Learn Vocabulary The Fun Way

Learning vocabulary is important for ESL students. That is a simple idea. But here is the hard part. Are you learning English words and phrases the smart way? Or, the wrong way?

Here in Asia, students love to cram. They fill their brains with words, grammar and sentence patterns for a test.  After the test, most of that information is gone. Forgotten. It seems like a big waste of time, if your goal is to learn a language.

This learning style is not good because it uses short-term memory. This is not language learning. Real learning uses long-term memory.

Use Your Brain

Scientists who study the brain can teach us about language learning. They say ESL students need lots of review.  And, students need to review in different ways.

Variety is a smart way for ESL students to learn English words. ESL students need to see, write, hear, speak and think about words many times and in different ways. This is the smart way to learn English vocabulary.

Why learn English vocabulary the smart way? The numbers. Some people say ESL students need to learn about 8000 words if they want to communicate in English. Most college students in western countries have a vocabulary range of about 25,000 to 60,000 words.

That’s a lot of words. Too many words to put into your short-term memory. That’s why it is better to use learning activities that build your long-term memory.

ESL Vocabulary Worksheets

I prepared a few worksheets for members of eslwriting.org. It’s an e-book called “Learn and Remember Essential Vocabulary with Games and Puzzles.”

It’s a small workbook, just 12 pages. There are ten activities to help ESL students improve their long-term memory of 450 essential words.

The worksheets use games and puzzles. Why? They’re fun (if you like brain games). Also, they give you a chance to remember words with different learning styles.

Remember, you can improve your long-term memory by using a variety of learning styles.

Photo credit: @boetter.

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