Memory Techniques, Real-Time
Applying images is a two-fold process, in which I apply first to the SOUND of the word and then find an image for the MEANING of the word. For example, the word brotpai in Thai means safe, or safely. I first visualized an image of a hand, carrying a PIE... then I connected the image of safely. "He brotpai, safely!"
Your conscious mind may balk, with a sneer something like, "Oh, that is so childish!" but believe me, your subconscious mind loves wordplay like that, loves jokes and loves bizarre imagery, even risque or 'dirty'... the more warped and exaggerated the imagery, the easier it is to remember! Conversely, trying to memorize a list of words without some kind of imagery or memory-hooks is extremely difficult.
After applying images, use semantic mapping, where you plot the word on an imaginary map (or a pencil-and-paper map) of the word by function. Write the word by hand a few times. Savor its meaning. This is your life, not some tedious chore to be finished as quickly as possible in order to get to your life. Map out meanings on your rose-strewn path to second language mastery. They smell divine!
Use keywords for memory. Find synonyms, similars, antonyms, homonyms. Play with these words until the meaning starts acquiring some meaning, to you. That meaning will seep quickly into your subconscious, recalled at will.
Finally, I use marks, symbols and writing to represent sounds in my memory. After playing the image game (attach an image to the sound and then another image to the meaning) it is easy to represent these sounds to myself in my memory. And with a little practice, you can, too!
Next I use action to make the new word or phrase sensible: use physical response or gesture to sense its sensation. Get into it!
Finally, I review my new words, with structured reviewing that helps me taste, smell and otherwise sense my new vocabulary in a sensible, meaningful way. It is low-hanging fruit, ripe and delicious with meaning! Enjoy!