Odd and Creative Ways to Memorize Vocabulary

Every time I give my students English homework, they really study hard. But it seems like the day after, they have already forgotten all the words. So here I come out with a good way of remembering vocabulary.

A few people are really great at remembering everything they see. The rest of us have to practice and come up with creative ways to make sure that what we learn doesn’t disappear when we wake up.

Everyone has different ways to remember details: people’s faces, phone numbers, street names, songs, you name it! You may often hear that some people learn better by remembering what they see, while others remember what they hear. Still others remember best when they actually do something. You will learn what works best for you as you try out some new strategies for learning vocabulary.

If you are the type that remembers faces and names well, then try a few of these tricks:
– Make flashcards with the word on one side and a picture of the word or concept on the other.
– Study the pages where new words appear and try remember where on the page they are and what other ideas they are near.
– Write the words out and just look at the shape of the words: the length, the letters, the word parts (like prefixes and suffixes). This will help your spelling as well as helping you recognize it in the future.
– Look for examples of the words in daily life, through the internet, billboards, magazines or just walking around. You’ll be surprised at how often words appear in other countries and how much you already know.
– Pay attention to the frequency of the word: it’s probably more useful if you see it a lot.
– Create groups of new words: sort them by meaning, spelling, familiarity, difficulty, etc.

If you can remember the words to a song you learned when you were five, then take the audio approach and give these a try:
– Record your voice saying the words out loud. Moving your mouth and hearing the noises helps your memory. Go further and speak whole sentences using the words.
– Speak the words in your head and play with their form: try plurals or different tenses. A real key to language learning is finding patterns to help you make new words from ones you already know.
– Listen for words that you’re learning in other media like TV, radio, movies or even among friends or tourists. Give yourself a pat on the back when you identify ones you are trying to learn. It is amazing how much there is right there in front of you that you already know.
– Make comparisons with your native language. What does the new word sound like to you? The meaning will likely be totally different, but if it’s a funny image in your head, you’ll be sure to remember it.

These are just a few suggestions to get you going. The more methods you use, the more you reinforce the words in your mind. Be sure to play games to test yourself to see if you can remember your newly-learned words. Remember, finding patterns and associations between words will make your English even stronger. To remember new words you need to take them out of storage and use them often. They need fresh air, just like you!

Pelatihan Bahasa Inggris EF English First

© 2008 EF English First. All rights reserved.

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