Did you know there are around 200,000 to 300,0000 distinct English words? And all together the English language has over 1,000,000 words?
Crazy to think about, right?
So, if you want to be fluent in English you better quit your job and dedicate all your time to learning vocabulary.
No, just kidding. There’s some good news.
Actually, the 100 most common English words make up half of all written English, and only 2000 words are used in 95% of English conversation.
Much better, right?
However, if you want to be fluent in English, you’re obviously going to have to continually increase your vocabulary. I’m a native English speaker and I’m still learning English vocabulary, and I always will be.
But, if you’re like me, you have BIG problems memorizing new words. Personally, I can see a new word, repeat it to myself twenty times, then forget it ten minutes later. This makes me feel like an idiot and is very frustrating.
If you give me a list of words, I can spend hours trying to memorize the words but nothing happens. A day later I’ll forget it, guaranteed, unless I learn it the correct way (for me anyway.)
Memrise uses “spaced repletion,” a scientifically proven memorization technique
There is a lot of research suggesting that the best way to really burn new information into your brain is through something called spaced repetition.
Basically, spaced repetition is a method where you learn new words in increasing intervals instead of trying to cram your brain with new information all at once.
So, if you want to permanently learn a new word, you should look at it frequently until you can easily recall its meaning.
If there’s a word that you are having trouble memorizing, you need to review it more often, and words that you have already learned and can easily recall their meaning can be reviewed less often, however not ignored.
Make sense? Well, it doesn’t really have to. If you are a little confused, don’t worry about it.
Thanks to technology, we can implement somewhat complicated theories into our lives without first learning extensively about them. So even dumb people, like me, can become memorization masters!
Enter the app, Memrise.
What is Memrise?
Memrise, in my opinion, is by far the best resource currently on the market which uses spaced repetition techniques.
Here is why:
1) It’s free
2) It’s very easy to use, unlike other, similar programs which require downloading software and uploading lessons
3) It’s interactive, sending you emails to remind you of what you need to focus on for the day
4) It has great features, like allowing you to add your own lessons to the database
5) There are dozens of lessons on English vocab, phrasal verbs , pronunciation, song lyrics and many other specific areas
It’s amazing how easy it can be to really memorize new words with this method.
However, implementing other methods with this technique is best, especially with language learning. Especially these key ones:
1) Try to put the words in a phrase, not just learning them by themselves. This helps you with using the words correctly in conversation. A good way to do this is to make your own lessons from the new words, which you can learn about HERE.
2) Make sure you practice speaking the words with someone, i.e. a teacher, friend, language partner. It is necessary to make the new vocabulary “real” to you, and the best way to do this for most people is to use it in conversation. If you don’t have anyone to speak with, I’d recommend Italki for finding cheap language teachers or free language partners.
3) Find lessons with images, or find your own images to help you associate the words with something visual. This really helps you remember the meaning of the word by bringing it to life. Many of the lessons have images in them already, so search for those lessons first.
How to Use Memrise
Here is a step-by-step explanation on how to get started with Memrise.
Try using Memrise, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.
If you have any questions about Memrise you can send me an email and I’ll try to help you.