Marie Therese Swabey
Joint Chief Assessor for CELTAread more
Marie Therese Swabey

A fun and efficient memorisation tool for the classroom and beyond.

Who it’s for:
Free (basic), Subscription ($9.00 p/m), Licence ($59.00 p/a)
Website, iOS app, Android app

Fun exercises to learn and practise languages and lots more.

Choose or create a course, or let your learners pick one to work on at their own pace, on a topic of their choice!

How the learning works

Memrise uses adaptive ‘spaced repetition’ learning technology to help learners focus on the words they need to learn. When you start learning, you see, hear and start to recognise the first language items in a set, then you answer multiple-choice questions and finally you start writing the language you are learning.

As you continue, new items in the set are introduced and repeated. Memrise also uses a system of ‘mems’ to help you remember language items by connecting words to images, video, example sentences and so on. It aims to stimulate the senses, imagination and emotions and to make learning more fun and more effective.

You get lots of repetition in the early stages of learning a word, and then periodically to help you move it into your long-term memory and keep it there. You can easily see your progress as the seed icon in the corner of each item grows and eventually blooms when you have mastered that word. Also, there are lots of useful features to help you personalise learning to your needs or preferences:

  • If you can’t remember the word or phrase you can choose or create a ‘mem’ to make a connection and you’ll get this prompt to remind you next time.
  • If there are too many words to learn in one go you can change the learning pace in your profile and you’ll see fewer words on your courses.
  • If you want to know how you’re doing you can check your score.
  • If you want to share your learning experience you can join the community and ‘follow’ other learners.
  • If you forget to revise the words you learned, Memrise will email you a reminder of the words you need to work on.

Choosing and creating courses

Memrise consists of courses which are made of multiple learning sets: lists of connected language items. For example, you might have an English course for an intermediate exam which covers 10 different language areas for that exam.

Teachers can choose a ready-made course for learners to do in class or for homework, but remember that quality learning depends on quality content, not just the tool. Choose courses carefully to provide your learners with the best learning experience. Alternatively you can make your own courses to liven up a topic or language area that you’re covering in class: you can input the language for your course as single items or as a list.

As a teacher you can create a class and share a link or send your learners an email invitation to a course. You can see statistics on how much time learners have spent studying, words learned and course progress, and you and your learners will be able to see a leaderboard of results. You can also see which words learners are finding difficult if you want to prepare some additional classwork to help with these.

But another advantage of Memrise is that learners can choose or make their own courses to practise and revise language covered in class or language connected to topics that interest them. This is a great opportunity for learners to collaborate, create and share learning resources to support and test their peers. With older teenagers especially, this can really help to engage their interest, maintain levels of motivation and encourage independent, personalised learning.

Protecting your learners

Learners have to be 13 or above to sign up for an account. You should check your school’s policy to make sure you can use Memrise with your learners.

Some courses created by third parties contain content that may be unsuitable for your learners. If you are using ready-made courses, or asking learners to select ready-made courses, you will need to check the content first.

With younger teens you may prefer to restrict learners to courses made by you or other creators that you trust. For example, Memrise creates some of the language courses in the menu or you might use and share courses with other teachers and learners in your school.

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