"Give them the gift of words"

Dec
17th

The “Eyes” Have It! How Visual Learning Works

Categories: SAT Vocabulary, Vocabulary for Success, Vocabulary Improvement Tips, Vocabulary Resources |

Are you a leptosome or an acersecomic? Are you frequently montivagant or ostentiferous? We certainly hope that you haven’t been a participant in a biblioclasm, because there were probably many useful images in those texts that you could have used for your vocabulary study. The five words we’ve highlighted here have marvelous images associated with them, which you can view as illustrations done by The Project Twins as part of their A-Z of Unusual Words series. While you might not find many opportunities to use words like these in daily conversations, we’re sure that the unforgettable illustrations will help you remember the words for a long time.

Visual learning is an important aspect of many areas of study, and vocabulary building is no exception. When you add an image to a word, you’re stimulating other parts of the brain to work together and linking the speech and vision centers. When more connections are made, that reinforces the memory centers and also makes learning easier and faster. As you learn each new word, find an image that represents that word and look at it while you’re repeating the word out loud to yourself. Saying the word out loud prompts even more mental activity, and helps you learn and remember the right pronunciation, too. You might even want to draw the image yourself, which will involve the motor functions of your brain, creating even more links and connections.

Links and connections are a good way to learn about a word, and it’s helpful to write down a new word and then surround it with all of the other words related to it. This will help you understand the meaning of the word, and how it can be used. Creating a word map will teach you new words as well, and when you use these connections to create groups of words, you’ll find they’re easier to remember together than separately.

Using flash cards is a good way to bring the visual element of word study into your routine. The Vocab1 program has a function that lets you create and print your own flash cards, but you can also purchase pre-printed ones (useful if you’re studying for a specific test like the SAT) or buy a box of index cards and make your own. Don’t forget to add images to the cards to reinforce your learning. Once you have a set of cards, you can even use them to lay out a word map, grouping related words together.

What’s your favorite visual trick for learning unusual words?