Vocabulary Improvement Technique #5 - Using Imagery And Sound
Using imagery to remember words
The creation of visual images to represent words is an effective vocabulary building strategy. Of course, some words are easier to visualize than others. Generally this technique works best with words that correspond to "concrete" objects. It does not work very well with words that denote abstract concepts.
An example of a concrete object is a computer. It is easy to visualize a computer while saying the word "computer" in your head. This will enhance your memory and understanding of the word and lower the chance that you will forget it.
An example of an abstract concept is "truth." If no mental image popped into your head as soon as you read that word, don't worry – this sort of word is much harder to visualize. For that reason, we don't recommend using imagery to learn words for abstract terms and concepts. For abstract words, Other techniques covered in this course, such as elaboration, will be more useful.
As a general guide, when you read the definition of a word, try to picture it in your head. If you can easily form a picture of an object that reminds you of the word, then imagine the picture for a few seconds while saying the word to yourself. Imagery is:
- Effective for words that correspond to concrete objects.
- Not very effective for words that correspond to abstract terms and concepts
Saying the word out loud
When you learn a new word, be sure to say it aloud. Don't just say it to yourself, say it OUT LOUD with your own voice at FULL VOLUME!! This technique allows you to bring more areas of your brain into the learning process, by activating the regions responsible for vocalization and for hearing. Saying a word will add a different dimension to your learning, improving your ability to remember the word, and building your confidence so you won't hesitate when you want to use the word in conversations or in a presentation.
When you say the word aloud you should make certain that you are using the correct pronunciation. When using Ultimate Vocabulary, be sure to listen to the audio pronunciations provided for the vocabulary words in the built-in word database.