How can I improve my German vocabulary?

April 13, 2016

First of all, don't worry if you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of German vocabulary you need to know – sometimes it can feel like quite a lot, especially if you haven't been learning the language all that long. The key is regular, focused practice. Keep a notepad with you in German lessons/tutoring sessions and note down all the new vocab you learn. Also look at the dictionary in your textbook, and any vocab lists you have been given. Then at a particular time each day, just spend 10 minutes trying to memorise a certain number of useful words – the number can vary on how good you feel your memory is, but start with as few as 5 words and build up from there. Don't stop until you feel confident with the meanings of all the words and how you could use them. Then, 5 days or a week later, recap those words and, if you have forgotten any, memorise them again. This should help put them into your longer-term memory. If you are organised about this, you should get a pattern whereby each day you quickly recap a small set of words you learnt 5 - 7 days ago, and learn a small set of new words. For a very small time investment of 10 minutes a day, you will be surprised at how your vocabulary improves over time, especially if you also sit down every now and again for a longer session to recap all the words you have learnt over the past few weeks.

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