Learning New Words Electronically

by Linguarama 6. January 2012 07:29


How do you store the new words and phrases you meet on your language course? Many students write down their new words in a notebook, along with a translation. However, it can be difficult to find the words you record like this, in order to review them. Have you thought about how technology can help? This blog post looks at some of the exciting ways in which language learners can store their new words electronically.


Whichever language you are learning, a quick and easy way to get started is to enter your new words on a simple spreadsheet. You can include a column with information about the word, such as whether it is a noun, verb or adjective. A nice feature of a spreadsheet is that you can organise words alphabetically. It is a good idea to include a final column to create a meaningful sentence containing the new word. This personalises the language and helps you remember the new words. In time, you can build up a 'personal dictionary'. Try: google.docs 


MyWordBook is a great free app from the British Council, and worth investigating by learners of English. You can add your own new words, a translation, and even import a photograph from your album to illustrate a word. This app allows you to practise the new words through a simple multiple-choice game.


Technology can help you store words in 'concept groups' such as: finance, technology, hobbies etc. In the Macmillan English Dictionary app, you can create your own categories, then assign words to them. You can even add a 'note' to a word, allowing you to 'personalise' your electronic dictionary. Of course, you have the added bonus of being able to listen to your new words.


Just think about the number of words and phrases you meet every time you listen to the news or read a text. Whichever language you are learning, it pays to be 'systematic' in storing and reviewing vocabulary. Why not make 2012 the year you explore some ways in which technology can help you review your new words?  




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