Oftentimes students want to know how to learn and remember new English words. Most of them have one and the same problem – they learn new words but later they forget. If you also have the same problem and if you have been worrying about it all the time, let me tell you this – you don’t have to worry at all.
It is quite normal and healthy that you learn words and then you forget them. Let me say this again. If you learn new words and forget them later on, it is perfectly normal.
The whole point is how many you learn and how many you forget or you remember. If you learn 10 new words and after a week you remember only one of them, it means you are doing something wrong or you are not doing anything at all.
What should you do to solve your problem? Here Doston and I have prepared 5 extremely easy and simple ways you can try to learn and improve your vocabulary. All of them are real tips taken from our own learning and teaching experiences.
1. Read books
Reading more books in English has lots of benefits for you.Firstly, it increases your imagination because when you read, you will have to imagine everything that the author describes.
You may be wondering how imagination is connected to learning and remembering new words.Well, imagination is very helpful when you want to write an essay. Lots of students I know can’t write in an interesting way because they spend most of their time playing stupid computer games or hanging around with friends all the time talking about nothing but girls, cars and so on.
Read more so that you can enrich your worldview and form your own opinion about the things happening in life.
Secondly, reading books helps you learn the words in the context. What does ‘learn the words in context’ mean? It means that words come within different stories and situations.
The new words are surrounded with other words which you already know and because of that it will be very easy to understand their meaning (often without using any dictionary), learn and remember them.
Thirdly, reading books helps you revise the words you have already learned a long time ago. This helps you boost your confidence and increase your motivation.
Let me break my suggestions down for you. So reading …
By the way at the beginning, don’t read originally written books but read the books produced by Oxford University Press and/or Macmillan Publishers because they tailor the books specifically for the students like you and all of them are divided in the levels.
Tailor means simplify. You can find such books at books shops or British Council Resource Center in your town/city.
2. Watch movies
Watching movies in English are so exciting and helps you learn real English not a text book English. But be careful when selecting them. By ‘be careful’ I mean that you should select the movies which talk about real life and non-scientific stories.
For example, I would not recommend watching ‘Fifth Element’ which is extremely scientific, futuristic and with actors speaking in English extremely fast.
I would also not recommend the movies like ‘ … Mile’ which use a lot of slang and curse words used among rapper gangs in New York and the way they talk and pronounce the English words are a way very different from what a normal and average American or English man would speak and pronounce.
I would also pay attention to the following aspects when selecting movies to watch:
If you are wondering what movies are best to watch for your English here we have prepared a list of 23 most inspirational movies to watch in the classroom.
By the way, I have almost forgotten about the benefits of watching movies in English.
So firstly, they are good to learn every day and real English used in the USA since most of the movies are produced in the Hollywood. It is real English because those movies are not created especially for students who are learning English; actors do not speak slowly than they would in real life.
Secondly, you improve your pronunciation because if the main star in the movie is your favorite one, then you want to pronounce the words as exactly as he or she pronounces.
Also in some emotional scenes when the actors say great quotes or say something very smart, you like to copy that and pronounce that particular words or phrases several times. As a result, you improve your pronunciation.
I will be honest with you. This is how I improved my own pronunciation and a lot of my friends and students say it is not bad.
So let me break it down for you. Watch the movies which are
3. Listen to songs
Listening to your favorite songs brings you lots of positive emotions. It raises your mood and makes you feel very positive. That’s why you learn best when you listen to songs.
If you are unhappy or angry, you can’t learn very well.When I say ‘listen to songs’ please remember that I mean you should have song lyrics at hand so that you can see what the singer is singing about.
Otherwise, it may be extremely hard to understand the words in songs.It is ideal if you can use worksheets with answer keys where some of the words are removed from the song and you have to listen and fill in the blanks.
I would not recommend listening to rap songs which contain lots of slangs used among an extremely small community of gang groups in the USA.
Even if you happen to understand some of them, I don’t think you will need them when you speak to a normal person in life unless you decide to join a gang group. Well, don’t do that!
So let me break things down for you. Listen to songs
Another way you can improve your vocabulary or let’s say another way to make your learning new words process easier is to use electronic dictionaries.Old days of using big, fat and heavy dictionaries are gone.
When I seriously started learning English many years ago, I remember I exchanged my old Soviet era tape recorder to 40,000-word English-Russian dictionary and I both enjoyed and hated using that dictionary.
These days you can easily download an electronic dictionary onto your iPhone and use it whenever you need to look up the meaning of a new word.
Don’t have an iPhone? I am sure you have a laptop or a desktop computer and access to the Internet if you are reading this post.
Just download electronic Abby Lingvo x 5 dictionary and install it on your computer. It is fast, comfortable and environmentally friendly.
Finally, new words which you learn by reading books, watching movies, listening to songs and using a technology must be practiced in real life as well.
Many and many students learn and memorize so many words every day and realize that after no more than 2-3 weeks they forgot almost all of them. Why? This is because they don’t practice it. So how to practice? At the moment I can remember three you can practice: