Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Learning and remembering vocabulary

This article is taken from

A variety of techniques
It's important to use a variety of methods to help you to effectively learn new vocabulary. Different strategies work better for different learners. Try out a few ways of recording and remembering vocabulary and decide which works best for you.

A bilingual notebook
A bilingual notebook can be very useful. Have words in English on one side of the page and words in your own language on the other. Test yourself on the train or bus in the morning. A good vocabulary notebook should also contain other information about the word or phrase you're trying to learn: for example the pronunciation, what part of speech it is (is it a verb or noun) and what words it's commonly used in combination with.

Organise your vocabulary in categories
It's easier for most students to remember words in groups. For example you could write all the things you find in a kitchen on one page. You could also make a vocabulary map or network of related words.

Use your new vocabulary
When you make a note of new words try to use them. If you use a word frequently you are more likely to remember it, especially if you can personalise it. Try writing and remembering a sentence about your life which uses the word.

Use word association and mental images
Some people try to remember words by associating them with something from their own language. The example we heard in the programme was a woman trying to learn Arabic. She said the word for hospital is 'mustashfa', which she thought sounded like the English word 'moustache'. So to memorise the word she imagined hospital workers with moustaches.

Try recording yourself
Someone suggested recording their new vocabulary and then playing the words back to themselves. This also has the advantage of allowing you to practise your pronunciation.

Songs are a very memorable way of learning vocabulary.

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