Learning tips

Check out the ideas below, try a few, combine them, vary them,... Some of the suggestions may sound a bit crazy - but do give them a try, they really work.

Most important of all, have fun.

Yours,
Paul Smith

PS: If you have any other tips or tricks which you would like to share with us, I would be very happy to hear from you.


  • USE THE WORD TODAY
     
    Find an opportunity to use the new word TODAY - Try to smuggle the new word into a telephone conversation, discussion or e.mail message during the course of today.
     
  • THE 24-HOUR RULE
     
    Your memory for new words will be dramatically improved if you repeat your learning AFTER 24 hours. Besides learning your daily word, I strongly advise you to REVIEW YESTERDAY’S WORD . This will double your learning effectiveness. You can do this easily on the OWAD site by clicking the link at the end of each day’s word explanation.
     
  • OFFICE ENGLISH LOTTO
     
    Create an English competition with colleagues in your office. Before you click the One-Word-A-Day answer make bets about which definition is correct. 10 points if first choice correct, 5 points if second choice correct. Nominate winner of the week, winner of the month, winner of the year...
     
  • COFFEE BREAK
     
    Involve a colleague in your office in your English wordpower development - take a few minutes in the coffee or lunch break to test each other with the words you would especially like to remember.
     
  • STORY TELLING
     
    Children learn very effectively through stories, so can you. Create a mini-story for those words you have the most trouble remembering. As a review, make a point of reading the OWAD min-stories we send you.
     
  • SKY-WRITING
     
    Close your eyes and imagine a jet plane writing your word with a huge vapour trail across the sky
     
  • RECALL SOME SYNONYMS
     
    When you learn the new word, recall other English words with similar meanings - having alternative ways of saying something gives you more precision and flexibility in speaking.
     
  • MIRROR-WRITING
     
    Leonardo wrote his notes in mirror-writing, from right to left. Be like Da Vinci and write your new word as it would appear in reflection. The extra effort may help you learn it (another variation is to write the text upside down).
     
  • GERMAN-ENGLISH FLASHCARDS
     
    The well-known technique of writing each word on a single card is a useful, transportable learning help. Write the German translation on the reverse side.
     
  • GRAFFITI YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN
     
    Write the new word in red ink (water-soluble) in an area your computer screen which you often click. Whenever you click, say the word,... at day's end when you clean the screen, BINGO! you'll know the word!
     
  • LEARN OPPOSITES
     
    Many words have natural opposites (antonyms) - rich/poor, heaven/hell, boom/bust,... by also checking opposites you are completing your understanding of the concept and filling-in gaps in your personal wordpool.
     
  • USE FEELINGS
     
    How do professional actors learn their lines? They practice their material in complete sentences and they speak them out loud with feeling. We often remember things when feelings are involved - place the new word an emotional sentence, and say it several times with PASSION.
     
  • CONTEXT IS THE CLUE
     
    Write out the context sentence on a small card, but leave a BLANK for the new word. Check yourself in spare moments by reading the sentence and remembering the missing word (TIP: if the word is particularly difficult, write the first four or five letters in the blank space lightly in pencil
     
  • MAKE AN ICON
     
    Draw a personal symbol or icon to represent each new word. For instance draw a cloud to represent the word "rainmaker". Put this symbol on a Post-It note and say the word whenever you see the symbol.
     
  • USE A NATIVE SPEAKER
     
    Engage English native speakers in conversation about the new word. Ask them to pronounce it and to give you a definition or synonym. Ask them to create a sentence with the word in it.
     
  • TEACH TO LEARN
     
    A great way to learn is to teach! Explain your word-of-the-day to a colleague or friend, provide an example and if necessary a memory aid. Test your friend after 60 minutes, and the next day. Teach it, and you'll remember it.
     
  • MAKE A “DONKEY BRIDGE”
     
    The phrase “donkey bridge” does not exist in English. We use the Greek word “mnemonic” or “memory aid”. By creating a visual bridge with something you know in German you can often remember the word - example: the phrase “donkey bridge” is a mnemonic to help ME remember your German Eselsbrücke!
     
  • POST-IT
     
    Write your new word on a Post-It Note and stick it on your telephone - whenever the phone rings, or before you make a call, say the word to yourself, or out loud.
     
  • RECORD THE WORDS ON CASSETTE
     
    Make a cassette recording of the words you want to learn and listen to these in your car. Here is a suggested format:
    1. speak the German translation (or English definition),
    2. PAUSE for 5 seconds (to give you time to answer).
    3. speak the word.
       
  • WRITE WITH YOUR LEFT-HAND
     
    Try using your non-dominant hand (for most people the left hand) to note down any new words you want to learn. Many people find the effort of doing this helps them remember the word!
     
  • FINAL THOUGHT: USE SEVERAL STRATEGIES
     
    To learn a specific word, don’t rely on just one of the strategies given above. Use several techniques. Try them all out and see which ones work best for you. Learning really is more effective if it is fun, use the techniques you enjoy!
     




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