When you are learning a new language, you spend a lot of time learning new words. It can be difficult to remember all the new vocabulary you’ve studied, particularly when you first start learning a language. Here are some top tips to help you remember more of what you study.

Limit Yourself

Don’t try to learn too many new words at one time. Experts recommend aiming for about 7 new words each time you study. This could be 7 words a day if you study intensively, or 7 new words to review often if you only have lessons once a week. Children should also limit new words they learn in a foreign language, from 5 to 7 words depending on age. You can challenge yourself by learning up to 10, but not more than that. If you try to learn too many new words, you’re bound to forget more than if you’d learnt just a few.

Lexical Sets

If you learn similar words together, it’s easier to remember them. Words that fit together in one lexical set will stick in your mind. For example, it’s easier to remember the words for red, blue, yellow, black and orange in a foreign language than it is to remember red, pilot, sandwich, August and elbow.

We also have other tips on learning vocabulary: How to Improve Your English Vocabulary

Keep a Personal Dictionary

Buy a pocket-sized notebook to jot down any new words you learn, along with the meaning and an example sentence. Take it with you and write down new words wherever you learn them. Having this pocket book handy is also great for reviewing. If you have 5 minutes to wait for a bus or have a few minutes spare before your TV program starts, whip out the book and have a quick review.

Word of the Day

Each day, learn a new, interesting word and try and use it several times throughout the day. This can make for some interesting conversations, depending on the vocabulary! This works well with adjectives and verbs like extraordinary or pondering.

Want more on vocabulary? 3 Tips for Learning English Vocabulary

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About the Author

Celia Jenkins is a veteran ESL teacher who has taught in a number of locations worldwide. She is also a freelance writer.

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