~the English Unlimited blog~

English help, Homestay Canada, Homestay Victoria

Top ten tricks for learning & remembering vocabulary #1

1. make word association webs – our brain takes what we read an makes it into images, ideas, and feelings etc. and then makes connections between what we knew before and the new information (words and ideas). This is how we remember things. The “new” stuff is fitted into the “old” stuff.

Think of a tree. It is easier for you to see a big tree with lots of branches and leaves than it is to see a small tree with very few branches and leaves, right? Well, it’s the same for your brain. When you connect a new word or idea to things you already know you make it easier for your brain to find (see) it when you need to remember it.

How can you do this? Easy. Make an Idea Web. Start with the thing you want to remember (words, ideas, sentences) in the middle of a piece of paper. Then draw lines from it like a spider’s web. At the end of the line write down any ideas or words or even pictures that you think of when you say the word or idea.

This only takes about 2 minutes. Now all the words/ideas are getting connected in your mind. If you see or hear one of them it will help your brain remember all of the others. To make this work really well, you can talk to yourself about how each word/idea fits together with the others. The more you do this, the more connections you make. ‘Lots of connections makes it very easy for your brain to “see” the word you want to recall when you are trying to remember it.

For more about mind-mapping see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

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2 Comments»

  Jan wrote @

Thanks for posting this article! It is very useful info for me.
I am the host of the Just Vocabulary Podcast. I live in Cape Town, but I am originally from the Netherlands. So I had to improve my vocabulary. I started this podcast 2 years ago to offer English as a Second language-students the SAT, GRE and TOEFL words in a short audio file with synonyms, antonyms and example sentences.
(http://www.justvocabulary.com).

Also, would it be possible to add my podcast as a resource? I look forward to hear from you,
Jan

  englishunlimited wrote @

Hello Jan,

I have just reactivated this site and I came across your message. My apologies for not responding sooner. Yes, I will add your site as a resource. If you are ever looking for help to build material for your site, let me know and maybe we can work something out. Good Luck!

-Paul Turner


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