Memorizing Vocabulary And Languages
Arthur Bornstein (Founder, The Bornstein School for Memory Training) gives expert video advice on: What is the best way to learn vocabulary words and definitions?; Can notes around the house help me remember vocabulary?; How can I remember words in other languages? and more...
Can an improved memory help me with vocabulary?
Improving your vocabulary in all areas of learning, it helps with reading comprehension, it helps a student memorizing vocabulary for the SAT exam, where they're supposed to know 2000 vocabulary words and definitions. I've seen students that we've had, that have increased their vocabulary scores on the SAT exam 200, 300 and 4000 points higher. And we've even had students that have gotten near perfect and perfect scores on the verbal part of the SAT exam. But keep in mind, it's for everyone, the student, the business person, the housewife and improving your memory by improving your vocabulary.
What is the best way to learn vocabulary words and definitions?
Vocabulary words and definitions is to bring the unfamiliar word to the definition; lock the two together. So you're learning the word 'assuage'. Assuage sounds like a massage. And see a big 'm' in front of the 'a' and that gives you massage. Assuage. Massage. Which means to take away pain; to soothe; to calm.You see a word like 'slake', s-l-a-k-e, and that's a simple word. Lake is within the word slake. Slake means to quench or to satisfy so you want to see people drinking and satisfying down by the slake. Lake. Slake. But when you come with a very abstract word like 'noisome', n-o-i-s-o-m-e, it means a foul smell. You might notice n-o-s-e within the word. We smell through the nose. But a little more dramatic association: you see somebody holding a skunk and he says, "does this annoy some?" Skunk annoys some. Get the picture? Now when you take a word like 'eschew', it means to avoid. So I want you to see this picture: somebody is ducking and avoiding the shoe. Shoe. Avoid. Get the picture? Make it a game of learning and have fun improving your vocabulary.
Can notes around the house help me remember vocabulary?
Using little systems like a vocabulary word on the refrigerator door, putting it on the wall is fine. But sometimes you can look at that word fifty times and still you won't remember it, unless you start making associations. Now, to do a review on vocabulary, there is a very simple system. You can take a three by five card, put ten words on the card, write the definition on the back of the card that's how you make those associations. Now you have ten words and you have ten cards, that's a hundred words. Now you can put twenty words on that card, and you have ten cards, you now have two hundred words. You carry these little three by five cards, and then review several times a day, or maybe once or twice a day, then spot check it, you'll find that you'll be up to 400, 600, 1000, words in a very short period of time. So developing systems where you are putting things around the house means you're going to have a lot of papers around the house and sometimes it's easier to have it on a card.
How quickly will I forget new words?
You could be instantly forgetting new words. You can get a new word and all of a sudden think back and it's gone. I work with law students, helping to prepare for the Bar Association test, and they have repeated this information over twenty or fifty times and it still doesn't go in. So applying the techniques of visualization and association, means these new words are going to be instantly falling into the long term memory part of the brain, because you have done something visually, actively and also the auditory sensor is being evolved because you are soundtracking an unfamiliar word to a familiar word. So keep the rate of forgetting in mind, it could be from one minute to twenty minutes or it might just never happen because you had the word a minute ago or thirty seconds ago and you say, “What was that?” and it's gone. So keep in mind, using active, positive, fun, creative connections in your mind and using a lot of imagination.
What is the best way to remember vocabulary long term?
Remembering vocabulary, new words and the definitions, for long term memory, needs some reinforcement. Your motivation has to be you saying, "I want to remember these words." Then you need to start to review 24 hours after you've first made the connections, and spot-check, and it then becomes assimilated in your mind. Then as you use the words, or recognize them in your reading or your vocabulary as you're speaking, you're going to find the reinforced impression, as it becomes part of your thinking mechanism. But keep in mind: review, review, review after you've made the connections. Keep in mind that you want to have fun, and continue to be motivated towards gaining a fantastic vocabulary.