Using Colour in Language Learninglanguage-learning

3 Reasons To Diversify Your Language Learning Notes With Colour

3 Reasons To Diversify Your Language Learning Notes With Colour

We’ve all been there before, stuck behind an imaginary wall of boredom while we slowly go insane scribbling in black and blue ink.  The idea of looking at your bland notes after a long day of study isn’t the most satisfying thing one can imagine. In fact, I bet half of you reading this don’t even look at your notes after you’ve written them. I know I’m guilty as can be. The fact is though, we just can’t help not looking at them, they’re so… dull.  But don’t fret there are more than two colours in the spectrum, so today I am going to share with you all 3 reasons why you need to start adding colour to your language studies.

Coloured Notes In Language Learning

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com


Colour Is An Attention Seeker

We are visual creatures! Colour grabs our attention more than anything else, this world isn’t black and white, so why the hell should your notebook be? Splash a bit of rainbow here and there. Colour pens are like a gift sent from the heavens, the sibling you never knew you wanted, the puppy you didn’t expect for Christmas. All of this and more! Colour adds a whole new dimension to your language learning experience. Imagine writing all your vocabulary in purple, grammar in blue and conjugations in green. The sheer amount of effort you put into cycling through colours will not only ensure the quality of your notes, but also the amount of attention you give them.

My notes

A mixture of my notes in Japanese and Spanish

Have You Seen The Instagram Logo?The Instagram Logo

Christ! That logo is probably the best thought of social media logo I can think of. It’s an entire rainbow spectrum, furthermore, there is a camera lens in the middle. Then when you open the app, you get even more colour, and vivid imagery because obviously, the app is photography based. Compare this to your language notebook, if people aren’t snagging your notebook from you to look at it, then you’re doing things wrong. How many likes do your notes have? Has anybody ever taken the time out of their day and said to you “Damn, that’s a really nice notebook?” Think about it, if everybody is writing in the same ink nobody is going to care what you’re writing down…unless of course, you’re writing from your paint palette.  Be like the Instagram logo when taking down your language notes, have an entire spectrum at your disposal, attract eyes instead of boredom.

Coloured Language Learning Notes

My Swahili Notes

Colour Helps Us Remember Better

Let’s be honest right now, how many of you have taken down notes from your Japanese language class, but because it looked so typical and bland you ended up remembering nothing that was said about the ~て(te) particle until you later sat down with the professor only to be re-lectured face-to-face. 🙋🏾‍♂️

Colour helps us to remember better

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The reason behind this is that colour helps us create memories, and studies have shown that the more vivid the memory the better the brain remembers it. Writing your language learning notes in colour creates these vivid memories while keeping your attention. Its a twofer, and furthermore it looks amazing.  Try writing the word cat in three different colours in your target language, sure it might take you a bit longer but I can assure you, that you will remember it better than if you just wrote it down once in black ink.


So What Kind of Colour Pens Are Best?

Personally, pens that are extra fine are an amazing asset. As you can see in my study notes,  I used extra fine 0.4 pens. These provide for my accurate, precise lines and save on space in the long run. However, I also make good use of my blue gel pen. It has a smooth glide and it has a good weight to it when writing on the page.

Special Cases Non- Romanized Script

Screenshot_2018-08-13 Kiandro Scavella on Instagram “Confessions of a Japanese Addict #iregretnothing”(1).png

Now If you’re studying a language that uses a pictographic alphabet, then I recommend a brush pen. It’s a beautiful supplement if you want a set of heavenly brush strokes with an authentic feel to them. I highly recommend this brush if you’re practising kanji, Chinese or any other language with a none romanized script. There are coloured fude pen brushes, but the one you see me using here is just black ink, unfortunately.


 Have Fun Using Colour

Seriously, adding colour will add an entirely new dimension to your language learning journey. Even if its just only a combination of 3 colours! You will immediately notice a difference in your mood, motivation and cognitive skills when dealing with your target language. Its a form of therapy for all language learners and it works wonders in both the short and long run.

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