Memrise

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Learn — no, grow — new vocabulary with Memrise. You can use it to brush up your English vocabulary, as well as your Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese … and the list goes on. There is also a course to learn the U.S. government’s cabinet members, for example, or famous court cases. Good for budding law students!

The website and apps are fun to use and remind you periodically to “water” your newly “grown” vocabulary so that it doesn’t wilt (so you don’t forget the words). It’s a very apt metaphor for language learning, and

Once you get started, your home page will have a list of the courses you’re taking. Here’s an example:

Memrise top page

You can take as many courses as you want, but only three will be “pinned” for easy access.

There are many great things on the site/apps, including the “mems” to help you remember. Here are a few sample “mems”. And once you get the hang of it, you can create your own.

For learning English vocabulary:

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For learning kanji characters:

For helping you to remember the difference in spelling between the English “English” and the German “Englisch”

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You do have to sign up (with e-mail or Facebook), and then the site and apps are both pretty self-explanatory: choose the courses you want (and delete them if they’re not useful), and then get to “growing” your language. You can make it as social as you want, by following other people. And you can make it as passive or active as you want — more active if you start creating your own “mems” to help you remember words and to share with other people. When you get the hang of it, you can even start creating your own courses. After all, the best way to learn is to teach!

We’ll do a tutorial on this in class if there’s enough interest. Otherwise, try this WikiHow to help get you started.

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