How to study vocabulary
Vocabulary is important.
You need to learn more and more vocabulary, so you can understand when you listen, read, speak, and write.
There is nothing wrong with memorizing lists of vocabulary words.
However, memorizing lists of words is not productive if you memorize the wrong lists or if you do not listen and read.
Memorizing words is almost useless if you do not later read or hear these same words again.
We recommend that you be sure you have the right book to memorize words from. These words should be lists of high frequency words, the words you will hear most often and see most often.
Other ways to select words are to keep a notebook and write down new words. You may be better off writing down words that you hear often. You probably don’t want to put more than 10 new words in your notebook a day. If you are a beginning or intermediate student, you should focus on frequent words, not words that you hear occasionally.
What else can you do to learn vocabulary words besides memorize lists of words?
We suggest the following:
1. Study the words in NHK textbooks. We recommend them. The textbooks are reasonably priced and cover the basics.
2. If you hear or see words over and over again, look them up in the dictionary.
3. For advanced listening, listen to the news in English without subtitles. Write down new words you do not know. If you have trouble finding the words because you cannot spell them, make a note of what you think the spelling is. Set the unknown words aside. You may hear them again.
4. Set time aside each and every day to study vocabulary.