#8 How this #1 time-sucking device can turn out to be your #1 ally in language learning

May 10, 2021


It always puzzles me when I see how paper-based today’s language education remains. I mean, we’re in the era of technology. We got iPhones or whatever smartphones that you use. You can use them in many different ways than just being on social. Um… Like what?

Hello, have we met? Language learning, of course!

One of the ways I use these electronic gadgets is to overcome my vocab overwhelm. If you’re learning a language, you must have been through this like I did. That moment when a word is on the tip of your tongue, but somehow you just can’t remember it.

If this describes you well, this episode is for you.


In this episode, you’ll learn:


  • One mentality shift to deal with your vocab overwhelm for good
  • How modern technology helps you retrieve what you’ve learned, FASTER
  • How to use hashtags in efficiently organize your vocabulary


If you like this episode, please share it and rate it five star. Not only will it make me happy, it also helps more people get to listen to this episode and transform their language learning.



[00:00:00] I know that feeling. I know how frustrating it is to find yourself forgetting most of the vocabulary words you learned the day before. While we can't force our brain to remember every word we shove into, we can, however, make it easily retrievable with the help of modern technology. 


[00:00:20] Hi, I'm That Language Guy. I'm a language nerd with over two decades of language learning experience under my belt. I've also been working in a language service industry for nearly 20 years. After my decade long career as a translator and language instructor, I want to create a community of language aficionados like you. That's why I created this podcast, The Language DriveThru, where I provide you with weekly dose of language learning advice and bite-sized chunks. So if you're passionate about language learning, you're in the right place. Now sit tight and get ready for a weekly language learning delight right here in the Language DriveThru. 


[00:01:04] Hey, there, language nerd. Welcome to the Language DriveThru. I'm That Language Guy. If you haven't already, subscribe to our podcast channel so you can get a fresh dose of language learning advice every Tuesday. 


[00:01:18] So back then, while I was teaching at an adult language learning institute, one of the most often heard complaints from my students was: "I keep forgetting words. I just learned there's no way I can keep those elusive words in my brain. What can I do?"


[00:01:32] I think one of the reasons is that we're exposed to so many accomplished language learners today that we mistakenly think that vocabulary acquisition is linear and it is easy and normal to remember all of them overnight. But actually it is not quite. So today I'm going to talk about how to retain as many words in your brain as possible. 


[00:01:58] And before I do that, you have to accept the fact that human brains tend to forget things. And based on that very fact, how can you work around it? And that's right, you don't want to assume that you will remember everything you've learned because that's simply not possible. So what you can do, is you can make good use of modern technology and make the words you've learned easily searchable whenever you need them. 


[00:02:26] And how do you do that? Well, it's very easy. You can use any notebook app in your mobile device, such as Evernote or One Note or any systems that come with a powerful search engine. And if the app you're using comes with a hash tag function, it's even better because that can allow you to organize your words according to parts of speech, scenes or any other categories you need. And that will make it even easier for you to retrieve them when you need them. 


[00:02:59] For example, you can categorize the words using hash tags indicating parts of speech, such as transitive verbs, intransitive verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. and you could even categorize the words by the dates you create them. For example, you can use the hashtag May 3rd on every word you created on that day. And when you want to review or retrieve the words that you created on May 3rd, you can simply find a hashtag "May 3rd" and all the words will pop up. 


[00:03:33] Using hash tags for different themes are also very useful. For example, you can categorize words that are related to certain sports, current affairs or any other topics that you see fit. You can review them as a group and that will help you retain words a lot easier. 


[00:03:52] So to sum up, when you accept the fact that you can't possibly remember everything you've learned and you try to rely on technology to help you overcome that, everything will be a lot easier. 


[00:04:06] Now, over to you. Is vocabulary building one of your pain points? How do you cope with that? Share with us any comment down below. So did you like this episode? If you do read it and share it so more people can get to listen to it. And don't forget to come on over to my website, thatlanguageguy.com, and subscribe to my email list, where you get a weekly dose of language learning ideas and occasional heart-to-heart in your inbox. That's thatlanguageguy.com. And that's it for this episode of the Language DriveThru. I'll catch you next time. 

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