The process of learning a new language consists of several different phases or aspects. Memorizing as many words as you can sometimes be challenging, but dedicating time to expanding your vocabulary will be very beneficial for you.
Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and not having to pause every now and then just because you can’t recall the word you want to use. Sounds terrific, but what can you do to accomplish that effectively? Here are the top 10 techniques that will help you memorize words and expand your vocabulary quickly and permanently.
1. Set a learning schedule and follow it
Whenever you can, try to establish the same time of day you’ll dedicate to language learning. A part of that time should be devoted to learning new words alone.
Choosing the time that suits you best will help you create a relaxing atmosphere, so it will always be pleasant to practice. If you manage to keep a similar time frame every day, you will benefit from making this regular habit. Your body and your mind will be in sync, and memorizing and understanding words will slowly become easier and easier.
2. Never disregard all meanings of the word
Not all words have multiple meanings that depend on the context. However, the ones that actually do will require some additional attention from you.
You might have found yourself in a situation like this before: You practiced writing and speaking, and you got stuck as you couldn’t remember a word. You opened a dictionary to find it, but instead of reading the whole paragraph dedicated to the word, you simply memorized just one of its meanings (the one that you needed for the specific context).
Remembering and understanding the potential and possibilities words provide must begin by exploring them to the fullest.
3. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks
Sometimes you’re simply too tired or unable to concentrate on reading and repeating words. Although you can’t skip this step for good, sometimes it’s better to change your approach than to try forcing something that doesn’t seem to work.
When it becomes hard to read, switch to listening. There are numerous excellent audiobooks, podcasts, and shows out there that you can listen to even outside your “official” practice hours. Choose the ones concentrating on topics you are interested in, and let the words fly.
Josh Hart from expert writing suggests not pushing yourself to memorize every new word as you hear it. Setting reachable, reasonable goals is another crucial part of efficient language learning.
4. Get used to taking notes
Whether you’re practicing speaking, listening to an audiobook, or reading a novel, keep your notebook near you. Human brains can do a lot, but don’t expect too much from one sitting alone.
Writing down new words and their meanings as we hear them leaves a paper trail we can return to later. You can even turn this notebook into a little dictionary of your own, and using colors and illustrations can help you memorize the words you have trouble remembering.
5. Group words thematically
It’s a common language learning mistake to look for and memorize only the new words we need at a specific moment. What we should do instead is taking note of the word we were looking for, and taking a minute to think of as many words as we can that are thematically associated with the one we just learned.
Learning new words by association is one of the best techniques to efficiently expand your vocabulary, essay writer experts suggest. If you’ve just learned the word “cat” in Spanish, don’t stop there. Find, write, and remember the words such as “dog”, “mouse”, “kitten”, etc.
6. Learn passively on the Internet
Once upon a time, people had only each other and books to learn from. Then the radio and TV came, and things became more diverse. These days, however, when you can find anything you might ever need online, missing out on an opportunity like that in language learning process would indeed be a shame.
Just like listening to audiobooks and podcasts helps you learn new words, reading, listening, and watching all sorts of online content related to the language you’re learning can make a significant difference as well. Find the type of videos, stories, or blogs you like that come in your target language, and let the fun learning begin.
7. Try telling a story
Here is one more fun and playful way to learn new words: Try telling a story. The topic can be something familiar or something you’re fond of, and the story doesn’t have to be several pages long.
Try to tell or write it in the language you’re learning, rather than translating it from your native tongue. Whenever you find yourself struggling to find the right word, look it up, take note of all its meanings, create word associations, and write it all down.
8. Create your own flashcards
Best essay writing service content contributors remind us that visual learning works best for most of us, even for the ones who have no trouble memorizing written or heard content. Making your own flashcards will be of great help for learning and memorizing new words, especially if you choose vibrant colors and interesting visual representations to go along with them.
9. Revisit the words you have trouble remembering
Depending on many different factors, we can remember some words easily, while others seem to refuse to get stuck in our heads. Don’t worry about it, though. It is completely normal, and happens even to the best.
Mark the words that you’re having trouble with in your handbook, and revisit them from time to time. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
10. Don’t abandon practicing
Practicing can be fun and engaging, but sometimes we may feel inclined to look for excuses rather than to commit to it. Don’t make this mistake, as it might cost you a lot of hard work you put into mastering a new language you dedicated yourself to. Rather than skipping practice altogether, make it fun, and let your friends support you along the way.
Learning languages gives us a fantastic opportunity to explore new cultures, meet great people, and experience thinking about everyday subjects in a whole new way. Listen, read, write, speak, and repeat. Practice won’t make perfect right away, but it will make progress.
To improve your understanding and retention of new words in your target language, make sure to check out and follow the 10 tips given above. If you prefer company when you’re practicing your language skills, you can even implement these when you work with your friends. With time, the process of memorizing new words will become easier and easier!
Eugene Eaton is a blogger and a writer in the past, who now works for an online essay writing service called Assignment Holic UK. He spends the majority of the working time creating inspirational content and writes essays on different topics. Personally, he finds inspiration in music and people.