Learn and Remember Vocabulary in English [+ Free Download]
One of the most common questions I hear is, “How can I learn and remember vocabulary in English — I always forget new words.” Do you have the same question?
The truth is, it’s easy to make some mistakes when learning new vocabulary. Today I want to share an effective strategy to learn and remember vocabulary so you can boost your skills and have more words to express yourself in English.
In this lesson, you’ll get:
- Advice on how to avoid common mistakes for learning vocabulary
- Tips on where and how to learn new words
- My 3-step strategy for how to remember new vocabulary
How to learn and remember vocabulary in English — my favorite strategies.
Top Strategies to Learn and Remember Vocabulary in English
First things first, today is all about how to learn and remember advanced vocabulary but I have one critical piece of advice I want to start with:
Don’t use advanced vocabulary in every sentence. When I hear students use too many high-level words or idioms together, it sounds unnatural and sometimes even a little arrogant. We don’t want that.
Native speakers a mix of simple, common words and more advanced level vocabulary, so don’t throw out words like happy, clean easy, sad, tired or difficult. We love those words!
But I do want to help you expand your vocabulary so you can be flexible in English and have a variety of words you can use at any time.
Now, let’s start first where and how to find and learn advanced vocabulary (then we talk about how to remember what you learn).
You already know that reading and listening to real English (books, newspapers, blogs, podcasts, radio interviews, TV) is a great way to find new words.
Developing the skill to learn words in context is something I love to do with my students so they understand words when they hear and see them.
But I want to share with you a fun strategy you’re probably not using right now…
Be sure to watch my video lesson on how I use a dictionary to find new words and make sure they are the RIGHT words to use.
There are some surprising (and super cool) secrets about using a dictionary.
Now that you’ve got a great place to find and learn new vocabulary, how can you remember them? Here are my 3 steps, plus one essential piece of advice.
Advice: Don’t try to learn 100 new words in 1 day or 1 week.
It just isn’t possible. You’ll get discouraged and give up.
So here are my 3 steps for a more effective strategy to remember new vocabulary:
Step 1: Find the words that are important to you, the words you actually use. Your brain will remember the things that are important.
Step 2: Now that you have a word that’s important to you, your brain wants to find ways to connect it to your real life. Create sentences that are connected to your REAL life. I recommend three. Here’s my example if I want to use more advanced word for ‘hard’ like demanding.
- Learning French was certainly demanding for me but it was worth it.
- At the end of a demanding work week, I love to have a quiet night at home with my husband, a delicious dinner and a glass of wine.
- I try to do at least 1 or 2 demanding workouts every week.
Step 3: The next step is USE them. Do it as much as possible this week. Repetition will ensure that you remember the new words you want to use.
Now here’s your challenge for this week.
- Download my guide on 75 Powerful Words to use in English. This goes perfectly with my lesson from last week on How to Avoid Using Very in English.
- Find a word you use often in English. Select a new synonym that you want to learn.
- Create 3 sentences you can use in your real life.
- Share those with me in the comments below. I’d love to help you make sure they’re correct.
Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!
P.S. ❤️this lesson? Get all my top vocabulary lessons here.
Get the Confidence to Say What You Want in English
Download my free training on how to build the courage and confidence you need to say what you want in English.
You'll also get my Confident English lessons delivered by email every Wednesday and occasional information about available courses. You can unsubscribe any time.
Learn with me
Most Recent Lessons
Learn to feel calm and confident when you do public speaking in English. These 5 tips will help you control your fear so you can communicate your ideas clearly.
Learn how to avoid using very and use stronger, more powerful words instead. You’ll learn to use the same words native speakers use and sound more creative in your English so you can express what you want.
Better ways to say ‘I don’t know’ at work. Use these alternatives when you *should* know the answer or when you’re not the expert but someone wants to know what you think.