Vocabulary: How to remember more

Posted by Lori Goldman on Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here is a list of ideas for learning new words in English.
It's from the website of VCC's on-campus learning centre.

  • Highlight or underline words you don’t know.
  • Choose words you want or need to learn.
  • Look those words up in an English-only dictionary. At the same time, look up related words that may help you remember or learn these words. For example, when looking up the word “wish”, you may also see the word “wishbone” or “wishful thinking”. Write down the definition and any useful phrases and sentences.
  • A good dictionary will help you with pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms, grammar use, frequency, usage, collocation. Make friends with your dictionary.
  • Try to make a WORD FAMILY TABLE. One word can help you learn many words. For example, “employ,” “employer,” “employee,” “employment,” “unemployed,” “employable,” “self-employed”.
  •  It is important to know the basic parts of speech in English to understand how to use the new vocabulary. Review the functions of nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives.
  • Focus on the pronunciation to help you say the word and sometimes to help you spell the word.
  • Learn words together in a cluster or tree. Associate them with an idea, topic, or picture. For example, words for “government” “environment” “health”. Make your own dictionary of useful words at the back of your binder or make your own vocabulary notebook.
  • You can organize both alphabetically and by topics to help you review your new words.
  • Activate your new vocabulary. Write it. Say it. See it. Hear it. Make pocket-size flash cards. Cover the meaning or cover the word or part of the word and test yourself. How much can you remember?

About Me

Lori in I got my Bachelor of Education degree in the USA but was born and raised in Canada. Working in Asia and with immigrant adults and children for 26 years has given me insights into the difficulties they face in a new country and school system. I like to help adults adjust to and explore the rich and diverse opportunities in Canada while also supporting them in their challenge of parenting in a new culture. I love to help children learn English, develop skills, and gain confidence to succeed in school and life.


“Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning A lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part. "Most people don't plan to fail; they fail to plan." ~~John L. Beckley

Make a free website with Yola