Improve your vocabulary with mind-maps

Mind maps are very useful tools to enhance your learning and creativity. But, let’s start by answering two important questions :

  1. What are mind-maps? and
  2. How can mind-maps be useful for improving your vocabulary?
  1. A mind map is a diagram that connects information around a central theme. At the centre there is your main idea and the branches are subtopics or related ideas (see Fig.1 below). This technique maps out your thoughts using keywords that trigger associations in the brain enhancing the creation of further ideas.mindmapgermanfoodvocab
    Fig. 1 Mind map – Vocabulary (
  2. Mind maps can help you develop your vocabulary proficiency by not only learning the definition of words but also making connections between words and their contexts. Mind maps also work as knowledge banks since they allow you to add links and attach files related to your vocabulary (you can, for example, add pictures or audio files for the correct pronunciation of a specific word).
Upon completion of this task you will be able to:
  • Develop your vocabulary proficiency
  • Connect words and see their relevance in different contexts
  • Organize and personalise your vocabulary

Technology required

Any mobile device (smartphone, tablet computer) and/or laptop computer, desktop.
Internet connection is required.

Material and links

  • Mindmeister  (simple mapping tool, text content only)
  • Simplemind  (allows you to create text content and add media such as videos, can be used across devices)
  • MindMup 2 (allows you to attach documents, videos, and images, can be shared for collaboration using a link, or to posted to social media)


Open Mind Meister  or Simple Mind and/or download the related app.
  1. Open one of the above tools and/or download the related app.
  2. Click on the icon indicating “Create new mind map”, you may receive prompts to help you.
  3. Create a central idea or theme, e.g. ‘food’, ‘colors’, ‘directions’, ‘clothing’, (this may be your target language).  The central idea is the starting point of your Mind Map and represents the topic you are going to explore.
  4. Add branches stemming from your central theme to represent sub-themes or related ideas.
  5. Add keywords to the sub-themes.
  6. Colour code your branches and add images and videos (if possible) to help you remember the sub-themes or strands.

What’s next  

This task can be linked to “Target language: mapping your steps
Source/attribution: Digilanguages                 Author: Silvia Benini