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How to learn a language
How to learn a language

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3.3 Vocabulary learning strategies

There are lots of different techniques for learning vocabulary, ranging from keeping a vocabulary book to writing a word repeatedly or saying it to yourself.

The following activity will enable you to find out which strategies you use most often, but also point out other strategies that you might not use but are worth trying out.

Activity 3 Vocabulary strategies

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Add your answers to the statements in the table.

Often/ Sometimes/ Not very often/ Never
I use my background knowledge/the wider context to guess the meaning of new words.
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I look for any definitions or paraphrases in the passage that support my guess about the meaning of a word.
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When I see an unfamiliar word again and again, I look it up.
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When I want to confirm my guess about a word, I look it up.
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I pay attention to the examples of use when I look up a word in a dictionary.
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I look for phrases or set expressions that go with the word I look up.
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I look for phrases or set expressions that go with the word I look up.
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I make a note if I think the word I'm looking up is relevant to my interest.
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I put synonyms or antonyms together in my notebook.
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I make a note when I see a useful expression or phrase.
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I make vocabulary lists of new words that I want to learn.
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I make online vocabulary flashcards with the new words that I want to learn.
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When I try to remember a word, I repeat it aloud to myself.
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When I try to remember a word, I write it repeatedly.
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I group words into categories when I write them down.
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I deliberately read texts in my areas of interest so that I can find out and remember the special terminology that I need to know.
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I try to read as much as possible so that I can make use of the words I am trying to remember.
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I use the words I am trying to learn in writing or when I speak.
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I try to use words I am learning in imaginary situations in my mind.
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Words: 0
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