4 Quick Tips for Better Memorization

Do you have problems memorizing all of the new vocabulary you learn in English?

One problems I hear most often from my students and other language learners is that they have trouble remembering all the vocabulary, expressions, and phrasal verbs that they constantly learn.

However, I’ve realized that few of these people take measures to really assimilate what they’re learning, other than trying to quickly memorize lists of vocabulary.

So I created this short video explaining the four suggestions that I give all of my students to better memorize everything they learn in English. Remember to check out the transcript below, too!


Hey Real Lifers, what’s going on?

This is Ethan, with a video for you on 4 Quick Tips for Better Memorization.

Is this Real Life?

All right, let’s jump into it. So, the first tip I have for you is to always carry around some sort of notepad or you can write down new things that you learn in English.

I used to just carry around a real notepad and a pencil, and any time I had learned a new word or anything else I would just write it down so that I could study it later. But now, it’s obviously much more handy with smarphones to be able to download an app, like Evernote, or to use some other sort of program you have on your phone to note down anything new that you learn in English.

Second tip is to use some different apps that are meant to help you memorize things.

So, the first one, and my favorite, is called Anki. Anki works with your brain to help you memorize things. It does this using spaced repetition.

So, spaced repetition means that first it’s going to show you something new ten minutes after the first time you see it. And then, it will wait longer. It’ll wait maybe a day. And then it will wait a week. And then a month. So, this way it works the same way your memory does. Your memory, the first time you see something, it doesn’t stay there for very long. And after that it gets easier and easier to remember it.

So, this is a really great program for this. You can also use this with pictures, with audio… I’m going to post a link to an article we have about Anki down below, so be sure to check that out if you want to learn more.

I have to more suggestions, called Memrise and Quizlet. These are similar programs to Anki, but they are a little bit more complex. They use images, audio and games to help you remember things better.

The reason I prefer Anki is because I can use it offline, it reminds me to study and it’s just simpler. But I definitely recommend that you try out all three because one of them might work better for you.

I also would recommend a program called Duolingo, if you want something that is more of a course format. So, this is actually going to teach you English, but every time that you go to study, it’s going to help you review what you’ve learnt the day before. Duolingo is really great for any of you that want to actually be studying the language and it’s completely free, so that’s really awesome.

So, next is kind of fun, is singing. It’s much easier for your brain to remember anything that is put to music, especially in another language because the sounds aren’t the same that you have in your language. So, just hearing a phrase or an expression can be very difficult to remember.

So, to give you an example of this, I created a little song using the tune Jingle Bells, which is a Christmas song, and it’s meant to help me remember the difference between take and have.

So, here we go:

Have dinner, have breakfast, have coffee or beer. 

Take the bus, take the train, or take the subway, hey!

So, this might be kind of embarrassing, it certainly is for me, as you can see, but, you know, it can be very helpful for remembering. Maybe just sing in your car, in the shower, or any other time that you are alone. If you feel comfortable with that, it’s worth trying out.

So, next is using wordplay. So, wordplay means that you use something from your language to help you remember something in English. So, a quick exemple of this: if you speak Spanish, and you’re having trouble remembering the word “to run”, in English, “to run”, then you could relate it to the Spanish word turrón, which is a special treat that is very commonly eaten around Christmas in Spain.

To remember this, you could think of “If you eat a lot of turrón at Christmas, then you’re going to have to run a lot.” This way, turrón, to run.

All right guys, I hope this is useful for any of you that have trouble remembering things. Certainly I have some things that I like to use in my language learning.

All right, see you next time. Later!

  • Thamiris Rodfer says:

    great post! I've downloaded the app Anki but I dont know how to use it :/

  • Chad Fishwick says:

    Cool snowboard mate!

  • Chad Fishwick says:

    Cool snowboard mate!

  • Chad Fishwick says:

    Cool snowboard mate!

  • JuanPablo Carrera says:

    Thanks, I think the best one for me will be the notepad and the Anki app, as well as the singing, but I'm awful at it 😛 so, I think I will not try the last one. Although I am used to listening to rap music to memorize idioms and phrasal verbs, it's just great and easy. Thanks again, Ethan.

  • Thu Rein Soe says:

    thanks a lot

  • Stella says:

    Thanks for your tips! They sound great and I´ll put in practice with my students… first, I have to download the apps just to try them before!!!

  • I'am going to try it. It must be very helpful.

  • […] to add these terms to your Anki or Memrise, the best way to […]

  • Marcio says:

    Hi Ethan, I really appreciated and I also liked your new composition for “Jingle Bells”. That’s funney and very creative as well. Go ahead of it!!! 🙂

    • Ethan says:

      So glad you liked Marcio! I hope it’ll help you remember the difference between take and have, haha.

  • […] to use Anki or another memorization app to help you remember all your […]

  • […] to use Anki or another memorization app to help you remember all your […]