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How to learn vocabulary

Learning vocabulary is a crucial part of learning a language and there are many ways to do it. Here are some tips about learning vocabulary that we've discussed in English class. Even if you have your own ideas about the best way to learn new words there might be a few new ideas worth trying.

  1. Use vocabulary cards

  2. Write new words in a vocabulary book

  3. Organise the vocabulary - by word class, by topic or alphabetically

  4. Try an app such as Quizlet

  5. Read the word in context

  6. Learn regularly

  7. Use pictures

  8. Write sentences including the target vocabulary

  9. Do a mind map

  10. Use corpora or dictionaries to find out more about the word

  11. Use the internet, for example shopping websites to learn clothing vocabulary

  12. Use the word in real life

What should you include on vocabulary cards?

Basically, the more information the better. Here are some of the things you can include:

  • Target word in English

  • The word in your language (write this on the other side of the card)

  • Definition in English

  • A good sentence using the target word

  • Word class (noun, verb, adjective)

  • Pictures or photos

  • How to pronounce the word

  • Synonyms

  • Word transformation, for example pronounce (v), pronunciation (n)

What is the best way of learning vocabulary?

All the tips are good but for me the best way to learn a new word or phrase is by talking to people about it. I tend to learn more when people explain something to me than when I find the answer in a book.

What about you? What is your favourite tip?


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