Vocabulary is something which is very important and cannot be ignored. You need good vocabulary, not only to crack competitive exams but even to express your feelings and requirements to other person, in precise manner.
Everyone needs to have a good vocab support. People who are interested in reading already have good words in their vocab as compared to those who are not fond of reading much. But still, everyone needs to improve and expand vocab on regular basis.
However, doing so is not an easy task. So, we are mentioning some good strategy and tips for both the category - who reads and who don’t.
FOR THE BEGINNERS
Now, when people who are not fond of reading much, attempt to build vocabulary, they need to go about it systematically, working on it day after day and month upon month until they achieve the result they want. If you are looking forward to start building your vocab, here are some tips for you, mentioned step by step:
To start with, buy a notebook, and divide each page into three columns –
ïƒ¼In the first column, write down any new word that you come across.
ïƒ¼The second column is reserved for the meanings of the words – if you don’t know the meaning of a word, there are many on-line resources that can help you. When you’re sure about the meaning, put it down in that second column.
ïƒ¼Now, in the third column, make a sentence with the word, making sure that you use it correctly, and write it down.
Now, the next step, you should carry this notebook with you everywhere and peruse it in every spare moment of the day. This is a great way to building vocabulary
ïƒ¼Keep going through the words and their meanings,
ïƒ¼Read the sentences that you constructed, containing the words, again and again.
ïƒ¼Make yourself familiar with the words used until they almost feel like old friends.
In order to expand vocabulary you should set a certain target. For example, two words a day. Of course, with time you can increase this number. You will need to keep a notebook (or a special file in your laptop) to write down the unfamiliar words you heard or read in the course of a day. Do not ignore the new words you come across in conversations with your family, friends and colleagues, in TV programs, radio, newspapers, textbooks, comics, novels and so on.
Learning a new word can be simple indeed. Take a paragraph in the book or magazine in which you found the new word, and rewrite it. Re write the paragraph, in different words, but making sure that you use the new word (or words) that you’ve learned. A month or two of practicing these simple principles and you’ll find that you have a constantly increasing vocabulary.
Imagine your vocabulary divided into three groups:
a)The words you are absolutely comfortable with – you know their meaning and frequently use them in everyday conversations, correspondence and inner monologues;
b)The words you often come upon in books and speech of other people – intuitively you can guess their meaning, but you hesitate when it comes to using them;
c)Completely unfamiliar words; you do not understand their meaning and have no clue how they could be used.
Try to visualize these categories as three air balloons of different sizes. Now, your aim will be to pump the fiat billon and make it way larger than the rest of the two.
You need to develop context for each and every word you come across. You may put two to three words in the same context as well to remember it as a story. It is easier to build or expand vocabulary if you write down not only the words alone, but the whole sentences in which they were used: context is something that should never be ignored.
When you have time, consult the dictionary in order to find the words you do not know. Pay attention at the words with the same root: after you understand the meaning of a noun, it will be easier to memorize adjectives and verbs from the same word family.
Now you have Synonyms, antonyms and thesaurus. Synonyms help you grasp a word easily as you get multiple words for expressing same feeling, need or thought. Similarly antonym gives you way of expressing things in different way. For instance, instead of saying you hate a person; you can say you are ‘not much fond of’ the same person. This is polite but expresses your dislike with same vigor.
Also, do not forget to use thesaurus to see the words that mean the same or almost the same. Generally speaking, using Thesaurus is one of the best methods to expand vocabulary. Also, if you find yourself revealing enough linguistic interest, you can use different online tools to see the synonyms and antonyms of the word you did not know. Perhaps it would be interesting to find out its origin as well.
FOR THOSE WHO ALREADY HAVE A VOCAB – EXPAND IT !!
There are many methods of expanding vocabulary, but one of the very best is to simply subscribe to a periodical or magazine whose content is slightly too complex for the level of your vocabulary. This will ensure that you come into contact with a steady stream of words that you would not otherwise usually come into contact with. This is a very important for a mature reader.
Another thing that you can do is to join vocab communities online and hunt for online available books and journals with slightly too complex words for your vocabulary.These periodicals and books are what we call ‘source material’ and we will, in this article, show you how to use this source material effectively to enhance and build up your vocabulary.
Now, when you read through the journal, periodical or magazine, or even book, you’ll find that most of it is easy for you to understand as you must have come across them before. But you’ll find that now and again you come across a word that you don’t recall having come across before. That’s the time to back up a little and take a good look at it, because it’s an addition to your increasing vocabulary.
Read the paragraph again, and the sentence in which you find the word. What does it mean? Try to unlock its meaning on your own, before referring to a dictionary. Perhaps you might get it right – often, like as not, you’ll get it wrong. But that’s not important. What’s important is that, in puzzling and thinking over that word, you will thoroughly remember it, and having remembered it, you can, even if you got the meaning wrong the first time, still easily look up the right meaning. The important thing is to remember and retain the new words that you learn, after all.
When you are a mature reader with lots of words in your memory bank, you must be aware of the fact that more that learning a word, it’s important to know how and where to use it !
This is a crucial aspect of expanding vocabulary as you willbe misunderstood if you try to use a word that should be used one way, in any other way. A good vocabulary is for expressing yourself with, not to be a snob with, after all. Use a big word when it is right to use it, and not otherwise. Try and use simple words when you are having light rendezvous but always use complex words when you are among complex people, having complex conversations.
Of course, this process will require patience, purposefulness and time, but in any case there is no need to hurry: improving your language skills and expanding vocabulary is a lifelong process. Working in this direction, you will be able to improve not only your vocabulary, but the quality of life as well.