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3 Ways to Memorise Vocabulary

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There’s no way around it: vocabulary is something that you simply have to learn – and remember. However, while there’s no way to avoid this, there are all kinds of tricks you can use to help you get new words to stick in your head and recall them quickly when you need them.

Choosing the right system for you depends on how your brain works. Some people have “visual” memories, which means they find it easier to remember pictures. Other people need to hear something spoken out loud to remember it. For others, it helps to see the word written down to help them imagine it later.

Here are three ways to memorise vocabulary that many people find helpful. You can experiment with them to figure out which ones work the best for you!


  1.    Use Flashcards

Try writing each English word on one side of a piece of card, with the word in your own language on the other. If you have a visual memory, you might prefer to draw or stick a picture of the object on the flashcard instead of writing the word.

First, go through the pack looking at the English words and see if you can remember what each one means in your language.

Then, once you can do this quickly, turn the pack over, shuffle the cards and read each word in your own language, trying to remember the word in English. This is a little bit harder!

It’s also a good idea to say each English word aloud to get used to hearing how it sounds. This improves your listening skills as well as your reading ability. Even better, get someone else to test you using the flashcards, so that you can remember each word without any visual aid, which you would have to do in normal conversation.


  1.    Think of Related Words

It will make it much easier to remember new vocabulary if you can think of words in your own language that sound similar, or that are connected to this word in some way. Thinking of a short sentence that uses the word can help, too. This makes a new connection in your brain that helps you recall the word faster when you need it.

Once you’ve learned a new word, you can grow your vocabulary much faster by learning lots of words from the same family, or with the same root. For example, let’s say you’ve learned the word “help”. You can now also learn lots of other connected words like “helpful”, “helpless” “helping” and “unhelpful”.


  1.    Repeat Words Often

If you try to learn too much in one go, you will put so much pressure on your brain that it will be hard to remember it later! At the same time, looking at a new word once won’t do much good. The important thing is to go back and repeat what you have learned on a regular basis.

Our brains forget most of what we’ve learned within a few days, or even a few hours. Every time you revise what you have learned, though, it stays in your head for a little bit longer, until eventually, you stop forgetting it.

That means it’s very helpful to look over your notes and practise your vocabulary every day if possible. You only need to do a few minutes on a regular basis to make a big difference to your vocabulary!

If you’re serious about improving your level of English, take a look at our full range of courses at www.Eurocentres.com