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Memory Techniques: How to remember new words and not to forget them

1. Say: “I want to remember.”

Make an intention of remembering. Repeat to yourself: “I want to remember this word. I need this word. It’s good for my life. I want to remember this, I want to remember this, I want to remember this.”
2. Choose carefully.
English language has over a million words. You only need to learn useful and important words. How do you choose? Think about your life and choose which words you NEED in your life (for example, for your job, for your children, etc.)
3. Look into the future.
Imagine a future situation when you will use the new word. Think about the sentence you will say. Play the situation in your mind – pretend that it’s happening now. Say your sentence and imagine how somebody will answer.
4. Out loud.
You MUST say the new English word out loud. Speak loudly. Repeat many times. You need to connect to the sound of the new word – your mouth needs to move to pronounce it, your ears need to listen to its sound to remember it.
5. Use your body.
Use your mouth – move your lips and tongue when saying a new word. Also, move your BODY – arms, legs, etc. For example, when learning the word ‘digest’, touch your stomach. When learning the word ‘kick’, move your leg. When learning the word ‘wide’, spread your arms. Your body can help you remember new words.
6. Link with the words you already know.
NEVER try to remember ONE word. You will forget it. You need to link a new word with some words you already know. For example, your new word is ‘digest’. Say (out loud): ‘digest food’, ‘digest breakfast’, ‘digest meat’. Repeat out loud many times.
7. Review.
You have 24 hours to remember your new words. If you don’t review, after 7 days you will completely forget. Review means you study your notes and handouts again. Read again. Repeat out loud.
8. Love and Smile.
Positive emotions are very helpful. You need to feel good when you are learning. Love your words and choose the words you love. For example, if you love cooking, it will be easier to remember the words about cooking. If you love gardening, it will be easier to remember the words about gardening.

Differences between how children learn and How adults learn


“English is fun!” (positive attitude)

“I can do it.” (positive attitude)


Listening and Speaking


Repeating and asking questions


Active, curious, interested


Playing with language


Positive feelings lead to positive associations and remembering


Children are surrounded by the English language (speak and listen English at school, do homework in English, make friends from different cultural backgrounds, use technology in English,  watch movies and cartoons in English)



“English is so difficult.” (negative attitude)

“I cannot do it – I’m too old.” (negative attitude)


Reading and Writing


Studying grammar


Passive, indifferent, bored


Doing exercises (drills and rote memorization)


Negative feelings lead to negative associations and forgetting


Adults learn English only at school and/or from textbooks ( while they read their first language newspapers, watch TV in their first language and make friends with people from the same cultural background)


How to Learn Fast Like Children
  • Children are not afraid to make mistakes. If you want to speak fluently, don’t worry too much about your mistakes.
  • Children don’t use dictionary to check every word. Use your dictionary only when you are alone. In class, ask your teacher about the meaning and listen to the explanation. At work, ask your co-workers and listen to their answer.
  • Children are curious – they always ask questions. Be curious. “I want to know this. What does it mean?” Ask. Ask. Ask.
  • Children repeat. Sometimes they repeat incorrectly but they always try to repeat. Children even repeat the words which they don’t understand! You too can do this. Listen and repeat. Listen and repeat.
  • Children are copycats. They repeat the words and sentences with the same ‘music’ – the same melody and rhythm, the same intonation. You need to repeat with the same ‘voice’. This will help you improve your pronunciation.
  • Children don’t study grammar. They listen carefully and repeat the correct grammar. You too can listen and repeat the correct grammar and learn it this way.
  • Children watch cartoons in English. Children do homework in English. They use computer in English. You too can watch TV in English, read English newspaper and use computer in English.
  • Children don’t worry if they don’t understand everything. Their minds are not stressed – their minds are relaxed. They are okay if something is not 100% clear. When your mind is relaxed, English flows in easier.

Think about your learning:

  1. What are some things you already do when studying English?
  2. What are some things you need to do more?
  3. After reading the above information, what are you going to change?
I already ________________________________________________
I already________________________________________________
I need to ___________________________________________more
I need to ___________________________________________more
I’m going to _____________________________________________
I’m going to_____________________________________________

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