11 tips on learning vocabulary – find out how to learn English vocabulary faster and more effectively.
11 tips on learning vocabulary
If you are struggling with learning vocabulary or you have just started learning a new language, in this article you will find some tips on how to learn better and faster.
1.Portion the vocabulary that you want to learn
Do not try to learn 100 new words in one day, trying to make up for the lost time. It won’t work .You will simply not remember the words. It is better to learn less but more effectively.
2. Divide the vocabulary into thematic groups
It is easier to rememeber words that are logically connected. Create groups of words like clothes, body parts, animals. You can also buy a thematic vocabulary book.
3. Repetitio est mater studiorum
Follow the rule and repeat! repeat! repeat! Sounds boring? If you really want to learn, you can’t ignore this rule. It can take up to 7 repetitions for a piece of information to stick in your head. I know that revising the same words is not fun, but it is essential for the input to actually stay in your memory.
4. Make it interesting or useful
Choose vocabulary that is of intrest to you or at least is important for some reason (e.g. for work). Our brains learn faster when material is attractive and/or vital.
5. Study on a regular basis
Learn for 15-20 minutes every day rather than once a week for 2 hours. It will give you much better results. Make a habit of learning and revising. Finding 15-20 minutes every day is not that hard, even for a very busy person. The only thing you have to do is to plan learning time ahead. You can study on the way to work or school, standing in a traffic jam or communting somewhere. There are million of possibilities, you just need to be willing to find them.
6. Try to use different „channels” of learning
As you probably already know there are different types of learners that respond better to different channels (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, writing/reading). Find out what your personal preference is and adjust your learning to that. Another vital thing is that the more channels is included in the process of learning the easier it is to remember the information. So, if you are learning a new word do not barely look at it, but read it out loud, write it, draw a picture or make a movement that represents the word. If possible use all channels.
7. Use visual aids
Get yourself a picture dictionary or make your own drawings or some visual representations of the words you are learning. Our brains memorize visual information faster than written text. If you can’t do that, try do visualize a word you are learning and associate it with a new word.
8. Have a positive attitude
It can never hurt. It has been proven that we learn faster when we are happy. Do something funny/pleasurable before you sit down to learning new words. Smile when you are learning even if you have to pretend at first – fake it till you make it. Your brain reacts in the same way to a genuine smile as it does to a fake one.
9. Be patient!
Rome wasn’t built in a day. As with all important things in life it takes time and effort to learn new words, especially if you are a beginner. The good news is that it will get easier with time as you will be able to make more associations with the words you already know.
10. Remember about context
You do not really need context for some basic words like apple or chair or any other tangible object. You do need it for words and expressions which use is not immediately clear to you. For instance, like in the case of do and make – both mean exactly the same, but for some reason we „do sb a favour” and „make coffee”. It is not enough to know their meaning, you also need to know which words they collocate with.
11. Use the internet
You will find a multitude of different sites and apps for learning English. Choose something that really suits you or use a few at the same time. Personally, I prefer to use two or three apps at the same time, as they tend to put pressure on different skills – some have more listening, some more translation exercises, more or less revisions. By using various apps you are making sure that no skills are omitted.