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10 tips on how to review vocabulary

Reviewing words and expressions is fundamental and will boost your vocabulary. Here are ten tips on how to review effectively.


1. Use a notebook.

Make it your tool and your treasure chest.

2. Don’t mistake quantity for quality.

It is much more productive to review for 10 to 15 minutes every day than for two hours once a week.

3. Make your words memorable.

Give your words some personal value: think of how they can be useful for you, or see the beauty or the fun in them.

4. You need to see a word in many different contexts.

Imagine three different situations to use a word or expression in. Then write a sentence for each, using the word you want to learn.
Writing also acts as a channel for learning.

5. Say the words you are studying out loud.

Rather than only reading the words, pronouncing them is another learning channel that will help you to fix them in your memory. Plus you will practise your pronunciation.

6. Start by learning 3 new words a day.

If you do this every day, that will make around 20 new words a week.
When you feel that three new words per day is too little, start to increase the number.

7. Keep a list of your frequent mistakes.

These mistakes can relate to grammar, pronunciation or vocabulary. Review your frequent mistakes at least once a week.

8. Use flashcards for words you find hard to remember and for frequent mistakes.

Write the word on one side of a card, and the definition and/or a sentence on the back. Carry your cards with you and use your spare moments to go through them.

Or use a mobile app such as Anki, Memrise, Quizlet, Flashcards Deluxe or Cram for reviewing wherever you are.

9. Translate 5-10 expressions into your own language.

After a few days, try to translate them back into English.

10. Keep track of your reviews.

Incorporate a calendar in your notebook and use it as a tracker: For each day you have done some review, mark that day in the calendar.

Remember: Consistency is key!

Were any of these tips helpful? What do you do to review vocabulary?

Read my two posts on enhancing your vocabulary: Grow your vocabulary | Part 1  and Grow your vocabulary | Part 2

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