A few years back I was teaching English in Spanish school and we always used flashcards, why?
Because they worked.
Students could absorb lists of around 20 cards / words with a total time allocated of around 40 minutes. Since then I have used flashcards myself to improve my Spanish vocabulary.
How do I use flashcards to improve my IELTS vocabulary?
- Find a vocabulary pack of words and translations from English into your own language.
- Allocate around 30 minutes to memorising a pack of around 15-20 terms. This is done by going backwards and forwards through the pack until you can see the word in your own language and then instantly translate it into English (or vice versa).
- Repeat in a few hours or the next day. The key to complete long term memorisation is to review this pack daily, this is called Spaced Repetition or the Forgetting Curve.
This graph shows the effects of the Forgetting Curve, image from a good article about learning techniques: www.academytoday.co.uk/Article/the-power-of-repetition
Although Quizlet is my favourite, a simple search on Google will reveal heaps more flashcard sites.
By the way, if you do start using Quizlet and translating terms into your own language, please post links to your packs in the comments below, this will help other IELTS students.
63 IELTS Topic Specific Vocabulary Terms
The Academic Collocation List (ACL)
If you go to the Quizlet link above you will find academic word list exercises to help you learn faster. But remember to learn them in context!