Stuart Mill English

How to Learn, How to Teach English

Studying Vocab with Learning Styles

Studying Vocab with Learning Styles

Descriptions of how to know your learning style and suggestions for how to study vocabulary.

Students, do you want to learn vocabulary faster? Have you thought about your learning style?

For some students, you can know your learning style easily. For example, maybe you love to listen to music and you learn new words from songs. That means you’re an “auditory learner”. You learn from hearing things.

But maybe you’re a “visual learner”. Visual learners remember better when there is a picture that goes with the word. For example, what is your answer to these questions: Is it easier for you to remember a word if there’s a colorful picture next to it in your textbook? When you try to remember a word, do you sometimes think of a picture? Visual learners often do these things.

Another type of learning style is “kinesthetic”. Kinesthetic learners like to have physical movements that go with new words. If there is a movement that goes with the word, you remember better. For example, maybe a phrase like “shake hands” is easy for you to remember. But a word like “contemplate” is hard.

Finally, there is the “logical” learning style. Maybe you like to have a system for learning. Logical learners really like to study root words. After you know that “bi” means “two”, “bicycle”, “bilingual”, “bifocals”, and “biceps” aren’t so difficult. When there is a method or a reason for things, then you can learn easier. Probably you like to make an exact system for learning.

There is a lot more to know about learning styles and there are more learning styles, but these are the best ones for English students. You should try to decide which style is best for you. Then, when you study, you can use some of the following ways. You will remember new words easier.

Here are some suggestions of ways to study vocabulary.

Auditory (listening)

  • Listen to songs and write down the new words. Then listen to the songs again.
  • Use sites like where you can listen to the words you want to learn. You can also listen to the words in example sentences.
  • Write dialogues with the words. Practice saying them.

Visual (seeing)

  • Draw pictures next to the new words that you want to learn.
  • Look through a magazine and find pictures that match the words you want to learn.
  • Do Google image searches for the words you want to learn and look at all the pictures that go with your words.

Kinesthetic (moving)

  • Create gestures for all of your words. Do the gestures as you walk around during the day.
  • While you exercise, repeat your new words to yourself.
  • Create an origami fortune teller with words on the inside.


  • Study all the words associated with a root word.
  • Write sentences that are very similar, but are different with just the new vocabulary word (e.g. I always eat bread. I always eat chicken. I always eat rice. etc.)
  • Learn words in groups. For example, learn all the kitchen vocabulary. Then, learn all the sports vocabulary. And so on.

June 30, 2010 - Posted by | Studying Strategies | , , ,

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