English vocabulary

Recording English vocabulary

Think about how you record your English vocabulary….

Do you just write down new words as you hear them and then struggle to find them again when you need them? Is your vocabulary in a messy A-Z book? Is it difficult to remember how to use the words?


try grouping words and phrases which are connected by meaning. Look at my example below (phrases to talk about evening activities) and notice how it is recorded.

recording English vocabulary
  • It shows that the same verb (go) can be used in lots of ways.
  • Prepositions (e.g. for), articles (e.g. the) and word endings (e.g. ing) are underlined to make me notice the differences in each phrase.
  • Opposites are noted (stay in # go out) to extend my vocabulary set
  • Alternatives are recorded (TV / telly) to give me variety in my speaking
  • A real situation is added – In my example I have decided that evening activities are usually used for inviting people or talking about plans
  • Grammatical structures are noted so I know how to use this structure with other verbs (Do you fancy + ing?)
  • Natural examples are written down in full sentences (I feel like just staying in and watching telly)
  • Highlighters are used for my favourite phrases that I want to try and use in real life

These 8 mini techniques will make your vocabulary notebook sooooo much more useful!


What do you think of these ideas for recording English vocabulary?

If you like the idea, buy a notebook today and start recording your English vocabulary like this.  It will help you extend your vocabulary set, help you easily find and remember words and help you produce lovely full sentences! Let me know if it works for you by commenting below 🙂

Published by


Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

11 thoughts on “Recording English vocabulary

  1. Wonderful suggestion, I’m going to use it at school with my classes.

    1. That’s great Laura! I hope your students find it useful. Thank you for the feedback 😊

  2. Wooowww Nicky, l’m so glad about your Tricks and advices, i don’t want to lose time and i start to work on it. Thanks for sharing your marvelous acknowlage and experience, they are very useful for us. Take care and God bless you. Keep in touch!!

    1. Ah thank you for your kind words Jimy. I’m so glad that you are staying motivated and using my lessons! It’s always great to get your feedback and comments 🙂

  3. Hello teacher, I think your tips work very well and i shall use them in themes on topics.For example : at the bank, at the airport, and as you show “evening activity” and so on.
    I am from Bulgaria and live in Plovdiv. May be you know that this is a 5th ancient vibrantly town in the world and in 2019 it will be the Culture Capital in Europe together with italian town Matera. Opening ceremony will be in 11-13.01.2019. I would like to invite you to come to Plovdiv and see me and Plovdiv. I promise i shall improve my engish till january.
    I am sorry i could not hear your voice because i was listening to another program at this moment.

    1. I’m so happy that these tips are working for you Kalinka – you’re right, they can be used with all your sets of vocabulary.
      It’s great to hear more about Plovdiv too. I actually remember an email you sent me about it becoming the culture capital next year, you must be very pleased about that
      I already have travel plans for next year but it’s sweet of you to invite me! I hope you keep it as an incentive to continue improving your English as you’re bound to have lots of English tourists there! Nicki

    1. Great to hear! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  4. Hi Nicki, hope you are well. Your provided techniques are coming in use in my life effectively. I’m trying my best to improve my potentiality to get English proficiency vigorously. Please keep me in your prayer & stay in touch. Take care of your health.

    1. I’m so pleased you are finding these techniques useful Kumed! It sounds like you are working very hard so I wish you lots of luck with your English. You will get there!

      1. Thanks a lot & pray for me. For your good health.

Leave a comment and Nicki will personally reply (your email address won't be shown)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.