The more words you know, the easier it is to communicate in foreign language – no matter if you use it at work or on holiday. But what to do to memorise the new vocabulary effectively? Do you find it hard? If so, try those techniques and learn Spanish, Italian or English faster than ever.
Did you know that you need to know only around 1000 words to be able to communicate in a language on a basic level? That’s right! That’s all you need to buy a train ticket, ask for directions or introduce yourself. Nevertheless, the basics are not enough for most of us. Broad vocabulary range allows you to express yourself and talk about almost anything. It also boosts your self-confidence and helps to get rid of the language barrier. So, if you want to really tackle the language you want to speak, you have to focus on vocabulary.
The problem is, that your brain is flooded by never-ending information coming in. So, to deal with it, it erases things that are considered to be unimportant. That’s what may happen to some of the new words you’ve been learning for the last few hours. But you can change it by using some of the learning techniques listed below.
- Learn phrases, not words
What does it mean? It’s easy: stop learning isolated words, out of their natural context. Instead make a list of phrases in which you can use some new words. That will not only allow you to memorise words better, but also gain fluency a lot faster. You’ll be surprised with the outcome!
If you’re looking for expressions with top Italian verbs or useful conversation phrases in the most popular languages, check the Language Freak channel on YouTube and use their recordings on a daily basis.
2. Use flashcards instead of lists
You have a bunch of new words to tackle, so you make a list and try learning them by heart? That’s an easy way to… forget them as fast as you’ve memorised them. How come? Learning by heart and repeating a wordlist in the same order over and over again might seem to be quick and efficient. But long-term-wise, it’d be a disaster. Why? Because that way you learn on autopilot and you don’t force your brain to make some kind of effort.
With the flashcards it’s different. Why? First of all, because you can pick a random one any time you want, so it’ll be a surprise to you every time. Secondly, in order to translate the phrase on a flashcard, you’ll have to jog up your memory. And that will make it stick in your mind for a longer time.
3. Repeat, repeat and… repeat again
The more you’re exposed to some kind of information, the better you memorise it – this rule definitely applies to vocabulary learning. What it means to you is that… if you want to remember the catchy and useful phrases, you have to go through them a few times. For instance – start by repeating them 10 minutes after getting to know them. Then do the same thing in the evening or the following day. Then come back to them 3 days later… and so on. It’ll be easier to plan the revisions with an app. Try and see for yourself!
4. Use the new phrases as often as you can
So you’ve learnt some new vocabulary, right? Now it’s time to use it. Do it in a conversation during your lesson or while practicing with your friend. You can also start talking to yourself. As awkward as it might sound, it’s very effective! That way you’re less afraid of making a mistake than in front of other people.
And last but not least: don’t worry if you keep forgetting some part of the new vocabulary anyway! Just leave it be and go back to it in some time. Step by step you’ll learn everything you need to communicate flawlessly.