"One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilising or it will die." -Evelyn Waugh
Language skills are essential for survival; this fact cannot be disputed. We need at least one language to communicate with others, express thoughts, and understand crucial concepts in our society. A lot of people spend time maximising their mother tongue's vocabulary better to understand specific nuances, expressions, and different words.
Language experts have estimated that native English speakers know or recognise about 20,000 words; that's a lot of vocab!
Learning more about vocabulary is a lifetime endeavour that is worth the effort since the more language you know, the better you understand things and they brighter future you'll have.
But what about the vocabulary of a foreign language that you are slowly learning? Well, the same is true, the more words you recognise in another language, the more fluent you will be. Comprehension is your second, third, or fourth language is improved when vocab lists and exercises are reviewed.
Therefore, to become a better Italian speaker, a strong vocabulary is necessary. And, thankfully, you've come to the right place because, in today's article, we will examine techniques and methods about how Italian language learners can improve vocab retention.
Keep a Diary
News flash: diaries are not just for ten-year-old girls who want to keep their innermost thoughts and secrets safe from their parents! Really? Yessir! Suggested by language experts all over the world, keeping a journal or diary is recommended for language learners who want to practice writing new vocabulary words.
Therefore, to improve your Italian language skills, it is in your best interests to buy yourself a small journal to write in every day.
It is essential to state that diary entries written in Italian can be done from beginner to advanced levels, and they do not have to be pages long. A paragraph is sufficient in most cases, and if you don't have any time one day, write a well-crafted sentence.
Please take our word for it since it works. For example, some of my students who are learning English have become accustomed to writing in English in their diary every day, and their vocabulary has dramatically improved.
Suggestion: to improve your vocabulary and make new words stick, immediately try to find a way to incorporate them into your diary entries.
We want your Italian vocab to improve, so get yourself a diary and start writing ASAP!
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Use Vocabulary Lists
Although classified as archaic and useless by some education experts, I couldn't disagree more since I firmly believe in the widespread use of vocabulary lists to improve word comprehension when acquiring fluency in a foreign tongue.
Therefore, heed the advice of Superprof and find a useful vocabulary list to memorise and master Italian's most necessary words form the get-go.
But, what are some of the benefits of using a vocabulary list when studying Italian? The following list features the top reasons:
- Organised: many vocabulary lists feature 500, 1000, or 1500 of the most useful Italian words and are organised and prioritised based on their order of importance. Many learners love the organised manner of vocab lists since they contribute to making the learning process smooth and engaging. Also, vocab lists are great for visual language learners.
- Personalised: do you want to master a specific genre of Italian vocab words? Are you learning Italian for a particular reason and need to acquire unique words ASAP? Have no fear; personalised vocabulary lists are the answer! For instance, if you don't need some words, you can scratch them out of your plan and add genre-specific comments about hairdressing, engineering, or child-care education to the list. We much suggest combining two or three vocabulary lists from the internet to create one that works for you.
There you have it Italian beginners, two great reasons to incorporate Italian vocabulary lists into your daily study sessions. Trust us; you won't regret it!
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Who doesn't love games? And how do you feel about the possibility of using games to learn new languages? Pretty good, I assume! The days of studying languages in a dry and discouraging manner are long gone since old textbooks have been replaced with exciting activities and games, no matter the language.
Memory games are specifically recommended for those who are looking to improve their vocabulary skills when studying Italian.
While there are plenty of online resources featuring new and exciting games, we suggest creating games that include the topics to hone new Italian words:
- Actions and verbs,
- Jobs people have,
- Items around the house,
- Food items,
Remember, when language learning is fun and engaging, you will want to do more of it, and by extension, become fluent in Italian more quickly than you had previously anticipated.
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Label Everything You Can
Ever walk into a house when almost everything is labelled with post-it notes in a foreign language? Well, if you haven't, the people you surround yourself with are not learning a foreign tongue. And, while I'm not saying that everyone who is studying the basics of a second or third language must use sticky notes to label things to obtain more vocabulary, it much helps!
A suggestion for advanced learners and language experts, labelling household items helps beginners grasp vocabulary in a passive way that requires practically no effort.
It's vital to mention that labelling does not greatly aid intermediate or advanced students with Italian vocabulary, since they should already know the names of simple things such as furniture, food, etc.
So, for what are you waiting? Buy yourself some sticky notes next time your out and fill your house with new Italian words!
Learn More About Vocab Chunking
What comes to mind when you hear the word "chunking?" If like me, you heard it for the first time only recently, you probably are uncertain with the definition and what exactly it has to do with learning vocabulary.
Well, vocabulary chunking is a term used by language experts to learn a foreign tongue in a broader context rather than singling out every word. It can be described as taking small bits of vocabulary information and putting it together to recall one more extensive concept.
Vocabulary chunking is highly recommended for language learners who want to acquire more words efficiently.
When students in a small paragraph review vocab chunking in Italian, things such as set phrases, fixed phrases, and other linguistic groupings, condensed article, or short story. So, instead of learning new vocabulary words in Italian that students do not know how to group, chunking vocab together allows learners to acquire short phrases that can be used immediately.
Also, just FYI, vocabulary chunking can also dramatically improve an understanding of Italian grammar rules.
Of all things that help learners acquire new words in Italian, flashcards reign supreme. Why? They have countless benefits that include the following:
- Memory is Strengthened: when you look at the front side of the flashcard and start to think about what answer is written on the backside, a little something called "active recall" is activated. Active recall is necessary when learning a new language since it makes your brain try and remember the concept or word immediately rather than reviewing pointless information in a textbook. A word connection is created when an active recall is used, and new vocabulary is not likely to be forgotten any time soon.
- Confidence is Increased: don't you feel great when you get answers, right? We all do and flashcards aid learners to learn more confident since they are proven to remember words more quickly than by using other methods.
Honestly, there are not many things that are much better than flashcards when learning a new tongue, such as Italian.
Also, before concluding this section, it is essential to mention that there are excellent online resources that let students create their flashcards. Such as? Anki. Known by users as one of the best things to use to remember things quickly, Anki proves to be more efficient than traditional study methods, and much help students acquire more vocabulary in a foreign tongue.
Read the last subheading to have even more suggestions for heightening Italian vocab skills!
Hire a Professional Tutor
Last but most definitely not least is the beautiful tip to hire a private tutor when attempting to improve vocabulary in Italian or any other language for that matter.
Language tutors are like team cheerleaders since they always want to see you succeed and achieve your best.
Therefore, without hesitating any longer, we suggest finding a private online Italian tutor using the Superprof website. Our instructors are passionate about what they do, highly qualified, and offer affordable rates for all types of students.
Native Italian tutors help students acquire new vocab words in an engaging manner and provide helpful tricks to ensure new concepts are grasped.
Also, by joining the Superprof community, you are becoming one of the millions of students who care about their learning, and guess what? With the majority of tutors, the first lesson is 100% free of charge!
We hope that by reading this article you are more prepared than ever before to set out on a quest to acquire new vocabulary words in Italian!