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How to learn English words: simple and effective techniques

The more vocabulary we know, the better we understand what the characters of our favorite English and American films say, what is written on the museum tablets, and how favorable the terms of the deal are offered by our partners from the USA.

Фото: Depositphotos

Edition Englex gathered a few recommendations that will help to effectively learn new vocabulary.

How many English words do you need to know

We recommend you to take a test to check your vocabulary. Online English Vocabulary Size Test. It will show your approximate vocabulary, which you can compare with average results of native speakers and learners of English. On average 3 000 - 4 000 words will be enough to communicate on most topics. However, we want to warn you: do not entirely rely on the test results. He can give only a rough estimate of your vocabulary.

What words to learn in English

  • Basic vocabulary needed to understand a foreign language. There are eternal themes like “Greeting”, “Family”, “Food”, everyone needs to know them.
  • The words you need. If you need English for work, learn general business terminology or more narrow industry, for example, for IT specialists. If you want to travel more, learn tourist phrasebooks.
  • It is impossible to master all lexical sets, and it makes no sense. Why do you need medical topics if you are not a medical practitioner? Is that for viewing "Doctor House". Check with an experienced teacher of English, he will tell you what you study.

Where to get new English words

1. Favorite movies, series, songs, podcasts, books

This method is good because the words are remembered in a context that is not boring for you. If you are already watching movies in English, it is worth taking the vocabulary from there. We recommend using the resource. It is paid, but worth the money: you can watch new movies and TV shows in good quality with Russian and English subtitles. As soon as you meet an unfamiliar word, click on it, and it will automatically fall into your personal dictionary of new words. The lyrics of most English-language songs you can find on the resource "Amalgam". Or use the search bar in the browser: enter the name of the song and add the word lyrics.

2. Special textbooks

Textbooks to increase vocabulary will help you learn new words and stable expressions in which they are used. The manuals are good because they contain lists of words along with examples of their use, so the words are learned in context.

3. Lists or dictionaries of high-frequency words

How to understand, is it worth it to memorize the next new English word that you met? It may have become obsolete or rarely used. You can refer to the lists of words that are most often used by native speakers. We recommend you lists from the Oxford dictionary - The Oxford 3000 American Dictionary. These are 3 000 most significant words that anyone learning English should know. They were carefully selected by linguists and experienced teachers. Recognize these words in the Oxford dictionary itself can be on the key icon.

Tools for learning new words

1. Cards with words

This technique may seem old-fashioned, but it is still effective. All students at least once in their life got the cards and tried to learn a new vocabulary on them. It is convenient and affordable: you do not need to spend money, because you write them yourself, and you can take cards with you wherever you go.

Before you make a card, you need to choose a good dictionary that will help:

  • pick up the translation;
  • familiarize yourself with typical phrases in which the word is used;
  • study examples.

Then it is necessary to decide whether you will make paper vocabulary cards or electronic ones.

Paper cards

We recommend using colored blocks (one color = one theme). Newbies can choose from the following options:

On one side of the piece we write the word in English, on the second - in Russian. We check our knowledge: we translate a word from Russian into English and vice versa.

Infographics: Englex

On the one hand, we write the word in English and paste the picture, on the other - the translation into Russian.

Infographics: Englex

This method is well suited to people with associative thinking. In your mind, you associate a new English-language concept and the subject it denotes.

On the one hand, we write a word in English with a Russian context, on the other hand, a word in Russian without a context.

Infographics: Englex

When repeating the vocabulary, try to translate the concept from Russian into English. And with the translation in the opposite direction, the second side of the card with the Russian context will help you.

More experienced students are advised to use English-English dictionaries, for example Macmillan dictionary. On one side we write the word in English, on the other - its definition in the English language. You can also write synonyms and antonyms of the concept under study.

Infographics: Englex

Memorizing English words is best in context. Therefore, you can write on the card is not just a word, but a sentence in which it is used.

Infographics: Englex

Electronic Cards

If it is difficult to tear you away from your computer, use your affection for good: create virtual stickers with words on your desktop and in a few days you will remember them well. We advise you to create electronic dictionary cards. Quizlet, which allows you to memorize words in different ways: choose the correct translation from the four proposed, fill in the gaps in sentences and play games with words. Here you can keep track of your progress: what words are harder on you than others, how quickly you learn new vocabulary.

With cards you need to constantly work: view and repeat the learned vocabulary. Periodically change cards to new ones, and after 1-2 weeks, return the old ones to repeat the words.

2. Notebook dictionary

This method is good for those who are constantly losing something: cards you are unlikely to last long. You can structure your notebook as you like. We give our version. Each page must correspond to a specific day. From above write dates of repetition of words. So that the vocabulary to be studied is well fixed in the memory, do not forget to train it.

Infographics: Englex

3. Mind map

You can easily learn English words on the same subject, if you draw an intelligence card (a mind map). Such a scheme clearly shows what topic the words belong to. In the meantime, you paint it, vocabulary will be stored in memory.

Mind map might look like this:

Infographics: Englex

To create such schemes, we recommend using the service Coggle.

4. Learning sites and applications

On the way to work in the subway or in the queue at the clinic, use any free minute to learn new words. It’s enough to do 10-20 minutes every day to feel the progress.

Useful tips on how to learn English words effectively

1. Combine words by subject

Usually, groups of words related to one topic are well remembered. So try to break the words into groups of 5-10 pieces and learn them. There is a so-called Restorff effect, according to which the human brain from a group of objects best remembers the most prominent. Use this effect for your own benefit: in the group of words on one subject “introduce a stranger” - enter a word from a completely different subject. For example, when studying words on the topic “Fruits”, add to them one word from the topic “Transport”, in this way your classes will become even more effective.

Infographics: Englex

2. Use associations and personalization

Many students like this method: to learn a word, you need to come up with an association in Russian. For example, you need to remember the word obstinacy (stubbornness). Break it down into three syllables: ob-stin-acy, it turns out "stubborn, like an about-the-wall-ass". Word shoot (shoot) can be remembered as "jester shoots." You can make convenient associations yourself, as long as they are clear to you and easy to remember. So it will be easier to increase the vocabulary of the English language. Training will be effective if you not only form a verbal association, but also visualize it: speaking the words shoot, imagine this shooting jester, let the image be the most ridiculous and memorable. Even better - a dynamic picture with your personal presence: you imagine how the jester shoots somebody at you (from a water gun, so that the spectacle comes out funny, but not tragic). The more alive the picture, the easier it will be to remember the word.

3. Use learned vocabulary in speech

How to learn English words and not forget them? You are familiar with the principle use it or lose it? For knowledge to remain in memory, you need to actively "use" them. Good practice is to make short stories using new words. The vocabulary is best remembered, expressed in a short, ridiculous text that is written about yourself or things dear to your heart. If you attend courses or study with an English teacher, try to insert new words into the conversation as often as possible: the more times you say a word, the better it will be to remember. Do not forget about spelling: try to use new words in written speech.

4. Test your knowledge regularly

It is useful from time to time to pass various tests to determine the level of vocabulary. For example, excellent tests with pictures (joy for visuals and children) are given on page Vocabulary for learners of English. After passing such a test, you will immediately see what is stored in the memory, and which topics or words need to be repeated.

5. Follow your daily plan

For an average person, it’s best to learn 5-10 words per day. Clearly follow your plan for learning new vocabulary to see progress.

6. Use entertaining teaching methods

The site native speakers explain complex information in a lightweight, entertaining way, thanks to which the new material is well remembered. Online each news item is adapted for different levels of English, explanations are given to all difficult words. You can expand the vocabulary of the English language in the process of exciting activities, for example: solving crossword puzzles, playing the gallows, etc. A lot of entertainment is presented on the pages Have Fun Learning English и Vocabulary exercises.

7. Develop your memory

It is impossible to remember anything if you do not have a good memory. Learning a language in and of itself trains our brain quite well and helps to improve memory. But you can also do other exercises to train your memory.

8. Consider your type of perception of information

Not all methods are equally good for you. Do not try to apply all at once. Try text, video or audio formats and select those with which you can quickly learn new words. So you will come to your author's mix of techniques.

Infographics: Englex

The main thing - do not forget to move from theory to practice. Not only read useful tips on how to memorize English words quickly and easily, but also actively use them in everyday life, then you will not have to puzzle over how to improve your level of knowledge.

Read also on ForumDaily:

7 secrets of learning English

How to learn English without having the ability and desire: a way for those who "can no longer"

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