Memorising Vocab (Tricks)

How to memorize 80 words per week and vocab

Hey guys, and welcome to today’s little short video on vocabulary. So if you’ve read the title, right? Guess you guys didn’t read it right? It’s about how to memorize 80 words per week and vocab. So I know, that’s a really bold claim, and I hope I’ll be able to actually deliver upon that. So, one of the biggest questions that I get asked by parents is often, you know, Steven, how do I go about, you know, encouraging my child or making them, you know, memorize vocab, right? What are some tips? What are some strategies? How do I go about doing that? Because often what happens is parents complain about how their kids you know, once they learn a word, they often forget it, or they could learn two words, and they remember one and they forget the other. And often what ends up happening is it’s kind of a leaking tap situation, when, whenever you try to memorize more and more words, you also leak many, many ones, right. And so today, what I want to do is I want to introduce some pretty profound techniques, these are techniques that I’ve used myself personally, to help me through law school, as well, as you know, help, of course, all of my kids get through the OC & selective exams and develop them to a very, very high level of vocab. Because if you guys have seen any of the writing samples in the Facebook group, you would have a pretty good idea of, you know, the kind of standard of vocab that we, we expect.

Now, there are many different ways to develop vocab. You know, obviously, you can write sentences you can include in your writing, I’m not going to talk about that kind of method today. Today, I’m going to focus on mnemonics, okay? So, mnemonics are a very special type of memory tool. And they’re especially useful for memorizing very large, vocab lists. Okay, and that’s going to be the primary focus today. All of this is scientifically backed, right. So, you know, there are memory grandmasters, you know, that I’ll be quoting and alluding to throughout this. So all of this works. And if you, you know, if you’re unclear about any of that, then you can definitely ask me any questions at the very end , right. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy this presentation. And let’s jump right in.

Why vocab is important in writing

So I think first of all talk about why vocab is important. So I think right now, you know, obviously, there are many of you who don’t really understand the importance of vocab you guys like I have outcomes, whatever, it’s not the most important thing. However, vocab is actually one of the most instrumental things when it comes to performing well, in selective and OC Exams. And I’ll explain why. Because when you think about it, thinking skills is now highly English based reading branches, obviously English based, and you have writing right in the selective. So, you know, vocab is essentially important is critically important to perform well, and not only the reading comprehension section, but it’s also critically important for the writing section as well. And I’ll talk more about, you know, why vocab is extremely like the most important thing in writing and a little bit, but it’s critical that you have really good vocab now, what I often see happening is that parents will go into a situation where they’ll kind of memorize a couple of words here and there. And because it ends up becoming too difficult for them, they’ll basically just stop, right, and they want you to push the child further up, because it’s obviously not working.

Now, you guys, There is no shortage of vocab lists out there, right? Like, there are so many vocab lists out there. It’s not even funny you guys go online, you can find, you know, vocab lists for to full, OC selective, whatever. And so the issue is not really the vocab list, the issue is more the way that you go about memorizing that vocab. Okay? Now, I can’t say that all my kids routinely memorize 80 words a week. But I definitely say that the majority of the top kids that I teach, memorize at once a week, and it shows profound results in terms of how they perform in, you know, weekly child, two kids with strong vocab always do better than the kids with weaker vocab. Okay? Obviously, there are other, you know, things involved, but it’s almost like, you know, if you want to be a rugby player, then you need to be strong, right? True agility matters. True. There are other things like technique and whatnot. But the crux of it is you need to be strong, right? And that’s what vocab is it’s kind of like that, that inner strength that you have and that potential that you have to be able to understand understand different things. So let’s jump right into the technique that I’m going to show you guys today and why it’s important.

The analogy of the Anchor technique

So like I said, most of you forget what as quickly as you remember, you develop kind of learned helplessness If you do not learn new words, or minimal words, and you have lightened up now, today, the strategy I’m gonna show you is something called mnemonics. And the easiest way to understand this is just understanding the analogy of the anchor. Okay? So, oftentimes what happens is when kids read, or when kids try to memorize different words, they’re not, they’re basically just memorizing the word and the definition. Okay, so that’s most kids, right? Most kids will go out of their way. And they’ll basically just memorize the word. And they’ll memorize the definition, which is a terrible way to go about learning things, right? So they basically look at the word, look at the definition, look at the word look at the definition, and they try to kind of hustle, you know, that definition into their mind. 

The difference between that method, and the method that I’m gonna show you is that what we do with anchors, is we basically, we anchor new words to old words. So instead of learning a completely new word, what we do through the technique of mnemonics, and through the techniques of anchoring is you basically, you’re attaching a new piece of knowledge to an old piece of knowledge, which obviously makes the number one more memorable. And number two, right, it’s not like you’re learning something 100% new. So even even like, you will notice the best teachers in the world do this, right? They, you know, when they teach, they try to teach through stories, they try to teach new concepts by relating to your past experiences. And that’s exactly what anchoring is all about. Right? Anchoring is about taking a new word, finding something in that word that reminds you of an old word. And through that process, you basically attach these new memories to old memories, and they just compound and they build upon each other. Right? This has been the only technique by the way that I’ve come across in my, you know, the last seven, eight years, right, that I’ve seen really stick with kids. And it really makes it memorable.

Mnemonics and the importance of making words memorable

So the problem with, you know, the problem with the traditional method of just looking at the word and look at the definition, looking at the word, look at the definition, it doesn’t stick, you know what I mean? It’s not memorable, right? There’s nothing to attach it to, right? So, you know, through the use of technique, through the use of mnemonics. You know, what we can ensure is we can ensure that the words become memorable, and we can make sure that they stick now, you guys might be like, well, Steven, you know, what is the scientific? You know, it was a science back that so it was a really good book by Joshua for follow up, right? It’s called Moonwalking with Einstein. And he basically extrapolates you know, the whole, the whole notion of memory, right? He talks about how, you know, memory grandmasters people who are able to memorize, you know, entire decks of cards, how they go about doing it. And the way that they go about memorizing these things, is in a very imaginative way. He talks a lot about mnemonics and the importance of mnemonics. 

But you know, let’s say for example, if you’re trying to memorize something really difficult, like for example, some of these guys try to memorize, you know, entire pack of cards, like 52 causes the order of those cards in, like, in like a minute, you know what I mean? It’s ridiculous, right? So the only way that you’re gonna memorize that is not by one to four, Jack, Queen, whatever. You know, the only way that you can go about memorizing that is by painting, kind of almost like a picture. And again, attaching it to something a little bit more imaginative, and a little bit more memorable. So one thing that I want to say, and this is something that I stress a lot in my classes is choose anchors, which are memorable. Now, let me show you guys how to actually do this. And I’m going to give you guys some, some really nice tools that will be extremely beneficial for your kids. And so you know, obviously, if you’re watching this video right now, great, if you’re watching this later, again, make sure that you let your kids watch this video as well.

Nonchalant vs. Nonchalant

Okay, so you need to make the vocab memorable. If the vocab is not memorable, then they’re not going to remember it. Okay, I think that’s simple enough. And yet so many people, I’d say 99% of kids have no idea what they’re doing. So let’s just go to a vocab list that I have assigned on my website. So this came out in the Facebook group just recently. And this is just like, probably 1% of you know what we go through and vocab, you know, every single time it’s scaly, but nonetheless, let’s just go through it right now. So we have the word nonchalant, okay. And nonchalant just means when someone is, you know, overly casual, indifferent, they don’t really care about a certain situation very much, very much. That’s when they’re non chalant. Now, the first thing that I’ll I would ask my kids to do is try to find a word within nonchalant, right, or try to find almost like a snippet of a word within nonchalant that reminds you of another word. 

Now, the first one that I think of his challenge, okay, so I see the word chale, and I think of challenge. Right? And so, I think of and then I put in the prefix which is non. And I think, or someone who’s nonchalant, someone who’s indifferent or casual or unconcerned is not going to be too fussed by a challenge. Right? So in other words, you just memorize those two words not challenge, or no challenge. Does that make sense? Now you guys might be like, well suited. How did you figure that out? So sometimes, you know, most of the time, I figured this out by myself. And I understand, you know, a lot of parents can be like, well, Steven, how do you find these anchors? Where do you go about finding these anchors, and again, it’s just use Google. So there’s a really good website called mnemonics mnemonic. Right, which is about nonchalant. And so you can type in whatever your word you want here, and it says right here nonchalantly gives you the definition. It’s just saying, you know, when you’re unconcerned, it gives you a whole bunch of sentences. But more importantly, it actually gives you some memory aid. Some mnemonic so nonchalant seems similar, like nine challenge, if there is no challenge, life is calm and relaxed and carefree

Breaking down the word “nostalgia”

There we go. Okay, and you can apply this formula for the rest of it. Okay, so then we have something like nostalgia. Okay, so we’ll go through this one as well. And I’ll show you guys same technique. So you break down the word nostalgia, nostalgia just means longing for the past, like longing for something in the past. Okay, so when you’re nostalgic, you’re generally wanting something that you might have had in the past, right? So maybe even a static for your childhood, you know, you know, when you’re running through the fields, and when you were running through the parks, or when you’re running through something right. Now, my what advice to parents is, that should always encourage your kids to make their own anchors, ask them to make their own anchors, right. And there’s a skill in making anchors as well. But more importantly, make these anchors and make them memorable. So the weird up. And the Wakiya, they become the actual, like, like actually becomes more memorable. 

So I remember as a kid, I used to come up with the weirdest kind of anchors, but I would just remember the words because, you know, they were just so memorable. So likewise, in this case, nostalgic, I think of nostrils. Right. So I think of you know, when someone’s nostalgic, oftentimes a crying and so sometimes said nostrils will start flaring up. Right. So that’s the way that I think about that. Now, again, you can type in the word, nostalgic. Yeah. And everyone’s different, right. So some people are going to have different versions of nostalgia to other people. Now, the example that they have here is tragic. Right. That, you know, obviously, something nostalgic, you know, is rather sad, rather saddening. And that’s exactly like what something tragic is, right. So, when something tragic happens, it’s really bad, makes you really, really upset. 

Now, the only issue with using a word like that using like tragic using one of these mnemonic dictionaries, is that sometimes you’ll have words that the kids don’t know. Okay, so always try to kind of encourage them to find as many anchors as they can within this word, right. The other one that I see in the South Asia is stale, right. So generally, when something is stale, it’s old, right? It’s from the past, right? So, you know, you can write down the word stale, and you think, Okay, well, I’m nostalgic. I’m thinking, I’m longing for, you know, bread of the past threat. I’m longing for, you know, the my grandfather clock from the past, and it might be a really, really stale, I’m longing to be in my grandmother’s kind of room. Right? And, you know, there might have been a real a lot of really stale air there. Okay. So again, stale means old, nostalgia, economy’s longing for something that’s old, right? Some something from the past. And you will just continue to go through these kind of things.

Memorizing vocab every single day

This is kind of like the first step. And every single every single day, every single week. You don’t need it too, too much, right? So you don’t need to go too crazy with this, all you really need is you need to memorize like, you know, our old say, to be proficient, and if you’re just starting out, you need to memorize at least 70 words a week, okay? That’s like bare minimum. You know, if you want to do like, well, and again, it just depends on where you’re starting from. So if you kids been reading books, and you know, they’ve been developing their vocab their whole life, right, and be reading, like difficult books, you know, then they’ll be fine. But if your kids just starting out, they’ve had no experience whatsoever. And, you know, you want them to excel and OC and selective and later on, let’s say you want to do scholarship exams, they need an incredible vocabulary. And it’s developed through a multitude of things.

Why not go directly?

Often parents asked me, you know, what do I do? Do I read books? So I do this. So I do that? Do I do whatever? And I tell them Look, the best way to do something is just to go directly and do it. Right, like some parents talk about, and I’m gonna go on a bit of a tangent. Some people think that playing musical instruments makes you intelligent. Well, wouldn’t it be better if you just read books and, and did math like that would make you a lot smarter in that regard than playing music, right? So don’t go through things in an indirect fashion. Again, reading books will indirectly benefit your vocab. Okay? It does benefit vocab for kids who are very curious and very intuitive. But for the majority of kids, what should they do? They should memorize vocabulary, right? 

Because that’s the most direct and tangible way of increasing the vocab. Instead of going through some alleyways, some indirect way and doing this and that, making them read the news, like reading the news, and reading books, and doing all that kind of stuff is glorious, it’s great. But it doesn’t stop the fact that you still need to memorize these words. And why not go directly? You’re not I mean, it’s like playing basketball will make you you know, jump High, playing basketball, a boy is gonna, you know, help you become more athletic. Well, what about if you just sit athletic strips, what about if you just jumped every single day for 100 tops, right, it’d be a lot more beneficial. So make sure that when you’re going to do things, do things in more of direct manner, from my experience, you know, if you take a relatively untrained kid, and you want to get them into a top 10 OC, or you want to get them into a top 10, selective, or even scholarship, they need these performance enhancers, you know what I mean? So when I talk about vocab vocab is almost like that performance enhancer. And the only way that they’re going to develop it is if they get these words, and they use them directly

Finding the time to write

The other thing that I want to say is that, you know, a lot of parents, you know, have seen, you know, some of the writing pieces that I’ve given out, you know, all of our kids are very, very strong writing at scholarly. And the main reason behind that is we use vocab, right? We use really difficult vocab words, sometimes we’ve got a complaint set, oh, yeah, this, you know, this year, five kids sounds like they’re in year 10, or year 11, and year 12. And people get really, really mad about it. Again, like sometimes, yeah, true, our kids might misuse words. But we obviously use process of structuring sentences correct that, but more importantly, the only way that you’re gonna be able to differentiate your writing piece from everybody else is through the use of vocab. Okay? It’s not through the use of like anything else, right? It’s through the use of Vocab, even if you’re gonna use figurative language, metaphors, similes, whatever, you still need strong vocab, you can’t be writing, he ran as fast as a cheetah, right? That’s not a juicy sentence. And so that’s one thing that parents really need to realize. 

So it’s important you’re writing it’s important and thinking skills, a lot thinking skills are becoming increasingly, you know, comprehension based, almost similar to the main idea questions now. So if you don’t understand the passage, then you’re not going to be able to do well. The last thing that I want to say is, find the time, you know, is what I say time is so important. You know, you need to find the time because if you’re just doing vocab, you know, two times a week or one time a week, you you shouldn’t be doing that anyway, right? I’ll put a graph later on, in the group and you know, through email, but basically, if you’re not spending, you know, it’s not a daily thing, it’s not going to work, right, because vocab, if you don’t, if you memorize a new word, and then you start memorizing new words, what will happen is you’ll kind of forget things very, very quickly. And so you need that daily inbuilt routine to make sure that you get it right. If not, then you will basically, you know, not remember anything, and you might as well just not do it. 

So what I would highly suggest is at least 30 minutes every single day, bare minimum, right? So 15 minutes, right before you go 15 minutes, when you wake up 15 minutes when you go right before you go to sleep, that’s generally the best time to memorize things. And then the other thing that I want to say is, you know, if you’re really, really good, then you’ll spend about an hour a day memorizing vocab. Okay? So that’s my opinion. Again, reading books is great. But reading books is more of a long term strategy. You know what I mean? If you’re looking to do something like, Oh, son, you got like a year, you don’t really have that much time to read books, you know, I mean, of course, still reading is extremely important. But if you want to develop vocab for the standardized tests, you kind of need to do that in a more direct targeted fashion. Okay, thanks. If you have any questions, please let me know. That’s it for me today. Thanks, guys. And I’ll see you guys very soon. Bye. Bye.

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