19 Answers

  1. It's normal to forget some of the words you've learned. For this purpose, there is the phrase “Repetition is the mother of learning.” But if there are very few such words, most likely the reason is one or more of the following::

    1) You learn but don't practice the language. Maybe you're cramming. Maybe you teach it at school, for example, because it's the right thing to do. But don't use it, talk to it, and/or read it, and/or watch movies/TV shows, and/or write to it.

    2) You don't use good methods to improve your vocabulary. You never need to cram anything, you can try to stop for a change.

    3) You exercise too infrequently, or you set too high goals for yourself and are too strict with yourself.

    4) It is unlikely, but possible, that you are learning words out of order.

    What are your options?

    1) Each new word – choose synonyms: words, phrases, and stable collocations

    2) See how words are used in context, in sentences and phrases.

    3) Find a tutor. If you can study on your own, you need it more for working on vocabulary and speaking than for studying grammar and listening.

  2. Oh giza. I think this is normal. Because the brain is constantly throwing out too much. Nooo! There are many ways to memorize foreign words, such as mnemonics. Therefore, if you need to learn something for school/university, you can use it. And then forget if the topics are unnecessary.

    The most important thing is to understand why you are studying English at all. For school, university, mom, cat… This doesn't fit. It needs something personal. For example, I dream of going to such and such a place and not getting lost. I dream of understanding English songs without a translator. I dream of talking to equestrians, writers, and actors.. from all over the world using English.

  3. If you learn words, you need to constantly repeat them, every day to spend at least 5 minutes on it. And practice is also very important, that is, the use of these words in speech. The words we don't use are quickly forgotten.

  4. I will share my experience: I once experimented (when I was still in school) and tried to learn 15-20 new words a day.The next day, I repeated them and learned the same amount more. Some words were remembered,but some of the words lost their meaning after a week. There are not many reasons why you forget words: 1) maybe you learn a lot of words at a time (it's better to learn 3-5 words every day, you don't need any more), 2) maybe these are too complex words (high – sounding vocabulary – grandiloquent, literary vocabulary that is rarely used in oral speech-repugnant, formidable, encroachment, etc), 3) new words are better taught in a bundle, expression, so they are easier to remember (audacious explorer, casual intruder, tangled knot, healthy dose of luck, etc).

  5. You should learn the standard sentences: “Good afternoon!”, ” Would you like some coffee?” and so on, not individual words. Words should be linked to the context and situation. First of all, you should pay attention to grammar: the order of words in sentences. And then gradually complicate the sentences, introduce participial and adverbial phrases. I'm telling you as a person who knows 4 languages: Russian, English, Swedish, and Latvian. I taught it exactly according to the method described above.

  6. In order not to forget foreign words it is necessary:

    Mnemonics are one of the most popular methods. You take a word and come up with some kind of associative image, which should be very vivid. But this image must contain the “key” to the remembered word.

    Example: “grief” – woe to a wounded tiger, vultures are circling above it

    For audiobooks: listening to words is fine

    You can put audio recordings of word lists and repeat after the speaker. This method also improves the pronunciation of words.

    For visuals : The Half-Page Method

    This is one of my favorite ways. You bend the sheet in half, write a word on one side, and a translation on the other,but the most important thing is to constantly repeat and practice the words, otherwise you will forget them

  7. You need to memorize the words and fix them in practice. You should also translate them into long-term memory, so that you remember them for life. To do this, repeat these words regularly for 3 days. First repeat with a small interval, and then increase it, so you will remember English words for life.

  8. I observed my students, and they memorized words best in two cases::
    1) with constant repetitions, and ORAL ones, and I controlled it all.

    2) associative memorization, I know it sounds stupid and unconvincing, but when we learned irregular verbs in English, the student could not remember the verb lend lent lent – to lend, remembered the word loan – to lend, borrow, and the previous one in any way. then I started talking about tapeworms that can live in a person for meters, and like they constantly borrow food from us, while I don't know if I said the truth or not, but after the phrase tapeworms borrow food from us, it means lend lent lent everything got much easier. the nasty association worked.�

    ps don't learn words alphabetically, it's a waste of time and only helps to get confused. I like to read a dictionary entry on a word with examples of usage and thus remember the context and the word itself.

  9. To speak English, you need to speak it using the words that you already know. You can start thinking in English, articulate everything you do, and communicate with foreigners online. And if you don't practice, there's no point in memorizing. See how children learn to speak)

  10. I have exactly the same problem. It often happens when I just can't remember a particular word. I don't know how to deal with it myself. You probably need to train your memory in some way.

    In general, I have heard the idea that there are not so many words used in English on a regular basis and in general they are not difficult to remember, so the main attention should be paid to the rules of the English language. But I don't know how much this applies in practice. Perhaps there is a reasonable grain in this.

  11. Because you learn words that you don't find in your texts or interaction with the language.

    How do I usually solve this problem?You can define a topic that you encounter every day (for example, you like football). You start focusing your attention on the vocabulary found in sports articles and reports, and learn them. Then, when you have learned a certain list of words written out of an article about football, continue reading the following articles on this topic every day (because you like it, so you think about it every day). There, in the new articles you read, 100% will meet at least half of the same vocabulary and you will already feel it and be aware of it. So the words will be remembered.

  12. because it is necessary to teach exactly in the context, memorizing and sorting out as many examples of uses as possible))

    Here is a vk group that may be relevant for you:) examples are given there, because it's easier to remember in context:)

    Advanced English vk.com – a group for people who already have advanced English. To further enrich your vocabulary. The lexicon is given in portions 3 times a day and is very useful when reading articles and business literature. Sometimes the group itself helps to deal with difficulties in articles, giving complete lists of vocabulary, which greatly facilitates reading in English.

  13. Because it is not enough to teach them-they also need to be used. If there is no practice, no language environment, then the brain simply forgets everything that is not used.

  14. There are principles that can easily make the brain transfer words from short-term memory to long-term memory.

    1. The principle of repetition based on the Ebbinghaus curve (in fact, you don't need to remember the last name of this scientist): you can remember any word forever if you repeat it 6 times at the right time intervals.

    Repeat the word…

    Once. Immediately after learning a new word

    Two. 20-30 minutes after the previous one

    Three. One day after the previous one

    Four. 2-3 weeks after the previous one

    Five. 2-3 months after the previous one

    Six. 2-3 years after the previous one.

    1. Our memory is associative.

    Therefore, try to change the place of preparation, for example, to teach different topics in different rooms (kitchen, bedroom), on the road (subway, car) and even at work (office, “meeting room”). The information is associated with the situation, and remembering it will help you recall the content of the topic.

    3. Use techniques.

    When studying a word, it is useful to choose an associative anchor image, for example: clever (smart) — a smart cow eats clover. The image should be vivid, clear, and possibly absurd — unexpected associations capture the word well in memory.

    There are many ready mnemonic dictionaries, for example, http://www.englspace.com/mnemo/search.php�

    The method of memorizing words using flashcards is effective and loved by many, when an English word is written on one side and its translation is written on the other.

  15. I noticed this thing a long time ago: English is basically not a foreign language to me, because I have been learning it since childhood, although I almost never used it for live communication. But I still can't speak properly yet because of my extremely poor vocabulary.

    How can you learn a language for 15 years and not be able to speak? I was shocked myself, and I started looking for patterns, thinking and analyzing.

    And I noticed one very interesting thing.

    When I learn words/phrases in lists (as we are forced to teach in a normal university, not in-yaz), everything disappears from my memory incredibly quickly. This is the most time-consuming and unreliable way to learn. I learned it, wrote a dictation, and a week later I forgot everything. Nuff said.

    My situation is slightly better with cards and interval repetition — yes, it works, but if there is no clear image/associations, then over time my brain simply refuses to add new words to this scheme, giving something like a signal “memory is full”: D

    Context and associations also do not always work, because it is impossible for me personally to remember EVERYTHING in a short time. Often, if I come across a word once learned in these ways, I will still be stupid for a while, trying to remember what exactly it means. And if for reading/writing this is not so terrible, then in oral speech these tens of seconds of “freezes” every few sentences cause far from the most pleasant feelings that I and my interlocutors have.

    Trying to figure out what the problem is, I found one very interesting clue.

    It turns out that sometimes it happens that some complex word I meet in some situation and…it is immediately remembered, effortlessly, forever, and even if I don't repeat it, I can still use it at any time, and if I hear it, I can immediately understand it, and even without translating it in my head from English to Russian or vice versa (I got rid of this habit not too long ago).

    What's the big deal?

    Every time I memorized such a word or expression, it was a situation that somehow was very vivid, important to me, or just evoked strong feelings, both good and bad. And that is why the greatest number of words I learned is not because I had to learn them at school/university, because I “need”, no.

    The greatest number of words I remember were spoken/written by people who speak English as their native language or already have a good command of it, and in those topics and situations that were important or at least just interesting to me. They left an indelible imprint. Forever.

    And then I remembered how even at the primary school age I remembered exactly how new words for me in my native Russian were memorized.

    How did I deal with Present Perfect? I just understood the train of thought of English-speaking people, and did not continue to try to adapt it to the Russian grammar/translate. You can talk as much as you want about an action in the past and a result in the present, but this will be incomprehensible until you realize that this is the present time and people are not concerned about an event in the past, but that right now they have to deal with the consequences. And it was very difficult for me until I heard Present Perfect several times in the speech of an English speaker with an understanding of the situation/context and I did not have vivid associations. One of these examples that was able to help me was a NASA video showing the landing on Mars. There, Perfect is constantly used in commenting on this most difficult task.



    “Perseverance has now slowed to subsonic speeds and the heat shield has been separated.”

    The emphasis is not so much on the event itself, that Perseverance once slowed down there, but on the fact that right now its speed is subsonic. With the second part, the same is true — the emphasis is on the fact that the heat shield is now “in a separate state”, does not interfere with further descent and landing continues in normal mode, and not so much on the separation event itself.

    From a few such situations/examples, my slightly slow brain understood what this means. It is difficult for me to explain this in Russian, because perfect as such is extinct in this language, and just like that, with explanations, for example, it is very difficult for me to understand why you can't just use Past Simple or Present Continuous. But no, the point is that the event itself is important, because it determines the meaning, but the semantic emphasis is on what is now, what are the consequences. Very convenient view-time form)

    It's exactly the same with words. As an example, I recently tried to start passing the Third Witcher in English in order to improve my knowledge. I realized that it's still too early, I just don't understand more than half of it (and this is with subtitles), my brain is just boiling. But I immediately, instantly remembered the word amusing — I have a vivid impression of the situation, as Yennefer makes fun of Geralt and something with claws crawls into the water to him: D

    Bottom line — I immediately remembered this funny word, and I didn't repeat it even once, it just stayed in my memory forever.

    In addition, the very expression “I don't find X amusing” was also immediately fixed.

    Okay, but what if you don't always remember everything like that? This is where creating vivid associations and images comes to my aid. Important. It is necessary not just to create sentences or invent a context, but to make them incredibly bright, unusual, and stand out in some way. So vivid that the association/image itself is memorable.

    It's a bit funny, but still an example of how I easily remembered a word marked C2 on the Cambridge Dictionary website today.



    I know this is a bit dumb, but…here we know that elevator is an elevator that lifts you up

    and elated is when the state of mind went up like an elevator to the sky, or at least to the roof of a skyscraper)) A phrase from one of the songs really helped me here:

    I'm feeling elated,

    I don't wanna come back down!

    Oh, and one last thing that also helps me a lot:

    Poetry and songs. This art itself evokes emotions in us. Learn exactly what is close to YOU, what you like, analyze everything in detail in each verse/composition/song, and then it will be incredibly effective. Just as we learned Russian as children.

    P.S. Yes, I was shocked myself recently. A few months ago, there was a situation: I was, as usual, stuck on an English-language YouTube channel, and then a thought suddenly flashed through my head like lightning: I don't translate from English to Russian in my head, but just understand.

  16. The property of human memory is not only to remember, but-alas-to forget too. A foreign language ( any language )is a language that you try to “stick” in your head, and it “throws it out”. You “stick” again, and again the same reaction from the head. After all, this, whether you want it or not, is a FOREIGN language for your brain. So repeat the words whenever you can. Don't forget: Repatitio est mater studiorum. Repetition is the mother of learning! This has not been canceled yet.

  17. You probably just cram them with a word-transcription-translation list, as they do at school.�

    However, this method is ineffective: you need to learn vocabulary not separately, but in phrases, synonymous and antonymic rows, in context (if the level of language proficiency allows – remember not the translation, but the definitions). Then, perform exercises to consolidate vocabulary – this may not soon increase your active vocobular, but it will significantly expand the passive one.

  18. While studying English, try writing your own novel or biography (at least in the style of simple English). In this way, you will assume a personal attitude to everything that you write. You won't forget that. Because it will be either a piece of your life in English or a part of your personal creativity.

  19. The main thing in the language is practice. You don't have to hire a native speaker as a teacher, just talk to yourself for at least half an hour a day. As for memorizing new words/phrasal verbs/ idioms, it is better not just to look at the word translation and cram, but initially to consider it in context, try to get to the meaning yourself, do not go into English-Russian dictionaries, but use an English explanatory dictionary, Cambridge, for example. And if words can simply be memorized by practicing the simplest speaking, then to memorize idioms, it is better to come up with a situation where the idiom will be the definition.

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