glasses have a gray frame. My new glasses are pink." Grandma had been doing some cooking, so I looked all around the kitchen. But I could not find them. Grandma looked in her bedroom. James looked all around the sitting room. No one could find the glasses. About half an hour later my husband Sam returned home, "Here are your glasses, Grandma," he said. "Oh, where were they?" she asked, "Did I leave them in the car?" "No, you broke them on Friday, and you asked me to get them repaired. I"ve just been to the shop to get them," he said. "Oh, yes. I forgot," she said. "Thanks very much."
Question 1 How old is Grandma?
Question 2 How much did Grandma"s new glasses cost?
Question 3 What is the name of the woman"s son?
Question 4 Was Grandma wearing her new glasses?
Question 5 What colour were Grandma"s new glasses?
Question 6 Where did the woman look for the glasses?
Question 7 Where did Grandma look for her glasses?
Question 8 Who looked all around the sitting room?
Question 9 Who was Sam?
Question 10 Where had the glasses been?
SPEAKING Page 88 A Talk time
Apologies and excuses
Arthur: Sorry I"m late, Tony, but the minibus broke down, and there were no taxis.
Tony: That"s all right, Arthur. I"ve just got here myself, so I wasn"t waiting for long.
Arthur: And, Tony, I"m terribly sorry, but I"ve forgotten to bring the tickets with me.
Tony: Oh, don"t say that. How could you do that?
Arthur: It"s my memory. It"s so bad these days. I can"t remember anything any more.
Tony: Then you"d better do something about it, hadn"t you?
MORE PRACTICE Page 93
How to Improve Your Memory
There are many things you can do to improve your memory. Among them are various memorizing methods as well as taking special care of your health. It is important that you regularly stimulate your brain to make your memory more efficient. You can do this by doing activities that you do not normally do and by changing your daily habits. Learning a new skill helps your brain to develop. When trying to memorize something, you should focus your attention and concentrate on the most important things about it. Do not allow other thoughts to enter your mind, because this will lower your chances of making accurate memories. An excellent way to help memory is to link information with pictures. These are referred to as mnemonic techniques. Try to see the images in your mind. Taking notes, being organized and keeping a diary will also be useful tools. Healthy food and plenty of vitamins are essential for your memory to work properly. Drinking a lot of water also helps maintain your memory. You must allow your brain to have enough sleep and rest. When you are asleep, your brain stores memory. Not enough sleep can, therefore, cause problems with storing information. In addition, being tired will stop you from being able to concentrate well. Caffeine in tea and coffee are very good at preventing sleepiness helping concentration, but they can also cause problems with memory. In order to concentrate well, you must be relaxed. Generally keeping fit and regular health checks are both important as well not just for improving your memory.