English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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5.2 Using mind maps and tables to record vocabulary

Another way to record the new words you have decided to learn is to group them according to their meaning and to present them using a diagram. You will practise this skill through the following activity.

Activity 14

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

The words and word groups below have been selected by a student who read the text, ‘The global threat of infectious diseases’ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , and decided to record them using a mind map. The student decided to group them using the following three branches:

  • Words related to health problems.
  • Words related to the effects of these health problems.
  • Words related to medical interventions, i.e. solutions to the health problems.

Drag these words and word groups into the gaps in the mind map below to complete it.

[If you are accessing this activity using only the keyboard, tab to a target and press the Enter key to cycle through the choices.]

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You should have placed the words and word groups in the appropriate branches of the mind map as shown below. However, within each branch you may have the items in a different order.

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This activity has shown you how new words can be grouped using a diagram. This can also be achieved by using a table or three lists under different headings.

Table 5
Health problemsMedical interventionsPossible effects of new diseases





(acquired immune deficiency syndrome)


(human immunodeficiency virus)

infectious disease


antibiotic therapies

vaccination programmes


reduced life expectancy

Alternatively, you can write the three groups of words in different colours. Whichever method you use, you will find that both the process of deciding how to classify new words and the physical act of creating a diagram, a table or a list will help you to recall them when necessary.

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