How to Memorize and Study Vocabulary Words

Learning vocabulary doesn’t have to be painful! Breeze, Tried-and-true methods like flashcards are still very effective, but technology has opened up a world of media and vocabulary learning apps that can maximize your learning potential. Study words in context, and practice as often as you can to retain vocabulary and increase your fluency. Vocabulary words are tough to memorize at the last minute. Even if you don’t have much time left, however, the right approach will go a long way. Here are many options for studying vocabulary in your native language or a foreign tongue.

Studying should be fun – all about thoughtful exploration and discovering new things. According to 19th-century psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus, instant recall has 100 percent information retention. But as little as an hour later, you can only recall a mere 44 percent of what you have read.

Directed note-taking:

Go in for the kill – ask yourself what you don’t understand about a certain topic. Really get to the root of the problem and dig your way out of it. First, spot the problem areas. Second, design a question which addresses this area. Third, answer your question. Use all your lecture notes, library books, and even Google Search. Don’t move on until you are confident with your answer and rest assured, you will understand the concepts better by going through this route.

Choose paper or electronic flash cards:

Paper flash cards are easy to carry around, and writing by hand may help you memorize the words more than typing. On the other hand, you can’t lose a phone app or online tool. Some flash card software even lets you speak the words aloud, and then writes the cards for you.

Create the cards:

Write the vocabulary word on one side of the card. On the other side, write the definition. Optionally, write out how to pronounce the word, and an example sentence using the word.

Colorful Flash Cards:

Color coding can help you sort cards if you’re studying a large number at once. Pull out your highlighters and color the word side of the card. Here are a few examples you could use:

  • One color for each vocabulary lesson or chapter.
  • One color for each topic (food words, traveling words, etc.).
  • One color for each part of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.).

Test yourself using Flash Cards:

 To test yourself, shuffle the cards and look at the top one. Read the word aloud, then say what you think the definition is. Turn it over and check yourself. Put cards you got right in one pile, and cards you got wrong in another pile.

  • If you’re testing yourself on the go, bring along rubber bands to hold the two piles.

Reread the pile of cards you got wrong, on both sides. Shuffle them and test yourself in the same way. Keep setting aside the cards you get wrong, so you can repeat this until there are no cards left. The length of time to do this will vary depending on how many cards you have. Shuffle all the cards again, but wait a while before testing yourself again. You might be surprised how many you forget. Waiting a short time between tests can help commit the words to your long-term memory.

Test yourself with a list of words:

If you’re only studying a small number of words, write them down in a vertical list. Write the definition on the same line as each word, on the opposite side of the page. Test yourself by covering the definitions with a folder or book. Read each word aloud and say the definition, then slide the folder down to see whether you got it right.

Master your vocabulary one word a day and mark your favorite words. Test your English by taking up free quiz in basic, medium and advance levels. And the best news is, it’s all for free. Word of the day: Learn English, Improve English. The idea behind this app is very simple. Learn new English word daily and do your best to use that daily word in your conversations. Until and unless you use that daily English word in your conversation, you cannot improve your command over the language.

Learning new words is important for students of all ages. There is a strong correlation between vocabulary and performance on tests. The old wisdom for learning new words included dictionary definitions, flash cards, and rote memorization.

Memorize by writing or typing:

Write or type the word and the definition as many times as you can. Writing usually works better than typing. The muscle memory will help this stick, but keep in mind that this won’t help your pronunciation or ability to use the word in a sentence.

Make flashcards. Study them as much as you can on your own, or ask someone to quiz you. If you believe in yourself, you can learn the words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *