What acronyms help you remember things? What are the advantages and disadvantages for using acronyms?
Noun. An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA )
Many English teachers use acronyms as mnemonics to help students remember important terminology. Popular mnemonics for important terminology include: DAFOREST, PEE, FREE 5 TIGERS
Direct Address Facts Opinion Repetition Rhetorical Question Emotive Language Statistics (Rule of) Three
I have seen DAFOREST used a great deal in classrooms. It is very helpful for assisting students to remember important points for analysing the language in a text, but it can lead to some very disjointed writing and feature-spotting.
Point Evidence Explanation
Most English teachers at the time of writing encourage their students to write PEE paragraphs, to make a Point, to provide Evidence to back up the point, and then to Explain why their evidence endorses their point.
FREE 5 TIGERS
Another well-known acronym is:
FREE 5 TIGERS
Each letter represents a type of analysis:
Figure it out — use your intuition, always THINK!
Rhyme – look for the way a poem rhymes and why it rhymes that way.
Evidence — everything has to be backed up with evidence/quotation.
Explanation – explain what is happening in a quote.
5 Ws – e.g. What is happening? Where is it happening? Who is it happening to? When did it happen? Why is it being written about?
Themes – Discuss the ideas and concept that are explored in a text.
Imagery – Look at all the poetic devices in a text: the metaphors, similes, personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration.
Genre – Look at the type of text, and the conventions of that genre; how does the text both conform and subvert the genre?
Evaluation – How effective is the text and why?
Rhythm – Analyze the rhythmic effects in the language.
Structure – Analyze the structure of the text and think about how its form and structure shape meanings in a text.
Teachers should encourage students to come up with their own acronyms as they will probably better remember them because they are ‘invested’ in their own idea.
Don’t make acronyms and repetition your only way of helping students remember important terminology. Students need to read widely and arrive at organic readings of texts which embrace their meaning and effects together.
Think of your own acronym to help you with your learning.