Don't forget to remember!
If you learn 100 English words, how many will you remember next week?
How many will you remember next month?
How many will you remember next year?
It is possible to learn vocabulary and remember it. But if this is your situation, if you think “Hmm, if I learned 100 new words, I would forget them all within a year”, then perhaps you should change the way you study vocabulary.
If you forget most of the words you learn, then you’re wasting a lot of time!
Using effective study methods can help you remember what you learn.
Let's look at some simple ways that you can use to remember English vocabulary more easily and effectively.
1. Find examples of how the word is used.
The best way to remember English vocabulary is to use it. First, you need to know how to use it correctly. Use a good learner’s dictionary, for example: Oxford, Longman or Cambridge.
Try to get at least three examples of how the word is used in a sentence, and try to remember these examples, so you understand how to use the word.
Let's see how the word "good" can actually be used in sentences.
Meaning: pleasant; that you enjoy or want
2. Learn one meaning at a time.
Many words have several different meanings. For example, the verb “set” has 68 different meanings in the Longman dictionary. And, that’s just the verb – “set” can be a noun too! It can also be an adjective. Think how many meanings it must have!
If you try to learn different meanings at the same time, you will get confused, and it will be much more difficult for you to remember the vocabulary.
When you are listening or reading in English, you will hear or read words that you don't know. These words are used in context. Whenever you look up new words in a dictionary, try to think about the context and find the meaning of the words you need.
Let's look at an example.
The meaning of "tedious" is: lasting or taking too long and not interesting
3. Use the vocabulary in a phrase or in a sentence.
Let’s imagine you are trying to remember the English verb “play”.
You can write it down in your book, maybe with a translation in your language. But that doesn’t really help your imagination.
Does the word “play” bring a clear picture to your mind? Why don’t you write down something like: “play inside/outside”, “play games”, or “play football with your friends at the weekend”?
Using vocabulary in a phrase or in a sentence like this helps you see a picture and this picture helps you remember the word.
It will always be easier to remember English vocabulary if you can make some phrases or sentences with it. You can add adjectives, adverbs or short phrases like we did here.
You can also use the word in a sentence, for example:
The more you use the word, the easier it will be to remember it.
4. Stick new words and phrases around your home.
You can write new vocabulary on small pieces of paper and stick them up around your home, so that you see them several times a day. For example, you can stick new words on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror or on the top of your computer screen. You can change the words every three days or every week and it will be easy for you to remember them.
5, Make new words into a picture, a story or a song!
Your brain is very bad at remembering facts, for example the meaning of new vocabulary in a foreign language. Your brain is very good at remembering pictures, songs and stories, so why not use this to remember English vocabulary?
So, if you want to learn 10 new words, maybe try to draw a picture, which includes all 10 ideas. Or try to make a short story and practise reading the story with the new words in it.
It sounds strange, but it works very well.
These are five simple ideas that you can use to learn vocabulary more easily and with a higher success.
Please let us know if you use any of these study methods to remember new words.
English Study Habits:
How to learn new vocabulary
How to use a dictionary effectively
How to say something in another way:
10 Ways to Say that Something is Bad
10 Ways to Say that Something is Good
Casual Ways to Say Goodbye in English
Common Phrases in Spoken English (Part 1)
Common Phrases in Spoken English (Part 2)
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