1. Use a variety of different methods
for effective learning because the brain never uses just one. When its different parts are activated, then you create more paths and networks which help you memorise and recall vocabulary.
2. Engage all your senses:
– attractive visual layout is vital, use colours, underline useful information, draw diagrams, tables, Mind Maps
– audio, listen and repeat, read aloud, imitate other speakers’ voices
– movement, flashcards are useful, redrafting notes
3. Exploit various sources of the language.
Use not only books but also audiobooks, podcasts, webcasts, films with English subtitles, BBC news clips, youtube clips, professional journals, magazines, Wikipedia, etc.
4. Choose texts or materials
which interest you personally, which are pleasant, enjoyable or humorous. Learning then becomes relaxing and fun, not a must.
5. Be selective.
Let your learning have a purpose. You may ask yourself the question: “Will I need it in the future? Can I imagine myself in the situation when I’m actually using it?”
6. Spend time revising,
return to the previous material. If you don’t, you will lose 80% of the information you have learned. Revision is necessary if you want to make an effective switch from short-term to long-term memory.
7. Become language hungry.
Take every opportunity to have contact with the language. Use your “down time” effectively (when commuting). Give you brain food for thought every single day, just like you nourish your body.
8. It is always better to learn the language in the context.
– Note down the whole collocation, phrase, expression, even the sentence
– Group your vocabulary (functions, categories, topics, areas of law), divide it meaningfully for you
– You may create Mind Maps for revision
9. Motivate yourself by taking small steps and being patient.
Decide on a plan and follow it rigorously (i.e. Monday podcast, Tuesday film, Thursday reading, Friday revision). Be positive and you will definitely achieve your goal. Every minute with the language counts.
10. Use the language.
Find a person to talk to, your language partner.