Today, I’m going to tell you about an incredibly helpful vocabulary-accumulation website I stumbled on a couple of months ago. I wish I could remember how I came across Memrise so that I could actually thank the person who sent me their way.
Memrise combines innovative, researched-backed strategies to help you grow long-term memories. They have thousands of courses available, everything from “Essential GRE Vocabulary” to “Basic Japanese.” As a language-service provider, I use Memrise in three ways.
- I improve my English vocabulary. I am signed up for one English vocabulary course and spend approximately five minutes, four times a week, on this course. I have certainly seen my vocabulary improve and look forward to my “Memrise time.”
- I expand my Spanish vocabulary. As I live in Canada, speak English to my husband, and well, let’s be honest, am quite surrounded by English, I have to actively work to keep my Spanish levels up. I enjoy reading, so as I read Spanish books, I make note of vocabulary words I’m unfamiliar with, I create my own Memrise course, and then I am able to review these words several times a week. I have found this to be much more effective than simply making a list of words and commit to learning them.
- I supplement my Spanish classes. I created my own courses on Memrise. Each lesson corresponds to the lessons in my Beginner’s Spanish Course. Every Memrise lesson contains 30-50 vocabulary words that are directly or indirectly taught in class. Students who have committed to using Memrise are able to see quick improvement, as class time is spent using vocabulary, rather than simply learning it.
As an interpreter, I see one other option that I have yet to explore. Because you can easily create courses on Memrise, I see enormous value in creating courses to prepare for certain events, settings, or contexts. For beginner interpreters, creating courses with key medical or legal terminology would ensure those words flow off the tip of your tongue easily. For any interpreter, however, creating a course a week or two before an event with the specific terminology and then committing to 5-10 minutes daily would be excellent practice for events.
So, are you sold? Sign up for free. Take a course. Make a course. Oh, and guess what? They even have an app.