This advice is based on my experience of both – a language student and a language teacher.
To learn isolated words is usually a waste of your time.
Our brain has to go through tons of informations and when it decides during our sleep what informations to keep and what informations to throw away, it distinguishes if the information is or isn’t connected to something.
The more connections to something else, the more relevant, the more likely to be remembered.
When you learn a word in a sentence, you create a connection to other words and to some situation (and as a side effect you get used to grammatical structures.)
From my experience – every time I want to help my students with recalling particular word, I remind them of the sentence where they encountered it. It always helps!
That’s why there are about 2000 useful sentences with TOP QUALITY AUDIO on chineseffect.com.
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Hope this advice will help you get further!
And if you want to know more on the subject, there is a perfect book on the market: BRAIN RULES