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How to Learn and Memorize New Vocabulary Quickly

You pick up new words every day. But how can you learn and memorize all the vocabulary quickly?

All the new information our brain absorbs initially gets stored in "short-term" memory. If the information is not actively attended to, it vanishes in about 10-15 seconds. That's the reason why you may see a new word, but then forget it quickly. To retain the information for a longer time, you must review it. Regular review of new information transfers it to long-term memory. Learning a new word means more than just seeing it once or twice. To become an excellent learner, you need to move the word from your short-term to your long-term memory.


3 steps to efficiently learn and memorize new vocabulary

1. A new word needs a context. 

When a new term appears, try to connect it with vocabulary you have already mastered. For example, if you just learned the word "un bureau," (a desk) connect it with "une table." (table) that you already know. How can you connect these two words? You can say out loud, "Je mange à table, et je travaille devant mon bureau," meaning "I'm eating at a table, and I'm working at my desk."

2. A new word needs a purpose. 

Try to think of a real-time situation in which you would use new words. Imagine using a specific term in an everyday event. If you are sitting at a desk now, say out loud, "Je suis assis.e à mon bureau," which means, "I am sitting at my desk." When you finish reading the article, say that sentence out loud again. That will give it a real purpose. And, it will achieve the next point, too.

3. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 

If you learn new content today, go over it tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the following day. The more you repeat, the stronger your memory gets. When communicating, try using various words you retained - that's another way of refining new vocabulary. As time goes on, you do not need to repeat the word every day. You can skip some days, and then skip some weeks and months. But in the beginning repetition is the key.

To learn and memorize new vocabulary, you have to be consistent and work on it every day. As you're practicing, new terms stick to the old ones. Step by step, your knowledge grows.

These are techniques our Fourmi teachers recommend to their students. The results are excellent and students are thrilled with their progress! If you would like to learn like a fourmi, fill out this questionnaire. [What's a fourmi? Click here to find out.]

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