"Vocabulary enables us to interpret and express. If you have a limited vocabulary, you will also have a limited vision and a limited future." -Jim Rohn

A strong vocabulary impresses greatly and causes a person to be taken much more seriously in virtual meetings, special events, and even everyday conversations with friends. A great choice of words can open up endless opportunities, and reviewing new vocabulary can provide a gratifying learning experience.

Nonetheless, although it's important to mention that acquiring new vocabulary words in your mother tongue can become an endless adventure, there is such joy in developing new comments from a foreign language. Why's that? To speak with new people from distinct lands and create friendships that can last a lifetime.

But, how does one learn new vocabulary words successfully in a foreign tongue such as French, Spanish or Italian? 

Well, have no fear, Superprof is here to save the day and provide suggestions that will stick! Important ideas such as vocab lists, flashcards, vocabulary chunking, and memory games are some of the brilliant tips to aid all types of learners maximise their vocab retention of the enchanting French language. Are you ready?

Vocab Lists

writing down words
Vocab lists are fantastic for remembering specific words. (Source: Unsplash)

Rejected and viewed as ineffective by some education experts, vocab lists have existed since languages were studied in an academic setting, and they merit special consideration for their practicality and functional manner. What are the benefits of using vocabulary lists to assimilate new words in French? The following are some bulletproof reasons to use a vocab list ASAP:

  • Organised: with various resources claiming that 500-1000 words are needed to have a base level of fluency in languages such as English, French, Spanish, and Italian, organisation skills are necessary to make sure the learning process is smooth as it is engaging. So, it's nice to have a list of vocabulary words in their order of importance to keep the learning process organised or else things could turn into quite the mess! Having a physical inventory, that isn't just digital, means you can also cross out the words you know as you acquire them.
  • Personalised: even though the majority of French vocabulary lists come already made, that doesn't mean you can't customise them and make them your own. A crucial step to developing a new foundation of vocabulary words in French resides in the fact that students must add comments that personally relates to their situation in life. For example, add words to the list that involve places, people, and things that are important to you. It is recommended that French learners can browse already made vocabulary lists and add words that best suit them.
  • Digital: some might argue that physical copies are much better than digital, yet is that true? Whether you prefer physical over digital, we are living in the digital age; and there may be a lot more advantages to using digital vocabulary lists such as images and audio recordings to help students with vocabulary recall. It is essential to students not only see their new French words but hear how they sound from the beginning to avoid pronunciation problems that become deep-rooted.

There you have it; three excellent reasons are showing how important it is to use vocabulary lists when mastering the basics of the French language. Disagree with me? Let's have a friendly debate in the comment section below!

Flashcards

Flashy flashcards! Should I use them?

Of all the tips, tricks, and resources that help students acquire more French vocabulary, flashcards reign supreme and might be simply the best. Why? Flashcards have a wide range of benefits that include the following two reasons:

  • Active Recall is Activated: by looking at the front side of a flashcard and thinking about the answer, you are involved in something known as "active recall." What's that? Well, for instance, active recall helps you visualise the concept and deliberately makes you remember it instead of just staring at a page in your textbook with the answer staring at you. Scientists have proven that active recall turns on the neurons and causes you to create a connection that is not forgotten very quickly.
  • Confidence is Heightened: by frequently analysing flashcards to improve vocabulary words, not only are new concepts learnt but something known as confidence-based repetition is heightened, which is scientifically proven to ameliorate memory performance. And when you remember things correctly, you build confidence in yourself and your power to get things done!

Honestly, when you want to learn new concepts, words, or ideas quickly and effectively, there is almost nothing better than flashcards, and that is why many education companies create some digital ones that can be customised online.

For example, Anki is a well-known online resource that is consistently used by university and secondary school students to study for exams. Nevertheless, Anki can be utilised by language learners to master necessary words of French since it is easy to use in your daily life and extremely interactive for all types of users. Check it out because rest assured we would never suggest something that wasn't useful!

Vocabulary Chunking

learning French and its words
Do you want to recognise what this means? Continue to show effort and acquire new French vocabulary words. (Source: Unsplash)

WHAT? Have you ever heard the term "chunking vocabulary?" If so, you are one of the few people that have, and if not, you are in for a real treat! Chunking vocabulary is a term used for learning a language in context instead of singling things out word by word.

Chunking can essentially be described as taking very small bits of information, and putting them together so that one larger thing can be recalled. 

During these chunks of vocabulary, things such as set phrases, fixed phrases, and other linguistic groupings are reviewed to help students learn the wording of a foreign tongue more entertainingly. 

Vocabulary chunking is for those who are sick of seeing long lists of "essential" French vocabulary and want to learn new words quickly in the form of writing or reading a short story or paragraph. So instead of justing knowing various vocabulary words, chunking allows learners to remember short French phrases that will drastically help during conversations.

Memory Games

Do you love games as much as I do? Does the mere thought of using games to grasp French vocabulary words float your boat? We sure hope so, because various language geniuses have proven that taking part in games is a brilliant way to hone new French vocabulary and remember it for the future.

Introducing games that touch on the following topics will improve French vocab:

  • Actions,
  • Animals,
  • Occupations,
  • Household items,
  • Things you find at a grocery store,
  • Plants,
  • Fruits and veggies,
  • Verbs.

There are many memory or concentration games available online that can be played by yourself or with other passionate French learners.

Label, Label, Label

learning French
If you truly stick to learning French you'll be fluent and able to engage in everyday conversations at cafes. (Source: Unsplash)

Have you ever seen the house of a dedicated language learner? Well, I have, and it looks like a pack of sticky notes blew up all over the walls, appliances, and furniture! Why is that?

As a suggestion from advanced language experts, it is a brilliant idea to have sticky notes attached to things around the house in the tongue you are learning to enhance vocabulary skills in a very passive way. 

When learning Spanish, I stuck post-it notes on all my appliances, furniture pieces, and additional items around the house. Did it help? I genuinely believe it did. Also, my sister actively applied this suggestion when she was learning Thai, and she thought it heightened her understanding of recognising basic household things.

Personalised Assistance With a Tutor

Of all the suggestions you may hear while learning French and trust me, you will listen to a lot, one of the best tips is that of hiring a personal tutor to aid with vocabulary retention. Professional language tutors have studied and taken courses to make foreign language acquisition an engaging and rewarding experience for their students.

Also, tutors easily recognise the troubles someone might have with learning French; therefore, they include special tricks to grasp vocabulary quickly.

As an avid language learner who is always looking to acquire another foreign tongue, I extensively suggest shopping around to find a private tutor that you will stick with and thoroughly enjoy. When you land a qualified and experienced French tutor, the entire training process is heightened.

But where does one find one of these beautiful French tutors? Easy, look no further than Superprof! With more than 1500 French language tutors available in the London-area alone, first-time Superprof users are guaranteed to find a French online educator that will help them have a masterful vocabulary.

French instructors on Superprof offer one-to-one lessons at affordable prices. Also, since classes are conducted online via videoconferencing to keep everyone safe from the novel coronavirus, you can learn from the comfort of your home at a time that best suits your busy schedule.

In conclusion, we sincerely hope that the advice in today's lesson will help you to learn new vocabulary words in French and keep them to acquire fluency in no time. Keep up the excellent work, and you'll be chatting away fearlessly with Parisians at your favourite cafe!

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Daniel

A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.