4 Effective Ways to Learn Vocabulary

Learning new words is important. But what’s more important is remembering them and using them. Here are 4 effective ways to do that.

1. READ

Reading is an excellent way to learn new words. When you read, it should be fun and enjoyable for you. If you read something boring, your mind is going to wander. You’ll forget what you read. Find reading material that’s interesting, funny or entertaining. My suggestion is to look both online and offline for physical copies.

  • Books from the library and bookstores
  • Comics and web comics (including manga and graphic novels for young adults)
  • Websites and blogs about topics that interest you
  • Newspapers and magazines
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2. WRITE

When you are reading, you should have your notebook next to you. This is where you will keep all the new words you’re learning. After you learn a new word, you should write it in your notebook. Write the English word and the Vietnamese word and…THIS IS IMPORTANT…write an example sentence with the new word.

When you write the example sentences, use Grammarly and Google docs. Both of them will check your grammar for mistakes. Grammarly will explain the grammar rule for you.

Tape the new words on your bedroom wall. Don’t keep them locked away in your notebook. When they’re on your wall, seeing them often will help you remember them. You should say them (with the example sentence) daily.

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3. USE

You have to make the new words part of your life. You need to use them when you are speaking with your friends. There’s an expression in English. It’s “use it or lose it”. If you don’t use the new words in everyday conversation, you’ll lose them / forget them.

Listen to how native speakers say the words by searching YouGlish. If you are unsure of the pronunciation, you can use Google or ELSA Speak. Both will listen to how you say the word and offer help. Search Google for “how to say _____”. Then click the PRACTICE button. This will work if your Google search results are set to English. Use ELSA Instant on your computer or the app for your phone.

If you have a language partner, you can try using your new word with your partner. Find partners with Speaky or Tandem.

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4. PLAY

Playing games in English will help you with your vocabulary. You should play games on your phone or your computer. Playing Scrabble and doing crossword puzzles will help too.

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That’s it! Good luck. No, wait! I’ve got two more links for you. 😁 Andy made this great video about learning vocabulary effectively. This article from EF Education is a good one, “How to memorize new vocabulary faster: 9 tips”.