The Vocabulary Grabber and Keeper


A language has two basic working components. The framework is the structure that holds the language together which includes the basic mechanics that are present in any language. These include the ability to do the following: 

1. Make affirmative statements
2. Make negative statements
3. Ask questions
4. Answer questions
5. Make exclamations
6. Give orders

These mechanics of the language are like having a car that can drive, stop, start, turn and take you to your destination. Of course you have to be able to go places with your language. But in order to start the car and go places you need fuel to power the car. Vocabulary is like the fuel that powers the car. If you have a little bit of fuel you can go a short distance but as your vocabulary grows you will be able to go much farther.

In order to learn the language you need to start acquiring vocabulary so you have something to put in the engine of the car to get you where you want to go. As you progress your vocabulary must also progress. That means you have to memorize new vocabulary words. Each word is like a puzzle piece that you will need in order to learn the whole language and be able to express yourself as you go along. You may never have all the pieces to the puzzle but you need enough to function and to enjoy. 

This memorization guide is a proven and fun way to memorize new words and never forget them. In fact you can memorize even technical and scientific vocabulary words that are difficult and very foreign to your ear and if you use the tips in this guide you will remember these words for many years. In fact you will probably never forget them. 

Before getting into the Vocabulary Memorization Guide I want to cover some traditional ways of memorizing new vocabulary words. Please check the ones you find most helpful:

1. Writing the word over and over_____________________________________________________
2. Saying the word over and over_____________________________________________________
3. Memorization through cognates____________________________________________________
4. Using the new word in a sentence__________________________________________________
5. Using colors codes______________________________________________________________
6. New words in one column; translation or meaning on another column______________________
7. Other_________________________________________________________________________

All these methods are valid and may work for you to varying degrees although they often only help you retain the new vocabulary word for a short time. I would not discourage you to use these methods but first use use the vocabulary grabber and keeper. If you need an additional boost or review you can use any of these traditional methods. I will go over the method and give some examples:


NEW WORD: PURSUE (To follow or chase)
This is the word you need to memorize and it is a completely new word for you. You know the meaning but don’t know how to remember the meaning for more than a few moments. You want to keep the word in your mind so you can use it whenever you want to.    




KEY WORD: PURSE (sounds like the word pursue)
This is the word/s you choose as a key word because it sounds like the new word. It is the key to accessing the sound and meaning of the new word




This is a mental association you make between the key word and the meaning of the new word. The sound of the key word along with the association of the meaning of then new word will trigger the sound of the new word and bring it to mind because the new word sounds like the key word. The key word is your way of accessing the pronunciation and meaning of the new word. 







When you want to use the word pursue you remember the the image of a purse which is  chasing someone so you know that the word for pursue sounds something like ‘purse’. The word purse triggers the sound of the word pursue which is what you need to remember:

He was being pursued by the purse

Once you have chosen your key word and made the association of the key word with the meaning of ‘pursue’ visualize the purse pursuing someone every time you want to review the new vocabulary word. Don’t change key words. The key word does not have to be in the language you are learning. It can be in your own language. The important thing is for the key word to ‘sound like’ the new word and for you to make an association between the key word and the meaning of the new word.