offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.

Sign up or log in to Magoosh TOEFL Prep.

12 Fun Ways to Learn and Remember New English Vocabulary

Gaining mastery in a new language can seem like an impossible task, especially when that language is as complex as English! But our friends at ABA English have 12 great tips to make English learning a little more manageable than you probably thought possible. 🙂

 

Memorizing new words is a huge part of learning a new language and yet it seems to be so difficult to accomplish.

Today, we want to share some fun tips with you so that learning new vocabulary becomes easier and more enjoyable. We also want your input: tell us in the comments’ section below your favorite ways to memorize words.

 

1. Read

This is an essential activity because reading is the best way to be exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary.

And remember: you can read whatever you want! You can read literature books if that is what you enjoy, but if you don’t, try reading a comic book or a magazine. You can buy a cook book and read that, or read a children’s book to your kids. There are thousands of articles online, news websites…the options are endless. So find something that you like, and read it.

Reading is an easy, fun and relaxing way to boost your language skills. Plus, you will be learning about other things as well: win, win!

 

2. Understand context

Great! So you have “learned” many new words; but if you do not know how and when to use them correctly, you have not truly learned.

This is also why reading is so important because it gives each word context, and that will help you understand the meaning and use of the word. For example, in the sentence “This soup is horrible, it tastes so bitter!” you might not understand the word “bitter”, but thanks to the context of the whole sentence, you will know it means “not good”.

Context helps us comprehend when a word is used in formal language or informal language, if it is slang we can use with friends, or if it is a word that is usually used in written English but not in conversation.

 

3. Related words

If you just learned the word “care”, don’t stop there! Use a dictionary or the internet to find derivatives of that word, and expressions that use it.

For example: careful, carefree, careless, take care! See? You started with one word but quickly learned four more, and because their meaning is related, it is easier to understand and remember what each one means.
 

Learn more related words with our TOEFL Vocabulary PDF!

Enter your email and we’ll send you a copy!




4. Make sentences

Making sentences helps us put everything we have learned into action: so you have learned a new word and you understand when to use it. But for the brain to remember this word in the future, the best way to memorize is by using it.

Make ten sentences that use different meanings of the word you want to learn or, if it is a verb, with different tenses. For example, if you want to remember the phrasal verb “to tidy up”, write: “Maria, you must tidy your room up”, “I have to tidy up before my friends come”, “Paul will watch TV after he finishes tidying up the kitchen”.

Ever heard Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”? Well, by making sentences you are helping your brain to learn because it gets actively involved in the learning process.

 

5. Record yourself

By hearing your own voice say the words out loud and feeling your mouth move, you are making even more connections in your brain.

If you studied English in the past but have not practiced it for a long time, you might know the words but find it hard to remember them. Yet, once you start speaking, it becomes easier to access those words when you need them.

So, use a camera, your phone or your webcam to record yourself practicing your new vocabulary words and using them in the sentences you made.

 

6. Make flashcards

Flashcards are a popular way of learning new words. You can also use post-it notes and put them in places where you will see them regularly, or draw the definition of the word if you are a visual learner. If you want flashcards that are already made for you, check out Magoosh’s free TOEFL flashcard app.

Every day, take out your flashcards and read over them. Read the word and try to remember what it means before checking the drawing or definition behind it.

Improve your TOEFL score with a 7-day free Magoosh trial

7. Mnemonics

Mnemonics are ways to help us remember things better.

A great online resource for mnemonics is the mnemonicdictionary.com; you can type in the words you want to remember and you will see many different ways to help you memorize.

 

8. Take notes

A great little trick is to always carry around a notebook and pencil. Then, if you hear a word or sentence you like in a movie or a song, you can write it down. When you get home you can research it and add it to the list of words you have learned.

 

Learn more words with our TOEFL Vocabulary PDF!

Enter your email and we’ll send you a copy!




 

9. Play games

When you are having fun it’s so much easier to learn. So play games like boggle or scrabble. These games will test your creativity and make you think outside the box.

 

10. Speaking

In tip #5 we explained how recording yourself helps your brain remember words better. So, what better way to do this than to talk with a friend? If you do not have any native English speaking friends, don’t worry! Just invite another friend who wants to learn English out for a cup of tea and practice.

To get the most out of these conversations, we suggest that each week you choose a different topic. This way you will be using different vocabulary. Make sure to spend an hour or two to make a list of words you would like to use before meeting your friend.

 

11. Repeat

As Spanish people say, “la repetición es la madre del éxito”, or, in English: “repetition is the key to success”. It’s true. To learn anything you must repeat, repeat, repeat.

Every day, set aside some time to study vocabulary. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but it is important that you practice a little daily. This will create a good habit.

 

12. Be patient

And finally: be kind and patient with yourself.

Learning English is a big accomplishment, and you should be very proud of yourself each time you learn a new word.

 

There you have it! 12 fun tips to help you learn more English vocabulary. Now, don’t forget to share your tips with us too.

And if you want even more English vocab practice, sign up for the a Magoosh TOEFL Free Trial.

ABA English bases English language learning on short films about real life in Europe and the United States produced exclusively for the American and British Academy. ABA English’s course also contains 144 video classes on English grammar which are available for free.

 

Get at higher TOEFL score with your free Magoosh trial

22 Responses to 12 Fun Ways to Learn and Remember New English Vocabulary

  1. hussain July 5, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Hey Magoosh i found your article sooo sooo much useful.. It helped me alot.. Thank you.. If u havve more tips for learning new vocabulary share it with me..
    Thanking you

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink July 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

      I’m glad it was helpful! I think the tips above will be a great help for you. 🙂 But the most important thing is to practice as much as possible! Remember that learning vocabulary means reading, listening, speaking, and writing with the new words. Otherwise, you never fully learn them.

      Happy studying!

  2. roos September 23, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    wow thanks ?

    • Elhan July 3, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

      Hey there, just wanna know if you’re as much interested in learning as i am, if so, let me know if you want to practice it with me, i don’t have any native-English-language friend to practice with, i’ll be greatful if i get a reply from you

      Thanks

      Elhan

  3. mim November 15, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    good advice

  4. deeksha December 10, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    It was too good an excellent idea to learn easily…superbbbbb,

  5. dev.Rathore December 27, 2015 at 5:48 am #

    I think to read your fovourite articles …because we always less interesting in other subject. …but when we read our favourite things …than its easy to learn and access to rich vocabulary

  6. bhagwan das yadav January 12, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    i am learning English sir and get so help this tips,,,,

  7. ythiha February 10, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    thanks for your advice!

  8. Jenny April 4, 2016 at 5:04 am #

    Hi, Magoosh TOEFL Blog
    It is interesting way to learn new words.
    I have to use them
    Thank you so much

  9. nita May 19, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    WOOOOOOOOOOW ! I really liked so much your tips. I’m going to try them all.
    Idk which one to tell you that I liked most…They are all best!
    Thanks a lot~ ^_^

  10. malek May 25, 2016 at 6:13 am #

    Ooo . I tried it it is so helpful I recommand you to try it..

    • mahesh December 3, 2016 at 7:21 am #

      i dont have english speaking friends, how i can get friends in online

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

        There definitely are ways to find English conversation partners online. I recommend language exchange/conversation partner websites such as The Mixxer, My Language Exchange, and iTalki. Websites like Meetup can also help you find gatherings of English speakers in “the real world”– specifically, in or near your city.

        And of course, there are great communities of English-speaking fellow TOEFL preppers on web-based TOEFL forums.

  11. Kelly June 1, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    Very detailed suggestion! I will try it! Hopefully it will help me to be successful to master by using more new vocabularies. Thanks a lot!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 2, 2016 at 7:52 am #

      You’re welcome, Kelly, and happy studying 🙂

  12. ajay bouri June 9, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    thats really a good suggestion for new learners.it can help me also to learn english quickly.

  13. Pavan July 19, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Hey buddy

    Your article was so helpful to me
    Also it would be great if you can let me know some nice vocabulary games which would really help to learn new words in a faster pace.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 19, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words. As for games that will help students gain new vocabulary more quickly, I’ve got one our TOEFL bloggers researching that, at your request. If he finds anything, he’ll do a post!

  14. Razan September 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

    I tend to occasionally read random articles about how to improve my language skills, as I feel stuck in a certain level! This one is so far the best! Thank you 🙂

  15. Rania October 10, 2016 at 4:15 am #

    This article is the best , i found it very useful , it explains very well the process to achieve fluency in any language not only english , i love it , thank you very much , because i really have issues in organizing my self , i read more than one article at once , i listen to podcasts but not really motivated , i think i’m giving my energy in a wrong way , so this article makes it clear to me on how to start correctly . 🙂

  16. Tyla October 23, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Probably the understanding bit of it was the most help. If you don’t understand the meanings then they don’t stick in your brain.


Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Share28
Tweet
Share5
Pin2