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Getting started with French 1
Getting started with French 1

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9 How to memorise vocabulary

You’ve been learning a lot of words to do with nationalities this week. Some of them may have been quite easy to recognise, or perhaps you knew them already. Others may have been harder. How will you remember the harder ones?

Learning vocabulary is, of course, a key part of learning a language and everyone has their preferred way of doing it. It’s important for you to get into the habit of memorising new words as they come along, and to keep reminding yourself of ones you picked up earlier too.

Memorising vocabulary

There are several ways of memorising vocabulary – here are a couple of useful methods.

  • Using a piece of card, write the French on one side and its translation on the other, then practise translating from one language to the other and checking each side of the card in turn.
  • Make lists of target vocabulary, classifying the words in a logical order.

You’ll be picking up a lot of key vocabulary as you work through this course. However, you don’t necessarily need to remember all of it: you should personalise your learning and memorise what is most relevant to your situation. For example, in this activity you might not want to learn all the nationalities that we’ve introduced, but only the ones that you’ll use to talk about yourself and your close family and friends. This is what we mean by ‘target’ vocabulary.

What can you do so far? Run through this list and practise the structures without looking them up:

  • Greet someone
  • Say your name
  • Say your nationality, using the appropriate pronunciation

How will you record this? Using one of the methods suggested in the box, you could put the nationality in French on one side of a card and the English (or your own language) on the other. Alternatively, you could target the expressions which will be most useful for you by, for example, writing how you would introduce yourself using all the structures learnt so far. Keep these in your own language notebook.

That’s all the activities for this week. Is there anything you need to look back at before moving on to this week’s quiz?

Bon courage !