The Science of Vocabulary Memorization

So do these things actually work?

In short, yes, here's why...

Before you can do anything in a second language, such as read a sentence, understand a statement or have a simple conversation, you need a strong foundation of vocabulary. Think of this as a concrete foundation on which you can build your fluency.

So how do stickers placed around the home and office help with this? Most learners do what is called 'binge and purge' learning. This means they will learn a lot in a block of time but then not follow-up that good work to cement their learning. Essentially they will lose it just as fast as they gained it. 

Language stickers carefully designed and placed in high context locations facilitate what is called spaced repetition. Craig Lambert from Harvard Magazine lists 10 academic studies suggesting that spaced repetition can increase retention by up to 50%!

Linguist, Dr. Višnja Pavii Taka, in his book  Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Second Language Acquisition describes some of the most effective ways to introduce new vocabulary as:

  • translating the term into the first language
  • define the meaning
  • presentation through context
  • direct connection to real objects
  • active learner involvement in vocabulary presentation
  • phonetic transcription

Our stickers include translations, multiple forms of phonetics and learners are involved by placing them on real objects. 

Dr. Višnja Pavii Taka goes on to explain that multiple encounters with the new vocabulary and mechanical repetition are essential to locking the new vocabulary away in long-term memory. If you would like to read more on the topic, you can read Dr. Višnja Pavii Taka's book here