Learning New Words

One of the questions English teachers get asked the most, is how to remember vocabulary.


Here are some tips to help you!


Context (文脈)


Learning a word on its own means it will be difficult to actually use, and easy to forget. So, learning a word in a phrase will really help.


For example, the word ‘traffic’. It means the number of cars and other vehicles on the road. (交通量)

Alone, it is difficult to remember and know how to use. But, if you try learning,

“I’m stuck in a traffic jam”

you can memorise a few words together, and how to use them.


‘A traffic jam’ is 交通渋滞


‘To be stuck’ is 引っかかる

Visualise (思い浮かべる)


To help your long-term memory remember the word, it can help to use images. The funnier or stranger the images, the more memorable they will be.


For example, ‘traffic jam’. Imagine a huge truck carrying jam has crashed and the road is covered in sticky jam. All the cars are stuck and can’t move forward.


The energy it takes to create this mental image can really help you to remember the original word.

Categories (分類)


Learn new vocabulary in groups of similar words.


So, if you learn traffic, try studying different kinds of transport, parts of cars, or parts of a road.


For example: 

Train, bus, subway, underground, tram, coach, helicopter.

Windscreen, headlights, boot, steering wheel, accelerator, brake.

Tarmac, pavement, traffic light, bus lane, crossing, streetlamp.

Our final tip is…. Review! (復習)


Always, always review new vocabulary, an hour later, the next day and a few weeks later. It is annoying, but it really helps you to remember!