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How to learn English words: 7 memorization tips that work

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How to learn English words: 7 memorization tips that work

Knowledge of English words alone does not provide knowledge of the language, but a poor vocabulary will become an obstacle to communication. How to replenish your personal dictionary with the optimal set of English words - and, most importantly, not to forget them in 2 weeks?

Human memory is able to accommodate a huge amount of information, but only what is regularly used and repeated will be kept up to date. This is how the mechanism of short-term and long-term memory works: at first we remember for a short time and, if we really use it, we repeat it - forever. Therefore, the basics of calculus learned for the exam are forgotten by most students after a couple of months.

There are several technologies for memorizing words, the rules of repetition at regular intervals, taking into account the laws of memory.

How memory works: the forgetting curve

In the last third of the 19th century in Germany, the researcher Hermann Ebbinghaus studied the process of memorization and mechanical memory, deduced the relationship between study and repetition. The scientist conducted a series of experiments, established the optimal repetition rate, which allows you to memorize words for a long time and even forever. But the results of Ebinghaus's research, unfortunately, are little applied in practice.

It is generally accepted today that human memory is divided into short-term and long-term. New information remains in RAM, and if we use it constantly, we repeat it over and over again, it goes into long-term memory. The task of learning new vocabulary is to transfer it from the storage of short-term memory to a knowledge bank that will stay with us forever. And understandable mechanisms have been developed for this.

Effective mechanisms for learning English vocabulary

We've collected 7 of the most effective techniques for memorizing new words to help you get ahead in your English language learning.

Observe repetition intervals

Repeat mode will help you remember a new word forever. Ebbinghaus proved that there are 6 most important repeats for the brain:

  1. Immediately after learning new words
  2. After 20-30 minutes.
  3. 1 day later
  4. After 2-3 weeks
  5. After 2-3 months
  6. After 2-3 years.

Explore what you like

Let's remember school English lessons, how we learned words? Here is a new topic ("School", "Vacation", "My apartment"), and here is a list of words for it. What if the topic is based on your interests?

Are you fond of cooking? Learn words that will come in handy for chatting in international forums, starting a blog in English, reading cookbooks or watching show cooking in the original: medium roast , spice , pan , fry . High motivation, personal interest of the student will allow you to learn words faster and easier.

Comprehension helps to remember

Ponder and conceptualize what you are memorizing. The material that has gone through the process of comprehension is filled with meanings, it is no longer just a set of sounds. At the right moment, thoughts related to the new word will pop up in my memory. Memorization using the comprehension technique is 9 times faster.

It is important to know how to properly organize what is being studied: use diagrams, tables, diagrams. The predictive reading technique works well: after reading the first 2 sentences, guess how the reasoning ends. Expressing someone else's thought in your own words will help you remember it for a long time.

Connect all five senses

In addition to intellectual work, connect associations. Let the imagination draw a complete image associated with the word! Try to supplement the image with tactile sensations, sounds, smells, taste, pronounce and listen to the word, sing it, feel the peculiarities of pronunciation. As you read the recipe, imagine how you are cooking, trying the dish: "Heat oil in a deep pan ( pan ), heat spices ( spice ), put vegetables, fry ( fry ) over high heat, reduce and simmer until soft." Imagine how you do it, turn new words into a colorful picture!

Change the learning environment

Changing the environment during learning helps to connect context and new words: study in different rooms, in the subway, in the car, at the desk during lunch, in the park on a bench. This activates the brain, helps to avoid routine, getting used to classes in the same place.

Exercise often, regularly and little by little

Don't try to grasp the immensity: learn no more than 10 words at a time. Memorizing in small portions is easier if you exercise regularly - even 15 minutes daily will have a noticeable effect. Take a break after a short block of words. Use the technique of impulse memorization: appeared 10 minutes while waiting at the bank - open the application or start an audio file with new words.

The most important thing is at the beginning and at the end

Have you noticed that the easiest way to remember the beginning of the text? You listen to the beginning of the speech more attentively than the middle, attention invariably dissipates after the first mnemonic "leap". Study difficult words at the beginning and end of the session.

Use memorization techniques

Cards, stickers on items with the names of these items, anchor images - there is plenty to choose from. Come up with an anchor image when memorizing a difficult word, memorable and visible. For example, chicken (chicken) - "the chicken says chicken-chicken-chick-tweet." In this case, the image is built on onomatopoeia. There are author's mnemonic dictionaries: the images have already been invented, it remains to use.

We don't know which advice will work for you - try it, combine it! Be prepared that the work of filling your own English vocabulary is hard work that requires a systematic approach, attention, and willpower. Successful and interesting learning!

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