Is it better to study before a lesson or after?
Memorizing knowledge and learning the skills of effectively using knowledge are really
linked to psychology and more specifically, education psychology. The problem is that as
humans, we are all a little different in personality and experience. Psychology can
approximate or summarize human bahavior but it can’t exactly predict it.

Generally, people remember more deeply when there is some emotion or tension. But when the
tension or emotion becomes too much, the ability to remember is reduced. So to gain the
most from an English conversation lesson, we want to raise the tension level a little but
not too much. If you are a nervous type, it may be useful to look ahead in your textbook to
get familiar with some words and sentences that might be spoken in the lesson. This can help
you relax so that you can concentrate and remember more effectively during the lesson. If
you are a relaxed type, it may be better to go to your lesson without preparation. The
increased tension will give greater impact to all the speaking and listening during the
lesson. Then, after the lesson review the textbook.

So the key point is learning how to control your own tension level. For most people, I
recommend reviewing after an English conversation lesson. In this way the impact of the
lesson helps you remember the things you could and couldn’t say or understand more
clearly. And this guides your follow up review.

Finally, the idea of raising the tension is another reason why children learn English more
effectively from native speaking teachers.






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