If you didn’t already know this, our brains learn faster and retain longer when we can connect new learning to things we already know. Endless lists of vocabulary words in English or Foreign Language class can feel overwhelming to students, but we DO have a solution!
FASTEST Method (to prepare):
Try scanning the vocabulary list your teacher gave you and see how many you can learn just by looking at the list (hint: not many).
SECOND FASTEST Method:
Use column paper, which is basically the same as flashcards, and go back and forth from the word to the definition (or the word in English and the target foreign language). While flashcards have you write the word only once and then passively study, column paper asks you to write words over and over again, and then you can fold the paper up like an accordion to use like flashcards.
SLOWEST (and most effective) Method: The LINC
Studies have shown that students who use this method have up to 80% retention after 5 months. Not only that, the students in the study were identified as having learning challenges/differences. The retention rate is truly phenomenal for any student, regardless of ability.
The LINC Vocabulary Memorization MethodAs an example, let’s learn the word KINDLE, which means TO LIGHT OR SET ON FIRE. Next, we’re going to think of a reminder word that starts with the same sounds. In this case we’ll use the word KINDERGARTEN. We’ll then think of a sentence that uses the reminder word with the definition: THE KINDERGARTENERS SET THE WOOD ON FIRE AND SANG SONGS. Lastly, we’ll have our student draw a small picture to illustrate their 1-sentence story. If I have a list of 50 words to memorize, I’ll probably be able to check off about 10 just by looking at the list. By using column paper, I should be able to memorize another 30 or 40. I’ll save the LINC method for those tricky last words that I just can’t seem to memorize any other way. It takes a little longer to find a reminder word and make a sentence for each one, but the good news is that these are exactly the words I will still know long after the final exam!
Pacific Learning Academy is a one-on-one high school offering single courses and dual enrollment, as well as full-time high school. We also offer tutoring in all subjects from 6th to 12th grade, including SAT/ACT diagnostic testing and prep, either in homes or local libraries across the Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, etc…). See more at www.PacificLearningAcademy.com.