When it comes to studying, you might feel like you’re only as good as your memory—and if you struggle with that, you could always fall back on flashcards or some other study technique. But there are actually ways to use your memory in an effective way to help you learn new English words better, even without any fancy learning techniques. Try out these seven unusual tips to help you remember English words better, and you’ll be impressing your friends (and English teachers) in no time!
1) Use Rhyming Dictionary
Rhyming Dictionary is a tool that will help you remember english words much faster and more effectively than by simply trying to remember them. The program groups words together according to their meanings. Then, it shows related rhymes for each word, along with sample sentences, which makes memorizing certain words and groups of words much easier. For example, if you’re trying to learn about architecture, Rhyming Dictionary will show you rhyming definitions of all related terms in a fun way that really helps ingrain them into your memory. Your creative thinking abilities increase with greater vocabulary, so give Rhyming Dictionary a try if you feel like your brain just isn’t as sharp as it used to be!
2) Make Associations With the Word
The best way to memorize a word is to make associations with it. If you’re trying to learn the word wonderful, think of something that’s wonderful (I personally love The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). Then pair it with the word in question; for example, I went on a wonderful trip. Now imagine walking through the yellow brick road and meeting all kinds of marvelous characters! Just be sure you don’t get your characters mixed up: Don’t go through the Wicked Witch of the West.
3) See it Everywhere
In order to successfully remember english words, you must be exposed to it multiple times. And not just once or twice. For example, if you see a word on a list and then use it in context in your own writing, you’ll likely forget it soon after reviewing it. The more often you’re exposed to something, though, and especially if that exposure is spaced out over time—you might need a day or two between each review session—the easier it will be for your brain to file it away as part of its permanent memory stores.
In order to successfully remember a word, you must be exposed to it multiple times. And not just once or twice. For example, if you see a word on a list and then use it in context in your own writing, you’ll likely forget it soon after reviewing it. The more often you’re exposed to something, though, and especially if that exposure is spaced out over time—you might need a day or two between each review session—the easier it will be for your brain to file it away as part of its permanent memory stores.
4) Sound it Out
If you can’t figure out how to say a word, try saying it out loud (or in your head) in different ways. What sounds do you hear? Then, write down those letters. We did a quick test and found that some of our writers couldn’t remember how to spell implement, but when we asked them what sound they heard in their head when they read it, they remembered that there was a hard p followed by an h and remembered they didn’t have an L or an E so it wasn’t really that difficult after all! Sounding something out is another great way to remember vocabulary words.
5) Have Fun Pronouncing It
Pronouncing words correctly is one of those things that sounds harder than it actually is. If you can read a word out loud, then you should be able to pronounce it correctly. There are many resources that can help you learn how to pronounce new words as well. Dictionaries have audio recordings for every word, and there are apps for everything from flashcards and quizzes to one-on-one tutoring. One of our favorites is Learn It Speak It (iOS Android). While it’s a paid app, it’s affordable at $3 per month or $20 per year, and offers great interactive exercises that let you practice your pronunciation skills while playing fun games.
6) Break Down New Word Meanings Into Bite-Sized Pieces
Whenever you encounter a new word, try breaking it down into its syllables and form an association with each. For example, if you were trying to remember the word vehement, think of a vehement person and imagine their movement. As they’re speaking in your mind’s eye, repeat their words slowly and loudly as though you are having a heated argument. Now put yourself in that same room with them. Feel free to include scenery such as furniture or even background sound effects if that helps.
7) Have A Memory Trigger
This is a trick that works especially well for abstract concepts, like new vocabulary words. As an example, if you want to remember that mellifluous means sweetly musical you could create a memory trigger of imagining a bee (the word) flying up your nose and going into your ear (the part of your brain responsible for memory). When you later try to recall what mellifluous means, imagine bees in flight. It sounds silly but it can really help some people remember new terms. Memory triggers are sometimes called memory pegs, and they can be used in many different situations. To learn how they work and how they can be applied elsewhere, click here > 7 Ways Memory Triggers Can Enhance Your Life