Tongue tied? Dumbstruck? At a loss for words?
Is there anything more frustrating than when you can’t remember the word you want to use when speaking another language?
By the time you do remember it, the subject has usually already changed!
We all want to express ourselves and show our personalities when making friends and learning a new language, or to learn English.
Watch the video for some tips on how to make sure you’re never left hanging in conversation again!
Below, read three important tips to ensure you memorise vocabulary in the most efficient way possible.
According to the F.A.S.T method, the best way to memorise vocabulary is to use it in a context that is useful, relevant, or interesting to you personally!
The head of our language school gave the example of the word cauliflower. It was always difficult for her to remember the word, until she made a personal association with the word in her mind. People say that the neighbourhood where she lives looks like a cauliflower from above! Now, whenever she sees her home, she is reminded of the word cauliflower.
It’s that local, daily association, and context, which is the key to learning vocabulary, and learning it quickly.
Carry around a notebook, and write words down when you hear them.
Maybe you’re watching a film, or maybe you need to ask a friend what a word means, but always try to write the word down, and translate the meaning if you can.
Nowadays there are a number of apps to use. Even the Kindle lets you select words and look them up in the dictionary.
However, it’s important to do this in the moment, don’t delay! The context for needing to learn the word is strongest at the moment you need to understand it, or use it.
This takes commitment, but when learning a language you will always get back the effort that you put in.
Writing down a word, or remembering its meaning once, is often not enough – especially for scatterbrained people like me! It’s extremely important that, if you write vocabulary down, you check those words again a short while after.
Return to words after some time, and try to write them into examples that you might use in real life situations. For example:
Tonight I am going to roast some cauliflower for my friends when they come for dinner.
Placing words into context, in your everyday life, and predicting when, where, and how you might need to use a word, means that you’ll be ready when that situation comes along! You won’t be lost for words again.
Quality is more important than quantity! You might sit down with a dictionary and try to learn 1,000 words in 4 hours, but we can pretty much guarantee that the following day you will barely remember any.
Instead of focusing on learning as many words as possible, the best way to study the language is to focus on learning the words you want to learn extremely well. Pick a small group of words that are relevant to you, and apply all of the above tips to learning those words.
Trust us, if you choose quality learning over quantity, you’ll be having more fluent conversations in real-world contexts.
If you’re looking for a language school that will put you at the center of your learning journey, get in touch!