Früher Englisch & Sport am Gymnasium - Jetzt nur noch Tango!

Liebenswürdige Tipps

Eve­lyn* Rei­ter gehört zu den Schüler/innen in mei­nem LK, die beson­ders gro­ße Fort­schrit­te vor allem im Bereich Wort­schatz gemacht haben. Ich habe sie mal gefragt, WIE sie das macht. Hier ihre Tipps:

I read a lot of Eng­lish stuff, most­ly novels and the New York Times. Some­ti­mes I go to Hugen­du­bel and brow­se through inte­res­t­ing sound­ing books. When I see a word again and again which I don’t know, or if I like the sound of a word which I never heard or read befo­re, I look it up and wri­te it down in my pri­va­te “Voka­bel­heft”. I revi­se the words I have coll­ec­ted regu­lar­ly and try to remem­ber the con­text. After some time I get used to them and they are no lon­ger „new“ words.

When I use or read a nice col­lo­ca­ti­on or meta­phor in Ger­man, I often ask mys­elf: “What would I say in Eng­lish?” Then I go to Lin­guee and try to find the equi­va­lent in Eng­lish and check the result in the LDOCE. For exam­p­le: buz­zing with exci­te­ment – in hel­ler Auf­re­gung. I wri­te that down in my exer­cise book, too.

Unless it’s a col­lo­ca­ti­on I wri­te only the Eng­lish word and the Ger­man trans­la­ti­on. I also look up other words from the same word fami­ly; e. g. to mis­judge, a mis­judgment. And I wri­te down the pho­ne­tic tran­scrip­ti­on unless I’m total­ly sure how to pro­no­un­ce it.

The­re are two reasons why I think the con­text is most­ly super­fluous. A lot of words don’t need any con­text, like honey­moon or con­spi­ra­cy. In other cases I just remem­ber the con­text, espe­ci­al­ly when I have the word from a novel or a movie. As soon as I revi­se my vocab, the who­le con­text or sce­ne comes to my mind. I can remem­ber the con­text of a word from novels I read three years ago. Alt­hough I have never writ­ten it down, it’s like an invi­si­ble addi­tio­nal vocab to the word I’m learning.

It’s not that easy with vocab from the New York Times. When I don’t remem­ber the sen­tence and I think I need it to memo­ri­ze the word bet­ter or to under­stand in which con­text to use it, I look it up. The­r­e­fo­re I keep all the New York Times supplements.

I also watch CNN some­ti­mes and DVDs in Eng­lish. To lis­ten to clear Eng­lish helps me a lot.

* Der Name Eve­ly­ne stammt aus dem Kel­ti­schen und bedeu­tet „die Liebenswürdige“. 


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  1. Alperen Sentürk

    Thank you for the­se tips.

  2. Elena Tittmann

    Hel­lo Eve­lyn Reiter,
    I like your method of lear­ning new words. I find it also important to learn words in conec­tion and the webs­ides are new for me and I think I will use this webs­ides in the future.
    thank you 🙂

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