Global English for students

Global English for Global Students


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How can I learn new vocabulary and remember the meaning?

Thanks to Hend for this topic! ¬†ūüôā ¬†It’s a common concern for students of English. ¬†After learning the basics of grammar, students change their focus to learning vocabulary. ¬†But many feel that they can’t remember enough words.

First of all, to learn vocabulary effectively, you need to find out how YOU learn.  Think about the things that you learn easily, and try to think about why.  Find out how you learn other things (not English).

V.A.R.K.

  1. Do you like to see pictures?  (V)
  2. Do you prefer to listen and not write anything? (A)
  3. Do you like to write things down? (R)
  4. Do you prefer to make things or do things with your hands? (K)

These questions might help you to find out your learning style.  We all have a different learning style, or one style that is stronger than others.

Look again at the questions above.  Did you answer yes or no?  This tells you:

  1. You are a visual learner.  You prefer to see things, and this makes it easier to remember things, like English vocabulary.
  2. You are an auditory learner.  You like to listen to remember things.
  3. You are a reading/writing learner.  You can remember if you read or write down vocabulary.
  4. You are a kinaesthetic learner.  You like to do things with your hands or move your body.

Don’t worry, some of these words are hard to remember, but look at the examples after.

  1. See
  2. Listen
  3. Read/Write
  4. Do something or move

When I learn a language, I need to see a word AND listen to its pronunciation.  Then I can remember it.  If I just listen to it, I will forget it.  If I just see it, I will forget it.  If I do both, usually I can remember it.

So, how can this help to learn vocabulary. ¬†Well…

  1. See.  Write a word and draw a picture of it.  Put the picture somewhere where you can see it again and again.
  2. Listen.  Use an online dictionary like http://www.macmillandictionary.com.  You can listen to the pronunciation of the word by a native speaker.
  3. Read/Write.  Write the new vocabulary many times in a new sentence and read them again and again.
  4. Do something. ¬†Use a computer program (often your English workbook has one). ¬†With a computer program you can sometimes see new vocabulary and move it in a sentence or match it with the meaning. ¬†(For an example, see¬†http://elt.oup.com/student/englishfile/?cc=cz&selLanguage=cs¬†). ¬†In my class I am using a new book called “English Unlimited”. ¬†The self-study book has a CD which has hundreds of activities to help kinaesthetic learners.

So remember:

FIND OUT HOW YOU LEARN.  LEARN NEW VOCABULARY THIS WAY

In the next post, I will talk about short-term and long-term memory.  This is another important cause of remembering or forgetting vocabulary.

Happy learning!!