Yes, I did spend part of last night and part of this morning singing the て form song. It helps. Today, when I get a chance, I will look over a て form chart, sing that darned song again, practice making some て forms and begin down that long road of learning which verbs are Class 1 and which are Class 2. (Yes, I know there are also Class 3 verbs, but if you can’t remember those, you might as well pack your bags and head home since there are such a small number of them).
Do I feel silly singing the て form song? Yes, I do! Which I why I don’t sing it out loud when anyone other than my long suffering dog is around. But a quick glance at a て form chart last night showed me that the song actually works.
Granted, you don’t have time to sing that to yourself while forming sentences during a conversation, but that isn’t the point.
Back when I first started learning the Kanji, I used the Heisg method, which involves making up a story for each character. If you had to recite the story every time you saw the Kanji, it would take you 20 minutes to read a street sign, but the fact is that, after a while, the Kanji get into your head and you know the meaning without remember the story.
I expect the same thing to happen with the て forms. Eventually, I won’t need the song.
Right now, though, I like it.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of the silly when it comes to helping your remember stuff. The same thing was true with the Kanji stories – make them silly and the stick better.
Ultimately, the only thing that matters about a memory device is if it works or not. If it does, then who cares if it’s silly?
Now, where was I…?
い • ち • り → って
に • び • み → んで…