Favorite Methods for Learning Vocabulary

Favorite Methods for Learning Vocabulary

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

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Favorite Methods for Learning Vocabulary…

A few weeks back, Noel from Smart Language Learner (a language blog I frequent) asked 36 language learning experts and myself, “If there was one method for learning vocabulary that you’d recommend to the world, which one would it be?”

I’m all for simple, so I replied, “It’d have to be repetition. Whether they use a strict SRS (Spaced Repetition System) or not, reading, writing, and repeating words out loud until they are set in memory is a simple but powerful way to learn new vocabulary.”

Read the rest of Noel’s post where 37 Language-Learning Experts Reveal their Favorite Method for Learning Vocabulary (well, 36 anyway 😉

Smart Language Learner…

If you haven’t come across Noel’s site before, be sure to check out one of the most inspiring posts I’ve read in a long time: How I learned Two New Languages in Spite of Myself. I’ll talk about it more later (after I get my hands on his Language-Learning Obstacle Buster).

Where to find Noel van Vliet:
Web: Smart Language Learner
Twitter: @NoelVanVliet


9 thoughts on “Favorite Methods for Learning Vocabulary”

  1. Brian, that’s good advice. When I find myself losing interest in a subject, my learning bogs down to ziltch!

    Rick, thank you for reminding me about the Goldlist Method. I wrote about it awhile back: Review: GoldList Method for Long-term Memory

    Uncle Davey kindly left an offer in the comments of the post:

    I am happy sometime to arrange a Hangout on Google+ to answer your readers’ questions live about the method. I will be doing regular hangouts around the method once people have added me to their circles and let me know that they are waiting for them.

    I can’t really do one on one for people (unless only one person turns up to something that was publicly announced, and then I will) but I am happy to help especially when the results can be recorded and made available for even more learners to benefit, as it is with these Google Hangouts.

  2. Viktor D. Huliganov (aka Uncle Davey) takes a totally opposite view. He believes that repetition, such as SRS, is actually counter-productive in that it places the word in short-term memory, whereas what we want for sustained learning is to place the word in long-term memory (the two types of memory are apparently different).

    His method is called the Goldlist method, where you only look at words at minimum 2-week intervals. If you’ve remembered the word after 2 weeks, it’s in long-term memory.

    He also stresses the importance of reading the word out loud and writing it (not typing it).

    Here’s the man himself explaining it

    NOTE: He’s English, but for some reason in this video he’s adopting a cod Russian accent.

  3. I found it is very easy to repeat something if you have a passion for it – so for some people the magical shortcut might be to just learn the part of the language that has to do with their passion, be it food, art, cartoons or crafts.

  4. Some teachers strive for making simple repetitions an attractive lesson, but it doesn’t change the very nature of learning process – we learn through repeating, through patterns. The sooner you get into work which requires repetitions the sooner you will notice results. Of course you can chase the shortcuts, some may even work for you, but do not expect to find a marvellous solution – it will never be a pill of wisdom.

  5. Noel – my pleasure. You came up with a great idea for a post and kudos to you for getting everyone to participate (I know how difficult that can be!)

    Lawrence – ah, yes, persistence. I have to keep dragging myself back each time life intervenes. I wish there was a app for that.

  6. Thanks so much for the kind words, Catherine.

    I really, really appreciate it.

    And thanks for your contribution:


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