Ways to learn vocabulary?


I was thinking what is the most productive way to learn vocabulary? I like the flash cards, however, i cannot make myself spend enough time on them just because i am not sure if it’s worth it.

The main reason i find flash cards not be as good of a tool as one may think at first, is if i get to learn, let’s say, my 25 priority words i soon get the feeling that i already know those words, however it doesn’t feel like i have really got them in my long term memory and i do not feel like making them a status 4 words. This way I get stuck on same 25 words for a whole day.

I’d like to go through those words for a couple times and then find another 25 words, so after i think i have learned some 200 new words, i would return to the first ones to see if i can still recall them.

Maybe i should use vocabulary section to generate flash cards. I’ll try it.

I do also feel like i get a lot of new words simply by reading text with a huge percentage of unknown words (i’m a Spanish beginner here, so i can still find content with a 50% to 75% new words). I always take my time to look in the dictionary, though more often than not, i don’t even save the lingq for a word. This is because i often find a good association, for that new word, with english or other language i know.

What other methods do you use to increase you vocabulary?


I find that I go through periods when I do a lot of Flash Card review and then other periods when I am just keen to read and listen and to save new words.

We are considering making the Priority LingQs a spaced repetition list of 100, 200 or even 500 of your most important words, with only 25 appearing on a random basis on the Overview page.

We are also thinking of a way to allow the user to “Star” words or phrases that are important to him or her to put them into this priority list.

I save a lot of words in Russian. I review them in the Vocab section as often as I use the Flash Cards. I can see when I have saved a lot of versions of the same word and may just batch delete a bunch of them. Saving a lot of words is handy because I am reminded by the yellow highlighting that I have saved them before, and I can look at them again quickly. I also often Flash Card my previously saved words before starting a new content item. I learn best from context and the yellow highlighting helps.

Yes you learn a lot of words without specifically saving them. In two years of Russian I have 12,500 saved LingQs and 27,000 known words. Granted, in the case of Russian some of the incidentally learned words may be different forms of words I have saved. But others are not. You just get better at
inferring the meaning.

Still, a number of tests have shown that learning from lists or Flash Cards works, for both short term and long term memory. If you combine it with context based learning the way LingQ does you have the best of both worlds. So keep doing both is my advice.

I have been studying spanish here for a few days (not a full week yet) almost from scratch and now i have words of reading: 12.000, known words: 2.000 and only 400 lingqs created. As i can understand from what you say, this is way too little number of lingqs? I’ll keep it in mind. I didn’t like to add a lot of variations of the word, though i’ll give it a try.

And it’s true there are times to read and listens as well as there are times to study vocabulary deeper.

I use the flashcards a lot, in a variety of ways. I will describe my “method” in the hope to inspire some of you, because I’m feeling it’s being highly effective.

  • Every morning, when I turn on the computer, the first thing I do is to study my priority lings twice in a row, so their status goes up one level. (ok, it’s easy to do this because I work with the computer…)
  • I usually have a bunch of varied items in my workdesk. At my “official” study time every night, I approach each item like this:
  • First of all, I put it in my mp3 player (I renew my player contents more or less once a week)
  • After I had already listened to an item a couple of times, I read it at LIngQ, getting the new words. At the end of the “section”, I listen to it while reading, paying particular attention to the pronunciation.
  • The second and third days, I go back to that item and study its new words with the flashcards, passing through them twice.
    After that, I archive the item. I really don’t care too much if I had already learned all the vocabulary for that item. I’m sure the words are going to come back!
    So, generally I begin my study night reviewing a recently read item and finish it reading a new one.
    Also, now and then, I spend some time only reviewing words, picking some tagged ones, for example.
    Well, it’s working pretty well for me. Hope it helps.

hi…i am from india and i want to improve my spoken english…my weak point is that i can speak ok english but when i come in front of gathering i lose confidence and seems to run out of words…and i believe thats because of an inappropriate vocabulary for a good and fluent conversation that can leave an impact.I think the best way to improve vocab is to learn the appropriate noun ,adjective,verb .phrasal verb etc. according to situations e.g word related to park and its activities ,communicative vocab etc…what do you suggest…is this method detailed and cumbersome or its going to help me in long run…THANX