Category: memory

Power law and second language acquisition

The original formulation of [Zipf’s law]( was based on naturally occurring word frequencies and their rank order in a given English language corpus. For one example, merely 135 words accounted for 50% of the total word frequencies. This could be extended to phrases as well. For foreign language learners, this means that there is [some limited set of words]( and phrases which account for a large percentage of word and phrase occurrences.

If we leverage the [mnemonic tools previously discussed](, we can spend time to create a set of entry level learning tools which will be extremely relevant (and therefore worth the time in creating).

## Suggested tools ##
For given words and phrases identified

* [Phonemic imagery](
* Iconic images (simple drawings)
* Canonical script, including for alphabet
* “[Town language](” Roman room mnemonic, extended as a metaphor via the Pattern Language of Christopher Alexander (at the level of vocabulary, and eventually as grammar)