We learn through our senses, some are more visual, some learn more by listening. In school we are bombarded daily with endless seminars, videos, list of things that we have to memorize, that we tend to forget the much overlooked tactile senses. Tactile learning (The art of writing) down the things that we need to memorize is a great tool that has largely been forgotten in today's busy learning environments.
Because my experience has been with Adult Literacy students, often times when I meet with them, they are already tired from a heavy day at work or whatever, they are often times too mentally tired or burnt out for straight memorization skills, which makes it difficult for them to work with straight vocabulary lists. So, in order to get around this I decided to use my time with the student by having him write the words on a dry erase board, my student has a dry erase board, and I have one, so I turn it into a game, I say the word that I want my student to spell, I write the correct spelling on my board, out of sight of my student, and then my student goes ahead and spells the word the way he/she wants to spell it, I make it a game so, after he/she spells the word, I will say something like "And the winner is ... " and turn over my dry board that shows the correct spelling. Once this has been done you have their attention and now they are memorizing it, now you can work with them! By making it fun, you overcome the normal "obstacles" that can hinder learning.
Also with this approach, when you work with one word that has many other similar words, with similar root structure, or are in the same category, I use this opportunity to use the same method so they will learn those vocabulary words at the same time, because now they understand how the English rules apply to that particular group of words, and memorizing them becomes faster, and fun at the same time. Using this method has proven its success to me in my students, and I know it can work with others too, because now, its not work, its fun!