I’ve been wondering if any of you still use this approach to enhance your language learning experience. is it really useful to increase your vocabulary? Have you tried this method successfully?
It can be useful as an additional help for learning, first of all on the first level of the language study.
First, we study ‘by eye’, ‘by ear’ and ‘by hand’ it means: by looking and reading, by listening and by writing.
So when you write down some new words for such a list, you can remember some of the words.
Secondly, you don’t have to write down all new words - you chose the most important for you and the most popular.
From my experience, I made up two lists besides the words on the screen of my computer - the words for the first list were the most important and I repeated them every day until I knew them. They were only 10% of all unknown words.
The words for the second list might be potentially important in the future, I repeated them once a week. They were about 20% of all unknown words.
And the rest of words - circa 70% - I had on my computer and maybe 1-2times a month I read them through without learning by heart or I could remember them if they were repeated in different texts.
And my last point - with the words for the first list I made up little word combination, for example for some synonyms:
big (boy, city, country, secret, nose)
large (room, space, a sum of money, number)
great (victory, expectations, writer)
I use a list to memorize new words. I write them out, which helps memory, and go over them twice in list form on the first day. That’s all. From day 2 on they go in my SRS. I delete all flashcards over 1 month old.
Right from the beginning of learning a language, I like to learn conjunctions like “often,” “always,” “still,” wh-question words, etc. and as I memorize more vocabulary I can string them together easily with these words with the right sentence structure to form complex ideas.
As for memorizing vocabulary itself I used to use Memrise but I ended up finding myself going over the same words over and over again. So now I don’t use lists or any physical material and just try stringing together the most complex sentences I can muster in my head after reading an article using the vocab I see, and perhaps try to recite a couple times the words that I feel like remembering. Right now as a Korean beginner, out of all the beginner material on Lingq that I read, I will probably remember only 20% of the words I Lingq, but I’m still happy that I’ve already remembered words like “achim”- morning, “maeil”- everyday, “-(l)eul”- like the “wo” in Japanese, and so if I wanted to say “I cook fish for breakfast everyday” (I don’t), I could say “naneun maeil achim mulgogileul yorihaeyo” (after searching up how to say cook in Korean). This is likely incorrect grammar, but I can adjust as I get more advanced. I guess having learned Japanese does help with Korean sentence structure though.
From the very beginning of my studying Russian I have never tried to memorize any list of words or any tables of verb conjugations or grammatical case endings. Instead, I learn every word and every grammatical construction in a context that is relevant to ME at the time I am learning it. My sentences are not boring drills or exercises but instead describe what I am doing, did or want to do. The context makes it clear what the meaning of the new word is. As my knowledge of words and grammar increases, I incorporate new vocabulary and grammar constructions.
I agree with Evgeny that it is not necessary to do this extra work with every new word or expression. Instead, I pick the ones that I am motivated to learn at the moment. Evgeny’s method of reviewing more often the words/phrases that he immediately wants to know is great advice and is now possible with various software, including the review functions on LingQ. In addition, his recommendation to combine words into commonly used word strings or combinations, is also a great idea and something that I too do when learning new words although I create new contexts for the word combinations as well.
Evgeny notes that he originally wrote out the new words (admittedly before there were computers) and then reviewed them more often. I too have been writing sentences with new words and phrases from the start of learning Russian and still do it after I subscribed to LingQ for those words that I want to know right now. There have been numerous studies that demonstrate that physically writing letters and words creates neurological pathways in the brain that typing on a computer does not. Certainly for me, writing by hand remains the most efficient means of moving a word or grammatical construction into “active” memory. In most cases I don’t even review the words after I’ve written the sentences. The act of writing is enough for me to remember the new vocabulary.
For whatever it’s worth, I also like the “cloze” exercises on LingQ because they provide a context for the new words or phrases. Yes, one is reading a phrase instead of a single word, BUT THEREIN LIES ITS EFFECTIVENSS since reading the cloze excerpts – especially OUT LOUD – provides additional practice both in listening and in my own pronunciation. I have also found that switching to just the “dictation” function in the review exercises after I have reviewed the words several times in a cloze exercise is a great diagnostic tool. I can’t write what I don’t understand. In turn, if I can write a word or phrase accurately after hearing it several days after I have read and listened to the lesson, then I can confidently move it to “known.” In short, for me, context-based learning has been the easiest way to remember anything and thus is self-reinforcing.