A few tips to help you learn new vocabulary
Look Say Cover Write Check
Look at the word you want to remember for about 10 seconds.
Say the word to yourself. Try to pronounce the word properly.
Cover up the word when you think you know it.
Write out the word from memory.
Check - repeat if necessary until you get it right!
Cognates & Neo-cognates
Cognates are words which are the same in both English and Spanish. Neo-cognates are words which are very similar. These words are our friends as they make life a lot easier. English and Spanish have quite a few cognates/neo-cognates because of their common Latin roots. Right-click on the following link to download a Spanish crib card for neo-cognates e.g. words which end in 'ic' in English (plastic, historic etc) end in 'ico' in Spanish (plástico, histórico). Cognates crib card
Patterns of words (stems and endings)
The beginning part of a verb (the stem) and the end part can be very useful in helping us to work out the meaning of a word e.g.
beber = to drink
beb = the stem (so whenever we see this we know it might be something to do with drinking)
er = the ending and tells us it's the infinitive part the 'to' drink part
The ending of a noun and adjective can also tell us some useful information. Nouns that end in 'o' tend to be masculine but those that end in 'a' tend to be feminine. Nouns which end in 's' or 'es' tend to be plural. Nouns which end in 'ción' or 'dad' tend to be feminine whereas nouns which end in 'ma' tend to be masculine.
A mnemonic is a phrase that has been made up to help you remember something. Sometimes the first letters of each word spell the word you want to remember e.g. guay = cool
Build up your vocabulary
Try to build up your vocabulary by playing word games with yourself or your friends and family. Think of a word:
Can you think of its opposite (antonym)? tall/short alto/bajo
Can you think of a word of the same/very similar meaning (synonym)? e.g.
guapo/bonito = pretty
Can you put it into a category and think of other words in the same category e.g grammar (adjectives, nouns, verbs) or topic (family, free time, school)
There are words which you will hear, see and want to say very frequently in a variety of different situations - these are called high-frequency words. Try to learn these by using some of the techniques from above. Some examples of these types of words are 'and' 'I have' 'there is/are' 'it is'
Using a dictionary
A dictionary can not only show you how to spell a word but it can also tell you what sort of word it is e.g. a noun 'n' , it's gender 'm' or 'f', or whether its a verb 'vb' or an adjective 'adj' etc
You can use technology to help you learn new words too.
Record the words on to an ipod/mp3 player and listen to them regularly.
Use your vocabexpress.com user id and password to drill the vocabulary from your course.
Create dominoes or flashcards.