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Learning Vocabulary

A description about the ways we can learn vocabulary and some suggestions for learners of a second language

Language Teacher

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Learning Vocabulary

The Vocabulary Journey "I need to know
more words'' How do I keep finding new words?

1) Keep exposing yourself to
more new language

2) Record it

3) Practise ways of using it

4) Reflect on ways of using it

5) Review it How on earth can I learn that? We want to do this with our vocabulary!

The process we all go through - When reviewing a word, it is good to let the time
between revising the word get bigger and bigger.

Studies show that as the gap gets bigger over time - the word moves more and more into our long-term memory.

The time it takes you to learn the meaning(s) and depth of a word is very personal and is different for everyone. Knowing a Word or phrase Word Friends (collocations)
Other words used with
the word.
Eg. Prepositions, objects… Grammatical Behavior
Used as noun, Ism fael, adjective… Derivations
How it becomes masculine/Feminine, verb forms, Ism fael, Sing/plural etc Register
Street language, Informal,
Between friends, Business clients
Formal settings Cultural Connotations
eg. Invokes ideas of spirituality,
Upper-classness, geekiness,
Arrogance, village-city, etc Frequency
Do people use other words
more commonly than this word?
Why? Meaning(s) Pronunciation We need to ask, "How wide is my vocabulary?' as well as, 'How deep is my vocabulary?'

Try to focus on learning more about the words you know already as well as learning more new words!

When we see vocabulary learning in this way we are ready to.... widen and deepen our vocabulary through practice.

1) We need to hear new language
2) Understand more new language
3) Use more new language
4) Refine more new language
5) Re-use more new language. We have roughly 3 stages of memory

1) working knowledge
2) short term memory
3) long term memory 'Use it or lose it' the ability to remember something for a few seconds - like repeating a word we've just heard a limited space of memory used to do tasks (including speaking) Where new info replaces old info. a HUGE memory store that never forgets anything - but is so big somethings get lost in space. 'Use it or lose it' When we use a word in lots of different situations it moves from short-term memory to long-term memory.

This is our aim! Remember Long-term memory is HUGE! Nothing gets deleted but things do get lost.

We want to learn as much about a word (pron, form, sound, register, experiences of using the word, pictures and even emotions connected with the word). This stuff becomes like a trail leading to the word so we can retrieve it very quickly and easily. Think about your address.

You can probably think of times you've written it,
which forms and how they looked, the street, what the street looks like, memories attached to your house, the rhythm of the words, stories, emotions linked to that house and even the times you've had to give your address.

All these things together help you to say your address without really thinking about it. the struggles, jokes, different settings, forgetting and remembering, mis-pronuncing and re-pronouncing, misuderstanding misusing, learning grammatical forms
and friends of the word... ...all creates a path to the word in our
long-term memory and helps us learn how
how to use the word like a native speaker.
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