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  • In this American English pronunciation video, were going to go over how to increase your

  • vocabulary.

  • One of the challenges in learning a foreign language is remembering all of the new vocabulary.

  • In this video, were going to go over a few tips for learning new words, and for remembering

  • them.

  • First, expose yourself to the language. For example, read. I still learn English words

  • from reading. I find that every couple of months the New York Times uses a word that

  • either I’ve never heard before, or that I’ve heard but I’m not totally solid on

  • the meaning. So I look it up, learn the meaning, and then go back to the sentence and solidify

  • it. One good idea is to think of another word that you know that you could replace it with

  • in that sentence. A word that wouldn’t change the meaning. Then say the sentence with that

  • word. Tying the new word to a word you already know, and studying it in the context of the

  • sentence will help you remember it.

  • If you know my channel, you know it’s a pronunciation channel. Always learn the pronunciation

  • when you learn a new word. When you look up a word in the dictionary, the pronunciation

  • is always right there. Many online dictionaries also play an audio file so you can hear a

  • native speaker say the word. Practice it out loud several times.

  • You want to read at the right level to learn. If it’s too easy, you won’t learn many

  • new vocabulary words. If it’s too hard, you don’t really get the context because

  • there’s too much that you don’t know. Try reading at a level where you look up,

  • at most, one word per sentence.

  • As you discover new words in your reading, write them down, along with the meaning and

  • the context. You can either use a notebook, or flashcards if you prefer that. Make a system

  • that works for you so you know youre going to actually go back and study the words again.

  • Most words you won’t remember from just looking it up once.

  • When you look the word up, look for related words or other forms of the word. For example,

  • let’s say youre learning the wordadjust’, which is a verb. You may find in the dictionary

  • thatadjustableis an adjective andadjustmentis a noun. Write these down

  • too.

  • It’s also a good idea to look for one antonym or one synonym. An antonym is a word with

  • an opposite meaning, and a synonym is a word with the same or similar meaning. So, let’s

  • say youre learning the wordblurry’. A synonym would befuzzy’. An antonym

  • would beclear’. If any of these words are unknown to you, write them down too. You

  • can find synonyms and antonyms by looking in a thesaurus, like thesaurus.com.

  • Another great way to learn vocabulary is to watch TV, movies, and online videos. But you

  • can’t just sit back, relax, and be entertained. You can do that sometimes, youre going

  • to learn more if you actively participate in learning. When I was in Germany, I watched

  • a lot of TV with my notebook in hand. When I heard a word or phrase that I knew I could

  • identify but didn’t know the meaning of, I immediately stopped paying attention to

  • the television, or paused what I was watching, and wrote down the word. Then I looked up

  • the meaning and wrote down the context. It was so easy to remember new words I picked

  • up this way because I had the visual of what I had been seeing, I had the visual of the

  • word written down, and I practiced out loud several times. The context of the situation

  • helped solidify that word or phrase. If you can rewind and watch again, do this, and pay

  • attention to the pronunciation. Imitate the pronunciation out loud 5 or 6 times. Make

  • sure you write the pronunciation down, either using IPA or another system that works for

  • you.

  • This is also great for learning phrases or sequences of words that are frequently used.

  • When I was in Germany watching a drama, I heard the phrase: Es tut mir furchtbar leid.

  • I had never heard this phrase before. I knewes tut mir leid’, which means “I’m

  • sorry”, so I recognized the phrase, and I learned a new way to intensify it withfurchtbar’.

  • I’m terribly sorry.

  • When you learn a new phrase, write it down. Ok, so what do you do with all of these words

  • and phrases youre writing down? By learning them in the context of reading or video, youre

  • already helping yourself memorize them. But youre still going to have to put in some

  • work.

  • Try to memorize, really solidly memorize, 3-5 words a day. If you have a great memory,

  • then maybe go for 10. But limit yourself to that.

  • Tip 1 for memorization: The Laura tip. I’m naming this after my friend who was studying

  • Spanish abroad. Laura would write down and learn four or five new words that she heard

  • in conversation throughout the day. At the end of the day, she would turn them into a

  • song. This might involve gestures or movements to help her understand. It might contain just

  • the word, if the gesture was clear, or the word and definition, or the word in a sentence.

  • Adding music, adding a melody, really helps your brain hold onto information. She taught

  • me one of her songs and I still remember it, 8 years later. And I wasn’t even trying

  • to study Spanish at the time. Let’s come up with an example song. Let’s say youre

  • learning the words sprint, deceive, increase, and concern. Your song could go something

  • like this:

  • Sprint! Don’t deceive me. Increase. I care because I’m concerned.

  • Don’t spend much time on it. It should be short and fun. Sing it 10 or 12 times. Then

  • sing the one from yesterday a few times. Adding motion and melody will help you memorize.

  • It doesn’t matter at all what the melody is, or even if youre musical. It will still

  • help you remember.

  • Tip 2 for memorization: Repetition and grouping.

  • Go over your vocabulary words many times. Practice them out loud. Repetition is extremely

  • important. If it’s a tough word to pronounce, slow it down, don’t rush: immediately [4x].

  • Put the words in groups and drill the groups together. Then group them differently and

  • drill again. For example, if you wrote down 10 words or phrases while watching one episode

  • of the Sopranos, practice those words together and think about the episode and the context

  • for each word. Or, group them by vowel sound in the stressed syllable, for example, furniture,

  • unearth, burley, return, jury, blurt, curse. These words all had the UR vowel in the stressed

  • syllable. Or, organize your words by stress: typical, period, numerous, everything, difficult,

  • curious, DA-da-da. These were all three-syllable words with stress on the first syllable. Or,

  • organize the words by meaning, grouping together words of similar meaning. Or group them by

  • how well you know them, putting words you know really well in one group, words you kind

  • of know in a second group, and words you need a lot of help with in a third group. Creating

  • various groups will help you memorize, and will make drilling vocabulary more engaging.

  • Tip 3: Visualization. When you learn a word, come up with a picture for it, a mini-story

  • in one picture in your mind that makes sense to you. This is a common mnemonic device,

  • and you probably used it when learning vocabulary in your own language.

  • So, absorb as much of the language as you can through reading and watching video, or

  • even writing down words from conversation around you. Organize these words in a system

  • that works for you: maybe a notebook, maybe flashcards. And get creative when memorizing.

  • The more often you come back and study your vocabulary words, the more youll be able

  • to remember them and to use them yourself in writing and conversation.

  • Do you have other methods for learning vocabulary? Let me know in the comments below.

  • Also, I’m happy to tell you that my book, American English Pronunciation, is available

  • for purchase. If you want an organized, step-by-step resource to build your American accent, click

  • here to get the book. Or, see the description below. I think youre going to love it.

  • That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

In this American English pronunciation video, were going to go over how to increase your

Subtitles and vocabulary

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B1 INT US vocabulary pronunciation meaning learning context syllable

How to Increase Vocabulary - Studying a Foreign Language

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    Ververia Li posted on 2016/06/16
Video vocabulary