The Rule of Seven was described by the cognitive psychologist George A. Miller. Miller argued that …

  • The number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 ± 2. This is also referred to as Miller’s Law.
  • The capacity of human short term memory is genetically determined and cannot be increased by any type of training.

Therefore, in order to anchor vocabulary efficiently in your long-term memory, you should limit yourself to learning 7 (seven) words or phrases a day.

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5 Kommentare

  1. Hi Duane,
    how is „Rule of Seven“ related to Englisch learning. Is my understanding correct, that I shouldn’t learn more than 7 vocabulary/per day to ensure that the learned vocabulary are transported to long time memory.

  2. Hi Ibrahim,
    “Rule of Seven” suggests that you should concentrate on learning no more than seven words/ phrases at a time.
    Since most people work during the day and are pressed for time, it would be practical to set a goal of seven per day. This is very doable – and in three months, for example, you have have 630 new words!
    There are techniques for efficient learning using „flash cards“. One way is to do the seven-a-day six days a week, review all of them on the seventh day, and re-study the ones you did not recall the day after in order to secure them in your memory…
    I hope this is useful.

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