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EFFECTIVE WAYS TO REMEMBER FOREIGN WORDS

2009.09.14
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO REMEMBER FOREIGN WORDS

Essentially, learning the top 300 foreign, most frequently used words will get you to the point where you can always find out easily the places to eat in the country of the target foreign language. It would be quite possible to orientate in foreign country effortlessly and moreover, make conversation about the weather. Learning 1000 words you can travel without any problems and have a small talk with a fellow traveller. With 10.000 words your life brightens up. You don`t find communicating as a problem anymore, you can read books and newspapers, watch movies and earn money. 50.000 words + a good pronunciation could sum up what being a foreigner is like. By the way, your hard work will not be compensated only once. When you start learning one more similar language, you will realize that you already know something! For instance, around 5000 Russian words have English roots.

 

 

Remember, all the words are difficult to memorize when they are out of the context. They are easy to learn but it`s hard to recall them when it`s highly necessary. That`s why I give you the first common tip 1 for learning foreign words: Learn the words in context.

 

 

 

Tip 2: If you see the word out of the text or you don`t remember the context, make the phrases from the words you encounter. Unfortunately, you can face here a small problem. You are learning the SECOND language and if you don`t know it well, there is a risk you will make wrong phrases. But the rarest words are usually used in fixed expressions, almost idioms («битком набитый», «не по себе», «брать за душу» and so on). You have to be sure that you translated them accurately from your first language. The simplest thing here would be to ask a foreigner. However, if you don`t have this option, find a dictionary with a great deal of examples. Learn them by heart. The process of making the phrases is relatively hard but it could be a really useful activity. By doing this, the new words stay in your passive list of vocabulary but some of them become active.

 

 

 

Tip 3: To learn new words, use a visual dictionary (this method is quite good for those who possess visual memory- people who assimilate the learning material with the help of pictures in contrast to people with kinaesthetic or auditory sensory preferences). In these dictionaries you will find a great number of pictures organized by themes: astronomy, animals, sport, fashion,…

 



Tip 4: Choose any engaging detective story or a novel in the target language. Try to find the books with the plot you are interested in. Being involved in the story, all the unknown words that you come across will be learnt with pleasure. Write out the phrases with new words from this book and read them several times. They say, about 80 % of words stick to your head and you don`t need to learn them by heart. Besides, you widen your vocabulary list with phrases, expressions and turns of speech which later become easy to use. In general, you get the “spirit “of the language, i.e. you get either subconscious comprehension of grammar or deep-seated language regularities. 

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