5 Easy Steps to Remember New Vocabulary

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I had a Japanese student who asked me once, “What’s the most effective way to learn English?” He was a beginner at that time, so I explained that the most basic rule is learning vocabulary.

Today’s topic is a continuation of the previous blog, “A Technique in Vocabulary Building: How to Remember More Words.” In that article, we talked about only one specific technique in remembering English words. This time, we will talk about FIVE easy steps that will help you remember new vocabulary. These tips will also help you if there are words that you’ve heard a hundred times, and yet you always forget them.

1. Keep Repeating

If you’re an audio learner, you learn words faster just from hearing them. So, you’re fortunate if you’re an audio learner who is learning a new language. Just by listening to conversations or watching English movies, you can easily catch the new words.

Now, there are also visual learners who must see things to remember them. If you’re a visual learner, it is best that you write down the new words, see them on paper, and you’ll find that your brain will remember them faster. This study tip will work better for visual learners. Keep on writing down in your notepad the new words you learn and repeatedly go back to them.

2. Use sticky notes or posters

Make a poster of the new words or phrases that you learn. Stick the poster in your toilet, kitchen, beside your bed, or above your hobby desk. You don’t consciously learn them, but subconsciously you do. You are not making an effort to learn them, but because you repeatedly see those words every time you go to those areas, you indirectly learn them. Eventually, you would understand those words, but while you don’t fully understand them for now, it helps that you see them often.

Another way is to write the word on a sticky note and stick it on the object or thing that it corresponds to. For example, write down the word “chair” and stick it on a chair so that you will see the label “chair” on it every time you use it. You can do the same with “trash bin”, “cabinet”, “mirror”, “shoe rack”, or “book”. So every time you see the object, you will see its equivalent English word.

3. Make a sentence

This may take more of your time, but it pays to do it. Take a word that you’ve just learned and make a sentence with the new word. This way, you are also improving your grammar. For example, you just learned the word “expire”. For example, just write a simple sentence, “My passport will expire in 6 years.” The more sentences you write, the better.

4. Your own native language can help

If there is a tough word for you to remember, it helps if you get its equivalent in your own language. This would help you remember it faster.

5. Draw pictures

You’re lucky if you like to draw. This tip will be effective for you. For example, you can make a drawing of a bike and then write down the word “bike” or “bicycle” on the drawing. The very act of making a drawing, and writing down its English word, is a potent tool for remembering. If you can’t draw, you can copy or download drawings from Google, print it on paper, and then write English words on them.

Considering all these, you need to limit yourself to NOT MORE THAN ten new words per day. If you’re a beginner, learn 2 or 3 words per day. If you’re advanced, then you can learn about 7 to 8 words per day. If you do more than ten, it would be difficult to remember and use them all.

So, try these five easy ways and let your LingualBox teacher quiz you on your new vocabulary.

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I have a passion for the English language because it is such a powerful tool for creativity and personal development. I've been writing articles since I was in High School. I represented my school in English writing competitions in the city, regional, and national levels. When I was in college, I wrote a short story which was published in the University Literary Portfolio. In 2006, I worked as a call center agent in Cebu City. In 2007 up to 2008, I worked as an English accent trainer in a startup call center company. I have also been offering ESL lessons as a freelance tutor since February 2016.