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Memory training courses a trend among students in Vietnam

Memory training courses a trend among students in Vietnam

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 15:25 GMT+7
Memory training courses a trend among students in Vietnam
A memory training task for children up-close at a course in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Trong Nhan / Tuoi Tre

Memory courses have been all the rage across Vietnamese metropolises as urban students take them as a lesser stress-inducing alternative to conventional cram schools

Cramming institutions and after-school academies have always been on the bookmark page of many Vietnamese city students – whether they like it or not is not an option.

But of late, their dominant status has been challenged with the newly-founded memory training courses, which are attracting more and more young participants every passing semester.

Many favor said courses, as they – obviously advertised – help expand the memory of children, which supposedly goes a long way, apart from their cutting off on study hours.

Relieving stress with efficiency

In order to check such courses’ credibility, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters have observed one in Ho Chi Minh City.

What transpired inside the hall was an air of excitement stemming from some 80 children aged 7-15, as they were one by one put through a variety of memory training tasks.

Phan Thi Thanh Thuy, whose child Anh Thu was in the fray then, admittedly brought her to one of these courses upon realizing her pedagogical skill was not up to par, and her child found it difficult to memorize long lessons.

After one year following the course, Thuy claimed Thu has shortened her study time by as much as one-third.

On Thu’s part, prior to the training, she was subpar when it came to numbers and dates, which made her history studies a pain in the neck.

Thanks to the diverse memory exercises she has been taking, not only could she keep her struggle at bay but her prodigious talent in solving them has taken Thu to the stage of Vietnam Memory Championships 2019.

Similarly, Nguyen Minh Tan, parent to a fourth grader, also took his child to the course to ease up on his studies.

Though his memory training has not seen much improvement, Tan is pleased nonetheless, for his child is now more confident and willing to reach the limit with every daily challenge.

Promising prospect  

According to a course provider, the enrollment rate of memory training courses ascends every year.

This year, they attempt to bring the courses online, while releasing ample relevant information so the memory training tasks can be practiced conveniently.

Nguyen Phung Phong, head coach of the Vietnam Memory Team, revealed that for high school students, the core of memory training lies in whether they can derive key points from the lectures in one go, and how much of them they could bring home at the end of the day.

There are ten memory subjects that cater to varying utilities, Phong added.

Random Word, for example, enhances learners’ ability to memorize a large pool of vocabulary in no time.

On the other hand, Random Number enables them to easily break down historical timelines, and to keep track of the milestones effectively.

Despite the astounding results, Phong disclosed that the learning process is actually quite mild.

All it takes is a series of learning basic theories, before exercising 15 minutes a day for three months straight to fully grasp the notion.

“Each has its own pros and cons. Some revel in math, while others excel in languages. Therefore learners have to choose the most optimal approach on their own,” Phong said.

Also according to Phong, each of the ten memory subjects has ten levels, with different goals.

Practitioners of level five, or six, are considered outstanding.

However, should one reach the fabled level 10, they will be immediately invited to the Vietnam Memory Team, which is poised to take the fight to international grounds.

Course walkthrough highly recommended

Doctor Huynh Van Chan, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Social Psychology Association, agreed on the practical benefits of memory training courses.

He suggests parents be responsible enough to research the course provider prior to sending their children under their care, in order to avoid crooked ones.

On the other hand, memory teachers should be observed on their pedagogical skills aptly as well.

Dr. Chan advises that parents approach local education bureaus to verify their credibility on such courses, just to be sure.

Inner understanding the core essence

Vietnamese Memory World Record holder Duong Anh Vu views the memory training tasks only as tools to achieve the end result.

Since each individual has their own distinct approach to memorizing something, it is best to let them find their own way to the endeavor, instead of forcing them into a ubiquitous mold.

People should pick their favorable controlled settings to yield the best result. A great example would be those attuned to music are encouraged to learn in a melodic environment.

Another aspect of getting the best outcome is handling emotion so that learners stay vibrant and relevant throughout the course to increase reflexes.

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Trong Nhan - Duy Khoi


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