Tips for Learning New Vocabulary Words

Flashcards for Learning Vocabulary


Flashcards are one of the best tools for learning new vocabulary words, engaging every learning style in order to commit new words to memory.  Flashcards can be used alone or with another person, making studying more convenient. In fact, flashcards provide an excellent opportunity for students to quiz themselves in order to determine how well they have learned the material before taking an exam.

Write, Write, Write
A great way to commit vocabulary words to memory is to write them down.  Through the process of writing, students are thinking about words, even repeating them in their heads. This allows the brain to commit entirely to the process, by first thinking about the word and then concentrating in order to write it down. This is why it is best for students to create their own flashcards and even better when they are handwritten and not typed.

Repetition Helps Memorization
Repetition is one of the best ways to memorize anything. Hearing and seeing things multiple times helps students remember for long periods. When studying with flashcards, it is best to start with all the cards in one stack. As you move through the stack, place the cards that are the most difficult to remember in a separate pile. Then, review those cards several times, looking at them more often than the others. This process helps you to learn more quickly.

Read it Out Loud
Flashcards are not only a beneficial way for visual learners to memorize words, but also, for auditory learners. When writing out the flashcards, it is a good idea to say the words and definitions aloud. Because of this, students are able to see, hear and say new words all at once. Then, while going through the stack, read them aloud giving answers aloud as well. This will help engage all the different ways to learn in order to ensure easy memorization.

Study Both Sides
Flashcards offer an easy way to truly learn vocabulary words.  Many people find it easiest to start by showing the definition side and then give the word as the answer.  This is a great way to become familiar with new definition as well as learn any key phrases. Other techniques might be sufficient for multiple-choice exams, however, the best way to truly learn the word and its definition is to see it and recite it from memory.

Review Daily
The best way to get the most out of flashcards is to review them on a daily basis. Many students find it is best to make new cards as new words are assigned. This provides students with the opportunity to spend 15 minutes every evening reviewing the flashcards. In many cases, students find that they are able to retire some of the older cards more quickly. Additionally, this helps minimize “cramming” the night before an exam.

Regardless of what is presented, flashcards are the best way to learn vocabulary.  They are excellent for foreign languages and work well for students of all ages, from elementary school to college and beyond.  When properly used, flashcards help students learn and retain new information for long periods of time.