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pogo June 20, 2006 09:04 AM

Tips for remembering vocabulary
has anyone got any tips for trying to remember new words.

i tend to try and get a list of words (maybe 10 or so) and then every so often throughout the day try and rewrite the list from memory. It works quite well but you have to be fairly motivated to do it.
Flashcards are also pretty good but i'm too lazy to carry real ones around so i use the virtual ones on

what does everyone else do ??

Tomisimo June 20, 2006 01:28 PM

Re: tips for remembering vocabulary
There's a really good book on Memory techniques concerning foreign language vocabulary. I can't recall what it's called, but one of the authors names is Harry Lorraine. I'll look it up.

v9 June 20, 2006 04:46 PM

Re: tips for remembering vocabulary
I try to make a picture in my mind to remember the vocabulary.

Chorbdaddy June 29, 2006 11:08 PM

Re: tips for remembering vocabulary
I like to record an audo file on my computer and play it a couple times a day on my ipod.

Tomisimo June 29, 2006 11:52 PM

Re: tips for remembering vocabulary

Originally Posted by Chorbdaddy
I like to record an audo file on my computer and play it a couple times a day on my ipod.

Good idea, you could probably find some podcasts of news in Spanish to listen too as well.

Zach June 30, 2006 07:19 PM

Re: tips for remembering vocabulary
iTunes has a list of nice Spanish learning podcasts, free too.

vivianne July 17, 2008 01:15 AM

Hello everyone,

Nice thread, thanks for the tips.

Ramses July 20, 2008 04:37 PM

Ever heard of the sentence method ( - doesn't matter it's Japanese, learning a language is learning a language)? I came to the conclusion that learning loose words is just a waste of time. In high school I had to memorize hundreds of words (all out of context) for French and German. I can only understand German because it's relatively close to my native tongue (Dutch). None of the words stick.

Learning out of context (especially vocabulary) will give a too big work-load. Some months ago I read a paper about the memory load an average language learner has. It said that a learner either concentrates on vocabulary (while making loads of grammatical error) or on grammar (while not knowing a lot of words). Simply concentrating on everything in the beginning will generate a too big memory-load. But the funny thing is that it shouldn't be like that.

I've been studying Spanish for about a year now, and I never encountered such thing as 'memory-overload'. Why? Because I use a Spaced Repetition System. I use flash cards. Spanish sentence on the question side, Dutch translation on the answer side. That's the way I test myself. This way I've become so good at Spanish that I now can handle Spanish - Spanish sentences. So; a Spanish sentence on the question side, and an explanation of difficult words in that sentence.... in Spanish. I just look up the definition in the RAE dictionary or write an explanation myself.

I have a pretty big vocabulary and a good understanding of grammar, and I never had to work for it so far. Just sentences with my SRS and massive input like music, books, audiobooks, etc. This proves that the sentence method works two ways: learning vocabulary AND grammar (maybe you can't explain the grammar, but you know how it works and that it's correct).

Just my two cents.

Jane July 22, 2008 07:11 AM

Over the years, Iīve learnt that in language learning, what works for one person doesnīt neccesarily work for another, so, I always say that every individual should identify how best he or she learns and work with it. Of course, there is always room for discovering better methods and improvement.
Grammar for some people is not the first step towards learning a language, but Iīve come across people who from the beginnerīs course never stop asking question about the grammatical structure of every simple sentence. And according to them, it doesnīt make sense to them if they canīt identify and understand the structure.

Ramses August 07, 2008 09:20 AM

Yeah, but I strongly believe that there's a general path someone can (or should) walk in order to become fluent. When you speak English, do you think about grammar all the time? Maybe once in a while, with complex sentences, but not in general. Learning a language is all about growing an intuition. People who say they *need* to understand *each and every* piece of grammar before they can be fluent are talking BS. You can't be fluent when you think about stuff like grammar all the time. Natives just rule regarding their native tongue because they don't think about the correctness of their language.

They grammar-loving people you've come across: are they near-native fluent? I guess not, because that impossible. Sure, you can be a grammar lover, but please only be one when you're already fluent at the language in question (concentrate on the hows first, the whys will come later).

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