Learning New Words
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Learning New Words

Methods in being able to learn new English words

It is important the student be made aware of the preciseness of the language if he wishes to succeed. If this is a person who is only going to have a mediocre job that does not challenge his linguistic skills, then perhaps little effort should be made. These days though, the man behind the counter can also be someone who has an evening job or is going to evening classes. Then he should be expected to have a wider vocabulary, which will enable him to communicate more effectively.

Sometimes it is good just to show a simple reader for the beginners, as a way to illustrate how many words he should learn. These readers are carefully graded so that one has a list of word definitions at the end and there are even reading comprehension questions for every reading passage. The learner can pick up certain descriptive words within a given period that could be an academic year and then have a chance to use these words gradually. There is no set rule for how much a person can absorb; some easy readers allow the learner to absorb several hundred new words over the year. The vocabulary of these books gradually increases in complexity as sentences become more complex.

There are specific books out on the market that can be used to increase word usages and one of them is a vocabulary builder. It is set up to cover different areas of interest so that the person can learn new words based on the location of an object, and its association to other elements. These books are well organized in sections that give the learner a good visual sense to the word; the image corresponding to the word is often numbered and that number could be listed in an adjoining section of related words.

One such vocabulary builder can be called a picture dictionary where the definition occurs beside the image of the object, Such books can be complemented with the use of flash cards that illustrate the functionality behind an object that has appeared in the picture dictionary.

Language can also be learned through films or audiovisual courses and seminars by listening to a scene and getting an overall picture of a scene. Then one may stop, rewind the scene and listen to it again. This is particularly good when the student has difficulty understanding or accepting new sounds. If this is impossible to do for the learner he may also listen to the film in own language to find out the meaning the missing word. This kind of vocabulary learning involves recognition and intuition; the person may even be able to predict what words will follow once he is familiar with a certain scene. This will help reinforce his learning. Re-watching a film will help in the learning process as the person learns to integrate these new words in his everyday speech.

Words can then be leant through their name their functionality and also how they are constructed. Words may present themselves as nouns but with a little effort the learner may learn to convert that word into its adjective, adverb or verb. He may also create a negation by adding a certain prefix like ‘un’ or a prefix which denotes something that will occur later in time, like ‘post’. They may also be lumped into groups of synonyms, or opposites and these may learned in game activities conducted during the lesson. The student could also practice these new words as he learns to write descriptively.

If the person carries an agenda with him while all these words are being learnt that will definitely help but there are other means such us filling ones pocket with scraps of paper and words on each or littering the house with post-its so that its objects are clearly named. Vocabulary learning can be reinforced through word games like scrabble or boggle. The challenger learns from his opponent and vice versa.

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Comments (1)

Thanks for sharing this one. When I was in high school, I used to have a small notepad where I list down the new words that I encounter...