1. Make flashcards
Flashcards are a great way of learning new words. You can also use post-it notes and put them in places where you will see them regularly, like in your house or office, or draw the definition of the word if you are a visual learner.
2. Make sentences
When you make sentences it helps you put everything you have learned into action: so you have learned a new word and you understand when to use it. But for the brain to remember this word in the future, the best way to memorize is by using it.
Make a few sentences that use different meanings of the word you want to learn or, if it is a verb, with different tenses.
For example, if you want to remember the phrasal verb “to tidy up”, write: “Maria, you must tidy your room up”, “I have to tidy up before my friends come”, “Paul will watch TV after he finishes tidying up the kitchen”.
3. Record yourself
By hearing your own voice say the words out loud and feeling your mouth move, you make more connections in your brain.
If you have not practiced English for a long time, you might know the words but find it hard to remember them. But, once you start speaking, it becomes easier to remember and use those words when you need them.
Use a camera, your phone or your webcam to record yourself practicing your new vocabulary words and using them in the sentences you made.
This is such an important activity because reading is the best way to be exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary.
And the best is: you can read whatever you want! You can read literature books, comic books or magazines. You can buy a cook book and read that, or read a children’s book to your kids. There are thousands of articles online, news websites…the options are endless. So find something that you like, and read it.
Remember to look up any new words so that you also understand the meaning and use of the word. For example, in the sentence “This soup is horrible, it tastes so bitter!” you might not understand the word “bitter”, but thanks to the context of the whole sentence, you will know it means “not good”.