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Improve Your Vocabulary « LearningNerd
Student or Learner
I often do readings to increase my vocabulary. The problem is that I do not know, for example, fifteen words, look them up in the dictionary and forget them all in two or three.
It is obvious I should learn less words and memorize them but how can I manage to attain this? What words should I learn?
Doing a lot of reading is a good way to improve your vocabulary. It's a good start. When do you look the new words up? Do you look them up as you're reading? That is probably not a good idea. It's better to try to get the approximate meaning of a new word from the context. If you stop reading in order to look up a word in a dictionary, you lose or interrupt the context. It's usually more effective to learn new words in context. (That's why reading is good. ;))
Simply trying to memorize lists of words also isn't the best way to learn vocabulary. Rather than simply making lists, try making a separate card for each new word. When you meet a new word, you should do a number of things with it. Writing down the definition is only one possible step. Unfortunately, that's probably the least effective. You should write your new word in a sentence (context). You can also write down other words that you find it "partnered" with. You might even try drawing little pictures of some words. After you've done these sorts of things, then make sure you attempt to use the word right away and as often as possible. Make sure learning new vocabulary also involves speaking (not just speaking a single word, but whole sentences). If you don't use new vocabulary, it will remain passive at best.
And finally, don't try to learn too many new words at once. That tends to be counter-productive (as you have already noticed). You should try to pick out words that seem to be the "best" ones to learn. Keep in mind that there will be time later to learn the ones you don't pick out today.
You'll need to experiment a little to determine how many new words you can effectively handle at once. Try focusing on just 5 and see how you do.
And don't forget: learning vocabulary needs to be active! You need to do as much as possible as often as possible with each new word.
Thanks you two! :)
I have recently been realised a synonym dictionary is essential when you are trying to learn memorize words. ( Is this sentence correct? I intended to write in passive voice at the beginning of the sentence)
No, the Passive is out of place here. It should be
I have recently realized...
For activating words I practise the following:
For every lesson a pupil should read a piece of a story, copy out all the new words into their vocabulary so as to be able to translate the text orally. At the next lesson they are to reproduce the sentences from the text (reasonably shortened if too long) looking at the list of those words - usually 5 to 15 new words.
I wanted to say someone's made me realised that....but in passive voice....
Sorry, I do not understand your explanation to learn new words. Could you describe it again, please? Thanks!
1. Humble`s explanation is correct .He tried to explain that you cannot always turn a sentence into passive if you don`t have an object which can be turned into subject for the passive voice.
e.g. They built that bridge years ago-active voice
The bridge was built years ago - passive voice
2.When studying a new lesson, a new literary text, etc.,the students may encounter [and this happens very often] new words which should be taken out from the text and explained separately : spelling,part of speech, verb tense, synonyms, and ,of course, their translation into the students` mother tongue.
3."...someone has made me realize[ "made" is a causative verb here and it is followed by "realize" and not "realized]- i.e. short infinitive
The sentence is not correct.
I have recently realized that a dictionary of synonyms is essential/important when you try to learn/try to memorize new words.
"Realize" cannot be put into passive because it is a verb of cognition
realize = be conscious of,be fully aware of, perceive an idea/ a situation
learn- implies the act of acquiring knowledge by study
memorize- learn by heart, commit to memory
Last edited by Teia; 21-Jan-2007 at 12:58.
I am sorry I explained it badly. I’ll try again.
For example, for lesson1 you have to read one page of the story Dick Wittington and His Cat. There are 5 new words on it. You look up a dictionary and enter all these words in your vocabulary (notebook). At the lesson you just read and translate that page (along with other activities).
At lesson 2 you open your vocabulary and looking at those 5 words reproduce one sentence from the story for each of the words. It helps you to memorize the words within a context, which gives better results.
At lesson 2 you read another page of the story (this time you’ve copied out, say, 8 words) and you’ll have to learn 8 sentences for lesson 3. And so on.
I hope it's clear now.