Learning new vocabulary in English is a great way to learn the language because words are the building blocks of language.
So, you are excited. You are motivated. You are inspired. You are ready to travel the world and speak fluent English to everyone you know. You see yourself getting a better job, making more money, meeting influential people, and becoming a more culturally refined person.
So, you grab a dictionary and start with the letter A and begin learning new words. The first day you learn 100 new words. But the next day you realize that you forgot what most of them mean. And when you try to talk with them…you can’t recall the words.
You are frustrated!
This isn’t so much fun anymore. You study your list of new words again. But by time you get to the end…you no longer remember the words from the beginning. You throw your list on the ground and stomp off to watch TV. You know it won’t help you reach your goals…but at least you don’t have to think much.
So, how do you remember the new words you are learning so that you don’t forget them?
Here’s how to learn new vocabulary so you don’t forget them and speak fluent English.
1. Learn Less…But More Often
Scientific research published by Herman Ebbinghaus has revealed that we forget more than half of what we learn within 20 minutes. The same research reveals that information reviewed on a frequent basis is retained for much longer time. Since most English students only study the language once a week twice a week…they have more time to ‘forget’ things. So, instead of studying once a week for a couple of hours…study everyday even if it’s only for 15 minutes. This will allow you to recall your words more easily, develop positive habits, and recall words when you need them.
2. Review More Words That You Learn
Learning one million words is great if you want to become a walking dictionary, however, it will not do you any good if you don’t know how to use them correctly. It’s much better to have smaller vocabulary of 1000 commonly used words that you can use to express yourself effectively. So, make sure you learn words deeply and activate them so that they are on the tip of your tongue when you need them. Focus on reviewing your vocabulary frequently and often…as you add in new words and develop your vocabulary.
3. Recycle Your Vocabulary Words As Much As Possible
In light of what we mentioned above…recycle the words that you are learning at every opportunity. Look for them while you are reading. Listen to podcasts where you think you might hear them. And think them in your own head as often as you can. I highly recommend the use of mini-stories to recycle the words through the use of mini-stories. It’s really simple actually. Whenever you learn a few new words, try to make up a crazy story where you use those words often. Then tell the story to everyone you can. It works great because you are putting the words inside a context that is easy to for you to remember.
4. Use Your New Vocabulary A.S.A.P.
Another thing you want to do is make sure that you are using your new vocabulary as much as possible. Look for opportunities to use that new word. If you are learning about tools, then go to the hardware store and ask the salesman questions about them. Ask him how much that new hammer costs…or how much time that new chainsaw will save you.
5. Just Relax And Have Fun
Don’t worry about learning 59,641 words faster than your buddy Joe so that you can impress Mary…unless you are making a game out of it and having fun. Learning to speak fluent English is not an end in itself. What you really want are the benefits learning English will bring you. And besides, when you are having fun…your mind is much more relaxed and open to learning.
A relaxed mind is an open mind. And an open mind is prepared to accept and assimilate new vocabulary words so that you can express yourself more fluently and proficiently.
Every single day, I have to remind myself to relax and just enjoy the journey no matter what — and I am the language consultant. I know that if I don’t remind myself to relax and enjoy what I do to educate business executives, freelancers, and professionals just like you, I would be able to create effective language learning material on a daily basis.
I learn new vocabulary words every day. I learn new words in the language of the students I help. I learn new words in my mother tongue to teach others how to talk about their occupations. I teach new vocabulary words every day. I write new mini-stories to teach those vocabulary words every day.
And guess what?
I rarely ever forget those words, and you won’t either if you relax your mind, enjoy the learning process and follow the strategies I described in this article.
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