3 major vocabulary building tips
Tip #1: Read, read, read!
Reading can greatly help you in building vocabulary.
Advantages of reading:
- You can adjust the materials to fit your own level.
- You can do it at your own pace, or you can do it again.
- You can later base many different activities and exercises on what you have read.
Probably the biggest bonus with reading is the following:
When done properly, reading can be a lot of fun. You can enjoy reading an interesting story, and improve your vocabulary at the same time.
This can be much more interesting than a "fill in the gap" exercise ;)
However, for a reading material to reach its full effect, it really has to be both interesting and not too advanced for the student's own level.
Click here for interesting yet simple stories for English learners
Tip #2: Make sure you understand what you are reading!
This point might seem obvious, but actually it is really not.
Some people think it is best not to stop on every word, but to understand the words from the context. That basically means, to guess what the word means, or to simply ignore it.
This is a common approach, but research has shown it is a problematic one. It can lead to misunderstanding and all sorts of other confusions.
It might seem like understanding from context is faster, but it doesn't really help you in building vocabulary. It can leave you with many words you don't really understand, or that you only think you understand. It can, and does, slow down your progress.
Here is an example:
A student reads the following sentence "Marta has a parasol".
Now, what does that mean? You can guess, but that won't necessarily get you to the right answer. You will probably remain unsure.
However, this can be solved easily. You can use the dictionary to find out what it really means. "Parasol" is a kind of umbrella that protects against the sun. So now it makes sense: "Marta has a parasol."
My English teacher taught us there were words you had to understand, and other words which were not so important. So we shouldn't waste our time on understanding the less important words. We should kind of guess them.
I was actually doing just that for a very long time. It made me think I knew words, when I knew them wrong.
For example, as a child, I ran into the word "respect." It was always mentioned in "serious" contexts. So I concluded it had to do with seriousness.
In my mind, if it was said that someone respected someone else, it meant he looked seriously at that person. Boy, was that inaccurate!
Later on, when I "bothered" and opened a dictionary, I discovered I had completely invented that meaning. The true meaning was "to treat someone or something in a polite way because you consider them important." Do you see the difference from "seriousness"? I sure do!
So why is understanding words from context not helpful? Because it seems like it helps you to study faster, not stopping on every unknown word, but it actually can make harm.
In summary, the way to build vocabulary is to learn vocabulary. Not to guess one!
So this is the point where dictionaries really come in handy. They are a wonderful tool. They help not only in finding out what a word means exactly, but also with giving examples of how the word is actually used. Now that is priceless :)
Click here for a list of recommended good dictionaries
Tip #3: Practice the new words you have learned!
Okay, so you've learned some new words. That's great.
Now what? How can you make sure you don't forget them?
Here we reach the importance of practice. Make sure you practice the new words.
Now, practice doesn't have to be boring. You can turn it into a game, make it fun.
Really learn English
Bài mới nhất
Bài xem nhiều
Tin hội thảo
- Hệ thống trường công tại Victoria, B.C, Canada
- Học khu Comox Valley Canada công bố mức học phí áp dụng cho năm học 2020 với nhiều ưu đãi cho học sinh Việt Nam
- Cập nhật kỳ 9/2019 - Hệ thống trường công lập Burnaby, Greater Vancouver (Canada) - Kỳ 9/2019
- Học bổng 50 - 100% tất cả các chuyên ngành Thạc sĩ tại Northern Arizona University
- Vancouver Film School - Học phí ưu đãi cho các bạn nộp hồ sơ trước 31/03/2019
- Battle River School Division (Alberta, Canada) hấp dẫn du học sinh trung học với mức học phí thấp chỉ $10,650/ năm
- "every student" or "every students"
- Hướng dẫn xin visa sang Canada thăm thân nhân kết hợp du lịch
- Các trường trung học công lập Vancouver tuyển sinh khóa tháng 9/2016
- Dự bị đại học - Dự bị Thạc sĩ tại San Diego State University 2016 - 2017
- Ngành Công nghệ Dầu khí tại Canada - Chọn trường nào?
- Học bổng 100% tại ĐH Woosong Hàn Quốc
- Triển lãm Giáo dục Canada lần thứ 16 - Tháng 3/2019
- Gặp gỡ trực tiếp các trường trung học nội trú tháng 11/2018
- Ngày hội Giáo dục Canada thường niên tháng 10/2018
- Triển lãm Giáo dục Canada Mùa xuân lần thứ 15 tại Việt Nam - Tháng 3/2018
- Ngày hội thông tin Giáo dục Canada 10/2017 tại Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng & Hồ Chí Minh
- Triển lãm Du học New Zealand: 18 - 19/3/2017