Tips on Memorizing Vocabulary

Tips on Memorizing Vocabulary

How should I memorize new vocabulary? Can I learn new words without much effort? How do I review what I have learned? These are the questions all language learners ask. They come across new words all the time, and no matter their level, new interesting words and expressions never cease to surprise and sometimes confuse. Knowing how to learn and review vocabulary can reduce this confusion and help a language learner memorize new vocabulary easily and effectively. So, how can it be done? Here is our tip list ⬇️ .

Have a vocabulary notebook

It’s an old and proven method. Have a notebook where you would write down new words, look through your notes regularly, and don’t forget that everything you jot down must be absolutely clear to you. There are no one-size-fits-all rules here – just find a way which fits your learning style and personal preferences – group words according to topic (of your textbook or semantic classes (e.g. food, transportation, etc.)) (1), make word maps (2), write down words with their synonyms and antonyms (3), with their translation and/or definition (4), common collocations (5), etc. For example:

  1. Language Leader Intermediate. Unit 1. Personality
  • Assertive
  • Cautious
  • To have a lasting influence on something
  • To lead a busy life
  • When the personality of a man is not clear, look at his friends (proverb)
  1. Topic: Food
  • Aubergine [‘əubəʤiːn] (BE) = eggplant (AE)
  • Asparagus [əs’pærəgəs]
  • To gulp down food
  • To be good at cooking
  1. Example of a word map:

Check out for more graphic organizer templates.

4. Generous. Synonyms: big-hearted, benevolent, lavish. Antonyms: greedy, stingy, mean.

5. Generous – großzügig, généreuse, 寛大な

6. Generous – showing a readiness to give more of something, especially money, than is strictly necessary or expected

7. Food collocations:

  • Adj. + food: superb, decent, nourishing
  • Verb + food: consume, cut down on, digest
  • Food + noun: intake, supply, shortage
  • Phrases: a supply of food (to provide an endless supply of food), emergency food aid

Depending on what works best for you, you can draw a very detailed word map like the one shown above, or just write down the part that’s the most significant for you, e.g. collocations or translation.


Today it’s possible to become a blogger without any financial investment at all. Why not try launching a website for personal use? It could be a kind of online notebook for convenience of storage and retrieval of any relevant information. Some people are poor at taking notes, and blogging could become an effective solution for them. Again, anyone could do it for free and without wasting much time on things like design – just pick a suitable template and there you go. Who knows, maybe your blog would be interesting not only for you but for many people around the world, which might even help you make some money.

Speak and write

Productive language skills (speaking and writing) are all about using vocabulary practically. Speak English (if that’s your target language) as much as you can and write essays trying to use new words and expressions appropriately. It won’t just make your teacher happy (if you have one anyway) but will also help you remember new vocabulary in context.

Read and listen

Perceptive language skills (reading and listening) help you boost your vocabulary too. Read and listen as much as possible. Even if you don’t live in an English-speaking country, you can find a way to get immersed in the language at home. Watch English TV channels (e.g. the Reuters News app is a great option for busy people because it allows you to watch the latest news with subtitles for as long as it’s convenient (from 10 to 30 minutes)), read what you are most interested in (fiction, news, blogs, etc.), watch educational videos on YouTube and/or similar websites, listen to podcasts. In a nutshell, make the most of the Internet in order to improve your vocabulary.

Use flashcards

Today you can buy ready-made flashcards (usually they are for beginners and the vocabulary they are about is quite simple) as well as blank cards, which you can use for the vocabulary you personally find worth memorizing. Also, there are convenient flashcard apps. Quzlet is just one of them. It allows you to create your own cards (as well as use those shared by others) and learn the vocabulary by doing tests, playing games and taking quizzes.


Another way of memorizing vocabulary which many diligent students might like is making audio recordings. Use a voice recording app on your smartphone to record the vocabulary you want to memorize. Then, on your way to work or back home, listen to the recording – you’ll see you can brush up on what you’ve learned without losing any precious time. Just don’t forget to use your headphones!

Whichever method of memorizing vocabulary you choose, remember about the importance of context. Always pay close attention to how the word you are trying to remember is used – in what contexts, what part of speech it is, etc. To make all of that clear to you, toys may want to use a dictionary. Make the most of it as it’s truly a learners’ best friend.

Did you find this article useful? Check out “Self-Study Tips for Language Learners” and “How to Make Learning Enjoyable” as they would make good further reading.

Do you have a favorite method of memorizing vocabulary? Did we forget about any nice way of learning new words? Please let us know in the comment below. 😉

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