Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Here's a question that I often get asked.

  • "How do I learn words?" or "What is the best way to remember new vocabulary, to remember new words?"

  • First of all, the best way to remember new words is just don't worry about it.

  • The reason I say this is because the more you worry about it, if you're stressed because you can't remember words, for example, you studied a word and then in conversation you couldn't remember that word.

  • The more stressed you get about it, the harder it becomes.

  • Just relax, don't worry about it.

  • If you learn a word and you forget it the next day, doesn't matter.

  • Doesn't matter.

  • Doesn't matter. Just forget about it.

  • Um, give it time.

  • If you do remember the word great, fantastic, but if you don't remember the word, it doesn't matter.

  • Just give it time. Let things come naturally.

  • This said, there is a learning principle that is a learning idea worth bearing in mind, worth remembering, that will make your learning English words much, much easier.

  • Um, and that is, that we remember words best by taking not one but two approaches and linking those two approaches together.

  • Now, the first one is "Deliberate learning."

  • That is purposely trying to learn new vocabulary.

  • Um, and this is what you do when you read a newspaper article, and you underline the words you don't know.

  • You look the words up in the dictionary, you write them on flashcards, you study those flashcards.

  • Or, if you use something like an SRS software, something like Anki, for example, and you do reps on Anki.

  • This is deliberate learning.

  • You're trying to learn words.

  • Now that's one way.

  • Now the second way is to let things come naturally.

  • That is "accidental learning."

  • And this is what happens when you're not trying to learn words, but you're just enjoying the English.

  • You're watching a TV show, you're listening to some English, you're reading a book.

  • And maybe you'll be listening to English and then suddenly a word you've been trying to learn or struggling to remember will pop out, and at the moment, you will just think "AH-HA!! got it."

  • And then at that point, you will never forget that word again.

  • A good example for me is when I was first learning Japanese, uh, the word "gyoretsu,"

  • Now that means queue as in a queue outside of a shop; I think I saw this word first on a flashcard.

  • Now, I thought, uh, this is a useful word, I should remember this.

  • And I studied it many times, but it never stuck, and I'd always try to remember that word: the next day I'd be like "Ah, what was that?"

  • Just didn't sink in.

  • But then one day, I was listening to a podcast from japanesepod101, and it wasn't even part of the lesson, it wasn't in the dialogue for the lesson.

  • But the presenters were talking.

  • I can't remember what they were talking about.

  • I think they might have been talking about a famous ramen shop, a famous noodle shop, uh, which always has a long queue of people outside.

  • But one of the presenters said the word "gyoretsu."

  • And that was it. It was like a light bulb went off in my head.

  • PING.

  • AH-HA!!

  • And I never forgot that word. It just stuck.

  • So what happens is when you try to learn words, you make a connection in here.

  • And then when you accidentally hear them, you link that together.

  • And it's when you make that link, that the word sticks.

  • Um, I don't know if you've ever seen videos from Steven Kaufman, he has lots of videos on YouTube and I definitely recommend checking them out.

  • But he often talks about making links, and it's true: that the most powerful way to learn words is to just make links between different things.

  • So don't do one thing; do two things, or do many things and let.. just let the words come to you naturally.

  • Make links between those things; study a word; listen to English when you hear it, you'll remember it.

  • Easy as that.

  • Okay, well, that's it for today.

  • So, until next time, as always, any questions, anything you want to ask, any comments, leave a message in the comments box.

  • Okay, until next time.

Here's a question that I often get asked.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 learning queue doesn matter vocabulary anki naturally

"How to Learn Words" The two way approach to learning English vocabulary

  • 51437 1571
    VoiceTube posted on 2013/07/01
Video vocabulary