We published an article on how to learn vocabulary around a month ago, but I wanted to explore the topic even further and give you some more motivation and ideas on how to learn vocabulary.
There are many techniques you can use to learn vocabulary through reading, listening, moving around and being serious, crazy or creative. You can choose your favourite technique or you can mix & match them. Below, you’ll find 6 games which will help you learn vocabulary faster and have fun at the same time. Let’s get started!
Cards—to learn and revise vocabulary, sentences or grammar
Write a new word, sentence or fragment of grammar on one side of a piece of card with a picture or the translation into your first language on the other. Create a pile of cards and start memorising new words. When you think you have learnt them all, test yourself. Start again each time you make a mistake.
Match the halves—to revise the spelling of a list of words
First, write out a list of words you want to learn. Next, make a second list showing the beginning of each word and a third list with the end of each word. The endings in the third list must be in a different order from the beginnings. Cover up your list of complete words. Look at the other two lists and try to write all the words in full. Say the words to yourself as you write them. Compare your new list with the original list to make sure that your words are correct.
Different groups of words—to revise different topics
Organise the words into different categories and then write your groups of words. If you write the words on cards, it makes it easier to move them around into different groups. Can you explain the logic of your groups?
Mind map—to revise sets of words or phrases relating to a topic
In mind maps your ideas spread all over the page. You can connect ideas and group them. You can colour them and make the lines thick or thin and the bubbles big or small depending on how important the ideas are to you and how you feel about them.
Write a crazy story—to help you revise and remember words
Put all the words you want to remember into a story. Make it a crazy story and then you will remember the story and the words.
Be dramatic—to remember words or phrases
Try saying ordinary words and phrases in a dramatic way.
All the above examples come from a great handbook called Games for Language Learning by Andrew Wright, David Betteridge & Michael Buckby. If you would like to explore the topic of language learning techniques further, I highly recommend reading the book. By the way, what is your favourite language learning game? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
Written by Kinga Macalla