How to learn a language
How to learn a language

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

How to learn a language

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.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I look for any definitions or paraphrases in the passage that support my guess about the meaning of a word.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
When I see an unfamiliar word again and again, I look it up.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
When I want to confirm my guess about a word, I look it up.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I pay attention to the examples of use when I look up a word in a dictionary.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I look for phrases or set expressions that go with the word I look up.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I look for phrases or set expressions that go with the word I look up.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I make a note if I think the word I'm looking up is relevant to my interest.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I put synonyms or antonyms together in my notebook.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I make a note when I see a useful expression or phrase.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I make vocabulary lists of new words that I want to learn.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I make online vocabulary flashcards with the new words that I want to learn.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
When I try to remember a word, I repeat it aloud to myself.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
When I try to remember a word, I write it repeatedly.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I group words into categories when I write them down.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
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.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I try to read as much as possible so that I can make use of the words I am trying to remember.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I use the words I am trying to learn in writing or when I speak.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
I try to use words I am learning in imaginary situations in my mind.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Words: 0
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
LLL_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371