How do you learn new vocabulary? When most language learners don’t know a word, they look it up in a dictionary and then write the word and meaning down in a notebook. But is this the most effective way to learn and remember vocabulary? Probably not. You need to think about how to organize your vocabulary learning more clearly. Here are some tips on how to improve your study methods.
Let’s take an easy word like “sun”, for example – an easy word for most learners but how about learning other words from the same family? Do you know….
- how to make the adjective from sun?
- the nouns for when the sun comes up in the morning and when the sun goes down at night?
- a verb that describes when people lye in the sun (on the beach, for example, to make their skin turn brown?
- the adjective that describes when someone’s skin does turn brown because of the sun?
- the word for glasses you wear in the sun?
- the adjective that describes when someone has spent too long in the sun and their skin is red
sunbathe sunburnt sunset sunny suntanned sunrise sunglasses
You can improve your ability to remember word families by having a separate word family notebook. Use a new page for each different word family. Use colour and lots of space between words and definitions.
Using your dictionary, write if the word is a noun, adjective, verb, etc. and cipy down the meaning.
Try to write the word in your own sentence to demonstrate the word in context. Check the sentence with your teacher.
Write the translation of each word in your own language.
Write questions like the ones above so that when you only have a few moments to study you can quickly test your knowledge.