I am always on the hunt for words to add to my vocabulary. Unfortunately I encountered that I was a terrible learner and had no good methods of studying, until I started researching efficient methods and tools. In this post I will show you what things and apps have worked for me.
Without a doubt Anki is one of the best programs out there for studying. It uses something called the spaced repetition system – which means that your cards get sorted in an advantageous way, so that you focus more on the hard material while still not forgetting the easy ones.
The program is based on the Forgetting Curve, which means that it will calculate exactly when you need to review a particular piece of information.
It’s way more effective than using cards that you make yourself, have I mentioned there is an app so you can learn one the go?
This is a piece of software I stumbled upon recently and have taken to like. Vocabulary.com is a dictionary that is much more personal and direct than the other “cold” ones. It tries to give a honest explanation of complex words with easy examples.
For example it summarizes the word contemplation as “long, hard thinking about something. If you’re writing a book on the meaning of the universe, then you’re going to need to do a great deal of contemplation.” instead of “the action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.”
Another great features is that you can register an account and then add words to your learning queue, and then play a sort of game, where you get “tested”. It is really handy, because it often gives you lots of example sentences to get a better feeling of words. With this feature you not only learn the word, you also learn where and how to use it.
I think this is a nifty addition to Anki. There is a downside though, the app is around two Euros, but if you are serious about your vocabulary it is an investment worth making!
Reading makes sense when you want to learn a language. Read novels or online magazines. They will as well teach you when to use a word and how it reflect some special meaning.
Last but not least, write
Your mind stores two types of vocabulary, an active and a passive one. The active one is the one you write with, the words you actually use. You need to actually write these words with your own sentences to solidify them in your brain.
Don’t sink into contemplation, just start the learning process!