So you’ve gone to all the trouble of learning the definition of a word, but the next day, you forget it. It’s a frustrating part of learning a language, but here are some tips you can try to get that vocabulary word stuck in your head.
1. Word Association
Try to find a connection between the word you’re learning and things or people you know. For example, if you try to remember the word eccentric, you might think of your cousin who acts a little odd. So instead of learning the exact definition of the word eccentric, you’d just think of your ‘wacky’ cousin. Every time you come across the word you’re learning, and think of the connection, you’ll soon start to actively use that definition. You’ll have your own meaning for that word.
2. Frequent Use
Try to use this new definition as often as possible. Try to make your own sentences using this new vocabulary term. When you try to use this word in everyday conversations, it will feel more natural to you, and you’ll most likely remember the definition.
3. Read It Every Day
Keep a sticky note or a flash card of the word and its definition. Keep it somewhere where you’re going to see it every day, or at least pick it up. Read it over a few times every day. Studies show that it takes 10-20 repetitions to make a word part of your vocabulary – so keep on repeating the pronunciation and definition of the word.
4. Memory Tricks
Use some memory tricks to remember the definition of the word. For example, if you’re trying to remember the pronunciation of the word, egregious, remember the words ‘egg reach us’. If you visualize the words egg, reach, us and create a mental picture in your head, it can help you remember the pronunciation. But it can also help you remember the definition. Egregious means very bad, and it would be very bad if some rotten eggs were all you could smell.
Study the context of the word. Look for or listen to examples of the word being used in everyday conversation. When you understand how and when the word is used, you’ll better understand the definition of it. You’ll most likely feel more comfortable using it as well.