Top Tips on How to Remember Vocabulary Words
This guide provides tips on how to remember vocabulary words since building a rich vocabulary is undoubtedly a great way for enhancing the lives and careers of individuals.
While there are a number of strategies for vocabulary development and building these skills requires effort, it is important to remember that the learning curve can be an extremely valuable and pleasurable one once you decide to invest time, energy, and effort into this activity. Devoting an intense quarter of an hour per day to vocabulary improvement can soon start reaping benefits and a better vocabulary will, in turn, improve your communication skills in every way – in daily conversation, in speech-making, and on paper. You should be able to see the benefits of an improved vocabulary in college or school, in your workplace, and at a social level. It will help you understand the ideas of other people better and you will be able to convey your own thoughts and excellent ideas in a more effective manner, which should be a source of great satisfaction to you.
So, how to memorize vocabulary – how does one do this? The truth is that a lot of the words in your present vocabulary were ones you simply picked up by encountering them sufficiently often through everyday conversation, reading, and even as you watched television. However, to increase the pace at which you learn more words will require a dedicated and consistent approach on your part. If, for example, you were to learn just a single new word every day over a three-year period, you could add more than 3,000 words to your existing vocabulary. Moreover, the process is likely to instill in you a life-long pattern of self-improvement and learning.
The Basics – Four Key Steps to Vocabulary Development
The following are the four key steps required to build a better vocabulary:
1. Develop word awareness
This is our first tip on how to improve vocabulary. A lot of people are surprised when told their vocabularies are small. They may protest they read a lot. This just demonstrates that, by itself, reading might not be an adequate way of learning new or more words. When reading a novel, for example, there can be a strong desire to focus on the storyline and, therefore, to skim over words that are not that familiar to you or that you only vaguely know. However, although completely unknown words are usually very obvious, it is important to be more aware of words that appear familiar but whose exact meaning you are not sure of.
2. Keep reading
When it comes to improving vocabulary, the next important thing after developing word awareness is reading. This is because reading provides the majority of the words people should learn. This is also one of the best ways of checking words you already know or have learned. Encountering a word you have studied recently and you properly understand the meaning of is an indication that this technique works.
Here is another piece of advice on improving vocabulary. This concerns what you should read, which is generally anything you find interesting or anything that encourages you to start and keep reading. If your interest is in sport, check out the sports section of your newspaper. Read sports magazines and books about athletes you like. If decorating interests you, read magazines about decorating and make a practice of not just looking at the pictures.
If your aim is to increase vocabulary skills, it is pointless to try reading material you have no interest in or cannot understand. What is important is locating material you find enjoyable and read as much of this as you can with the constant aim of learning more words.
3. Use your dictionary
Of all the vocabulary activities you can engage in, looking up the meaning of a word in a dictionary is one of the most common and it is one that the majority of people know how to do. The following are a few tips on how to include dictionary usage in your vocabulary development program:
While there are different types of vocabulary, which you will learn as you progress, the first step is making sure you have a dictionary of your own. Keep this at home in the place where you normally read. You will probably use it more if you are not forced to go to a different room to get it. It is possible there will be a dictionary available to use in your place of work. The majority of people have a large unabridged dictionary at home. But a small version will do just fine to begin with.
When, for example, you are dealing with content vocabulary and you look words up, circle them. When you have been doing this for a time, your eye should move naturally to the circled words as you flick through your dictionary. When you look words up, read the full entry for them. Bear in mind that some words can have two or more meanings and the one you need might not be the one that is first listed in the dictionary you are using. Whether it is or not, the other definitions of the word you are looking for will show you how that word is used in different contexts or ways.
And whether your aim is to learn new words or how to memorize vocabulary words, this technique will make learning more pleasurable and memorizing easier.
4. Study Regularly and Keep Reviewing
Since this guide aims to describe the best ways to learn English vocabulary, it is essential to mention the importance of reviewing. When you have been looking words up and have chosen ones you want to study in more detail, building your vocabulary is merely a matter of regularly reviewing these words until they are firmly fixed in your mind and memory. You can do this by putting a set amount of time aside every day for studying vocabulary. When this time comes, look up any new or unfamiliar words you have circled throughout the day and review any older words you are currently learning.
To improve your school or college vocabulary, decide how many new words you want to learn and the date by which you want to learn them. Arrange your daily schedule around this. For instance, the results will be better if you allow a quarter of an hour per day rather than thirty minutes or so per week. If, however, the only time you can spare is thirty minutes per week, use this to begin with. You might have more time as you progress and you are setting yourself on the right path.
While reviewing is just one of the ways to study vocabulary, to do this effectively you should keep every piece of information on each word in one specific place e.g. on index cards or in notebooks. The former method is convenient since you can place your words alphabetically on index cards, making them easy to retrieve for review purposes. Moreover, you can carry these cards with you and refer to them wherever you are. Try to make your study time systematic in order to ensure you review every word every few days or weeks (at least).
Other Materials and Techniques for Building Vocabulary
If you are a games fan, why not try an interactive vocabulary game? The vocabulary-building steps described above only require a dictionary. They do not include many of the other aids that are available for this activity e.g. books, CDs, tapes, games, and so on. Are these any good? The experts at our site think so!
If you are trying to improve your school or college level vocabulary, one of the greatest advantages of books is that they provide words that are widely thought useful to know and can, therefore, save you a lot of time. Another benefit is that books provide examples of certain words being used in a variety of sentences to enable you to see them in their different forms and contexts. An additional advantage is that books usually provide exercises that allow you test your progress at different stages.
Although books containing college and high school vocabulary words are designed to enhance, one of the big drawbacks for those who do not have a very wide-ranging vocabulary is that they may find the words contained within these books too complex or difficult. It would then be hard for such readers to learn the words in these books and they may soon start feeling discouraged. Therefore, it is advisable to first check the content before you buy. When you do not recognize a lot of the words, it is likely you will not get much benefit from the book. However, if you recognize a lot of a book’s words but are not quite sure of their meaning, then the book is likely to suit your level.
A large number of books devoted to vocabulary study take the approach of teaching the reader parts of words e.g. the roots, prefixes, and/or suffixes. Such an approach is one you may find useful since this shows the formation of different words, which can help you work out what a word means by examining the context in which it appears.
While there are many vocabulary strategies for elementary and higher levels of education, what is essential to remember is that materials like these do not take the place of the methods described above. You will not find every word you need in any single book. In any case, since you are developing a life-long interest in vocabulary-building, one approach or technique might not be sufficient. Nonetheless, additional study materials can supplement the four key steps above and will instantly reinforce the speed at which you learn and progress.
Why Not Try Vocabulary Worksheets and Wordbooks?
There are lots of programs to help people develop their vocabularies. These programs are based on abundance of words chosen from a study of more than 15,000 students in private and public schools.
You can create such vocabulary worksheets by yourself which will be oriented towards your specific needs.
Motivation is possibly one of the most crucial factors in building a better vocabulary. It can be really difficult to study different words for months on end unless you feel the task is worthwhile i.e. that a better vocabulary will work to your advantage in college or school or at work and that it can make your life more fulfilling and exciting.
At our site, where we like vocabulary quotations and other techniques, we definitely think this factor is true. You could not spend your time in a better way.
We understand that a vocabulary can be expanded as quickly as the learner wishes. We know of plenty examples where people have achieved this. Do not forget that you had no words when you began life and you now know many thousands. So, why not start learning more today?