The Vocab Journey: How to stop Memorising and start Learning!

Shahed (pseudonym) has recently joined a development organisation. He writes new blogs and articles for the knowledge management team. He has wonderful ideas and thoughts buzzing in his head but somehow his articles don’t stand out. He just can’t play with a diverse range of words that he knows will add the right glamour needed for his pieces.


Anita (pseudonym) is preparing for her GRE exam. She loves the math part and is confident that she’s totally going to rock it. Guess which seems to be the worst part to her. The vocabulary section. It’s like diving into a bottomless well or getting sucked into the black hole. The more she tries to learn new words; the more she keeps forgetting.


Whether it’s for an exam prep or enhancing your writing skills or simply to get carried away by something fun in the middle of work (that is useful at the same time)- learning new words and knowing how to use them is universally a dire necessity that we keep procrastinating for tons of reasons and keep avoiding until it becomes that song in our heads “Can’t live, with or without you!”


Thus common questions that many of us keep asking:


“How do I enrich my vocabulary?” “What’s the best way to learn a new word every day?” Or “How many words can I memorise a day?”

Bottom line of the story
 I end up fruitlessly trying to memorise a bunch of words with minimal or no productive outcome.
So, is there any shortcut or easy way? We all love a bit a of a cheat-trick.
Here’s a personal favorite; a cool and groovy app extension from the famous online test preparation platform Magoosh. If you install this desktop extension, a new word with meaning and sentence usage will pop up every time you open a new tab!
However, here are few things to remember:

  • Use it or lose it:Unless you plan on actively using a word on a regular basis, chances are that all that time and effort put into memorising thousands of words will go to waste.There’s a much talked about thumb rule that you need to use a new word at least five times before you are able to use it correctly.
  • Language functions as a web: The individual components of every language whether it’s the pitching of words, their collocations, speed and rhythm all are interrelated. Learning any of these in isolation, such as learning individual words and memorising individual meanings, will only put you on the fast lane to frustration and demotivation.
  • Online Learning and practicing platforms: In the current era you can learn almost anything and everything over the internet as there are endless free platforms to serve the purpose. Sites like help you to learn, practice and track your performance through games and quizzes.
  • Play and Have Fun: Because learning does not mean it has to boring and complex. Some interesting options game apps are WordamentWordfeud and Bonza. You can not only learn yourself but also play, compare and compete with your friends though these games.

Lastly, it is very important to remember learning new words is not an end in itself, rather it is a means that requires a systematic and effective process. But first, there are two courses you must master on for any kind of learning: Focus and Patience 101.

If you just read through this entire piece then, Kudos!




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Riffat is a chocoholic and daydreamer who fancies herself as a philosopher, musician and painter. Her passion for social development has landed her in BRAC's Social Innovation Lab; where she is building herself as a development enthusiast. An ambivert by nature, an admirer of paradoxes and an optimistic over-thinker; she believes time travel is possible.

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