Techniques to remember vocabulary


How to remember vocabulary


·      Repeat, Repeat, Repeat…


·      Poster / Sticky notes


·      Draw pictures


·      Make a sentence


·      Use monolingual and synonyms dictionary


·      Your language can help


·      Looking at its etymology* (*its history, its derivation)





One of the biggest and most important things about learning a language is remembering VOCABULARY.


You might have new vocabulary that you’ve never heard before or it might be vocabulary that you’ve heard a hundred times and you always forget!


The best way to begin learning English is to learn vocabulary, basic vocabulary and then go on to …grammar (!!!), verbs it would be a good way to start.




The number one rule is:




The only way that I can remember new vocabulary


–because I am a visual learner- which means I must see things to remember them, I have to write new words down.


Everyone has a different way of learning: maybe you are an audio learner: that means you learn from hearing.


If you’re an audio learner, you are lucky because you will be very good at languages and because I’m more a visual learner, if someone tells me a new word, I don’t remember the new word. What I have to do – like I said- is to write the word down and visualize the word.






Two: a really really good technique that I use is to use a poster, which is a big paper and write down on it new vocabulary words.


For example, I use to have posters on the wall in front of my toilet, so every time I went to toilet, I would have to look at the poster.


In that moment I was not physically-consciounsly trying to learn the words


but I was subconsciously learning them


and that’s another good way to memorize:


use your subconscious!




Another really good technique is to use small sticky notes.


When I learn a language I would take little sticky notes and I would stick them on the things that correspond to the word.


For example, if I was going to learn about a “chair”, I would take a sticker that said “chair” and I will put it on the chair. So every time I looked at the chair, I would remember that word.





One very important thing to remember is that you cannot learn a hundreds of words a day.


I would limit myself to no more than 3, 4 or 5 new words a day.


If you’re a more advanced English learner and you’re trying to learn a lot of new vocabulary, I would do 10 but it’s important to REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.


So in one week – 10 time 7 – you’re going to have 70 new words in your brain, but if you don’t REPEAT them you will loose those words.




Because I’m a visual learner I also like to draw pictures and to do some computer graphic or digital images.


So one way that I learn things is by drawing pictures or making some digital images with the word inside of it. So if I was going to learn the word "coffee", I draw a picture or creating an image of a "coffee" and I would write the word "coffee", so I remember from doing art.




The next-one which is more than an academic way to remember vocabulary is to take a word that you’ve learnt and make a sentence with the new word.


If I have the word “coffee” I can say: “I want a iced coffee” or "I want skim milk coffee".

So what I’m doing is I’m making a sentence, so I’m improving my grammar and I’m also REPEATING, REPEATING, REPEATING the new vocabulary words.



Another academic way to memorize vocabulary is to use a monolingual and a synonyms dictionary instead of a bilingual dictionary.



A monolingual dictionary is a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., in only one language.

Usually when it comes to English or another language, I think of a dictionary with translations in Italian, but since I'm pretty well versed in the foreign language, I’ll definitely need to improve my vocabulary and stimulate myself to learn the best contexts and the various meanings of the terms directly in the target language, or in this case, English.
An English monolingual dictionary will definitely help me to deepen the language, without concentrating on Italian meanings of words and this action can help also to memorize vocabulary ‘cause you are focusing just in one language.




For exemple with the word “SPRING”:
its monolingual definiton is


“(in temperate zones) the season of the year following winter and characterized by the budding of trees, growth of plants, the onset of warmer weather”.




 Another trick to remember vocabulary words -which is fun- is that your OWN NATIVE LANGUAGE can help you.


For exemple: in English there’s a word named “bimbo”. In English “bimbo” means a girl who is stupid or not very intelligent. When I went to England I heard the word “bimbo – bimbo”, and I asked myself “why are people talking about child”, in Italian “bimbo” means child, I couldn’t understand why  so many English people were saying: “child, child, child”


And then I asked someone: “what does “bimbo” mean?” and they said: “this means stupid girl”.


So if there is a word that even sounds similar in your language it helps you to remember the word more.




 Another way to stick a word in your brain is to really understand its meaning and looking at its etymology, that is its history and its derivation.


For exemple, “huckleberry friend” is a very special, good friend that's been in your life for years, typically since youth.


A huckleberry by definition is an edible blue berry. (In the US they are commonly called blueberries.)




The phrase: “I’ll be your huckleberry” means: “I’ll be your buddy/best friend.”




The origin of this phrase and its usage in common speech is based on the idea of good friends who go together to pick wild or nursery grown blueberries, enjoy the day and time spent together as best friends.




A further reference can be associated with the author, Mark Twain, in his fictional writing of the books:


TOM SAWYER and HUCKLEBERRY FINN. (Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were best buddies who had wonderful/devious adventures together!)




If you need help in remembering vocabulary number 1 rule:




Look at it everyday,


visualize it,


write it down,


talk about it,


deepen your knowledge about it,


It will help you,


it will stick the new vocabulary in your brain.

In the picture one of my techniques: My words in a box!

Now it's your turn:

tell me, how would you use them?


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