On any language course, you will discover lots of new vocabulary, much of which you will probably want to use in the future. However, remembering this language is not always easy, so, what should you do? A lot of people write long lists of new words, often with the translations in their language. Unfortunately, this method normally doesn’t help you to remember words in the long term.
One of the best ways to remember vocabulary is to put new words that you come across into contextual sentences. So, for example, if you have learnt the word ‘economy’, you could write the following sentence ‘The British economy is doing well at the moment’. By writing the sentence you will be able to more clearly see:
- that ‘economy’ is a noun
- that economy’ is preceded by an article and often an adjective
- the word order
- that the word ‘economy’ should not be confused with other words within its family of words e.g. ‘economic’ or ‘economical’ (adjectives), ‘economist’ (noun – person), ‘economise’ (verb), ‘economically’ (adverb)
You don’t need to write contextual sentences for every new word you come across as this would take too much time. Think carefully about which words are most useful for you and which you are most likely to use. They may be words to do with your job, your studies or your hobbies and interests.
When writing out these contextual sentences make sure they are on a separate page from your other language work, so that you can refer back to them more easily.
Watch Jeremy below give some excellent advice on how to remember your vocabulary.