Learning New Vocabulary As A Daily Habit And Tips To Memorize It Faster

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A fluent English speaker should have an extensive knowledge of the English vocabulary. You can skip grammar but you can’t skip the building blocks of language- words. But let’s be realistic: you can’t memorize the English dictionary in a day! 

Everyone has to find what works for them; but being patient, setting realistic goals, and rewarding yourself if you reach them are a good strategy that can be complemented with any of the following points.

STUDY FOR TEN TO TWENTY MINUTES

Set a realistic target daily and stick to it. Start with one word a day, and gradually increase it to two to five words a day. What’s important is that you make it a habit to learn English daily. And remember, fifteen minutes a day will bring better results than half an hour once a week or so.

 USE MEMORY TECHNIQUES

A popular way to memorize vocabulary is the use of mnemonics. For example, you can create associations between words: Like, when you need to go to the STORE to buy Spaghetti, Tomatoes, Olives, Rice, Eggs. The problem is, of course, that you still have to memorize the acronym, song, or association, but with a little bit of practice, you’ll get good at coming up with creative and useful connections.

GET A VOCABULARY NOTEBOOK 

Keep all the things you’ve learned in one place. When we say vocabulary notebook, we don’t simply mean it as a notebook—if you prefer to use an app on your smartphone, feel free to do so. The important thing is that you develop a system of recording new words you’ve learned, since this allows you to go through the words and review them once in a couple of weeks. 

PUT THE WORDS IN CONTEXT

A good idea to learn more words faster is to put them in context: Instead of writing lists of random words, try to put them in sentences. That way, you know how the word is used in real life. Plus, if you come up with funny sentences, it will be easier to memorize. Depending on how you learn, you can also make drawings or find images that will complement the sentences and put the words into their natural habitat.

LEARN A WORD WITH COMPARISON 

The best way to build a vocabulary is to use the words you have learned in its proper context. When you’re building your English vocabulary, learn the prepositions that go with these expressions. 

For example: the word ‘get away with’ is different from ‘get away from’. The ‘get away from’ means ‘to avoid something or to escape’ (I want to get away from our house) while the ‘get away with’ means ‘escape blame, punishment or undesirable consequences for an act that is wrong or mistaken’ (He thinks he can get away with cheating).

LEARN FROM REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS

Speaking of context: Movies, TV shows, books, podcasts or songs are not only a great source for the most common words, they can also help you memorize the vocabulary because they always come associated with a scene, a person, or a (real-life) event. So, try to read books or watch movies in the original language (with subtitles) and figure out what the words mean. If you see or hear a phrase or sentence that you don’t understand, write it down, look it up and start memorizing it.

WRITE THREE OR FOUR OF YOUR OWN EXAMPLES

Use it or lose it. Writing it down is not enough. It takes practice for a learner to get used to the word, so make sure you put your new vocabulary to good use.

If you’re enrolled in an English course, try to check with your teacher the sentences that you’ve written. Ask them for additional resources that you can use to further your English studies. 

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

If you want to take language learning to the next level, leave enough space for mind maps with associated words, synonyms or antonyms. If you want to get the most out of your learning process, try not to translate the word into your native language, but instead, explain and describe it in the language you’re trying to learn.

FOCUS ON USEFUL WORDS

If you want to expand your vocabulary because you want to work at a marketing firm abroad, you probably don’t have to read Shakespeare’s novels or focus on words that pertain to the Middle Ages. 

The more practical and popular the words are for your career, hobbies and real-life conversations, the easier they are to learn – and you will be able to use them more often. 

REPEAT AND THEN REPEAT

Remember to not just repeat current words, but also the “old stuff” that you think you’ve memorized already. You don’t have to look at the stored words as often as the new vocabulary, but the more you use the words, the better you’ll remember and recall them.

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