If you learn a list of words by associating each word with another concept, you are using what to aid your recal.
You are using a "mnemonic device." A mnemonic device (pronounced with a silent "m," like neh-monic) is a technique used to help one remember something. Examples of mnemonic devices are "ROY-G-BIV" for the colors of the rainbow or "My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" to help remember the order of planets in our solar system; each letter of the sentence corresponds to a planet in order of their distance from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars... etc. (That was before Pluto was demoted from being a planet. Today, one might use the mnemonic "My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nachos" to remember the eight planets).
Hope you found that helpful!