Learn English Vocabulary in easy ways.


Learn English Vocabulary in easy ways. It is a way to increase Vocabulary to express yourself. Once you have got to grips with the fundamentals of a language (pronunciation, orthography and basic grammar), you can concentrate on learning vocabulary. This is probably the most important and time-consuming part of learning a language. Below are a few techniques to help you with this task.




Associate the familiar with the unfamiliar 

Try to find word or phrases in your L1 which sound like and if possible have a similar meaning to words in your L2. Build mental images or draw pictures based on the connections. For example, the Spanish for "ice" is hielo (m), which sounds like yellow. To remember this word imagine yellow ice. This is an enjoyable method because many of the associations you think up will be silly, absurd or bizarre.

Genders

To remember genders try picturing a Spanish-speaking region, divide it into two and place masculine nouns on one side and feminine words on the other. In the case of ice imagine the masculine half covered in yellow ice.

Avoiding language mix ups

Associating words from each language you learn with places where they are spoken will help you to avoid getting your languages mixed up. For example, if you're learning French and Spanish, imagine a map of Europe and place the French words in France and the Spanish words in Spain. Alternatively you could imagine a map of North America and place the Spanish words in Mexico and the French words in Quebec.

Testing and revision

To ensure the words stick in your memory, test yourself on them at regular intervals. If you learn some new words in the morning for example, check that you can still remember them later that day, the next day, a week later and a month later. If you find some words hard to recall, try thinking up different associations for them. You may need to try several different associations before you find one that works. 

Learn related words & phrases
  When learning the word for hand, for example, try to learn related words, such as parts of the hand; actions of the hand; other parts of the body, and things you might wear on your hands. Also try to learn words with the same root and phrases which include the word hand. As you learn more words you will start to spot connections between words. The more words you learn the easier you will find it to guess the meanings of new words.

Learn words in context

Learning long lists of unrelated words is boring, difficult and doesn't help you much when you come across those words in a different context. If you focus on learning words in the context you're most likely to find them, you're more likely to recognise them when you encounter them or need to use them again. When learning food words, for example, think about when you'd be most likely to use them, i.e. when cooking, eating, shopping, etc, and learn other words related to those situations. Then try constructing sentences using the new words. Good dictionaries contain examples of usage which you can use as models for your own sentences.

Practice reading as much as possible

A great way to build up you vocabulary is to have a go at reading books, magazines, newspapers or comics written in your L2. Ideally look for reading material covering topics you find interesting. When reading, try to guess the meanings of any words you don't know and then check them in a dictionary to see if your guesses were correct. You don't have to look up every unfamiliar word as long as you can get the gist of the text. Dual-language books, which are also known as parallel texts are a good way to get into literature in foreign languages. They usually have the original language on one page, and the translation on the opposite page. This safes you the trouble of looking up words in a dictionary. Reading comic books, like Asterix and Tintin, is an effective and fun way to improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary. The pictures help you to follow the story when you can't understand all of the dialogue.

Take your language to the next level

A great way to improve your reading comprehension and increase your vocabulary in French, German, Italian or Spanish. A compilation links below will help you to get your increasing words about vocabulary.


Making It Personal


Read journals and newspapers that challenge you in terms of vocabulary. Pursue words actively and become alert to words that you simply overlooked in the past. Write down the words in one column; then, later, when you have a dictionary at your disposal, write down a common definition of the word; in a third column, write a brief sentence using the word, underlined. Carry this paper or cardboard with you always. In the pauses of your busy day—when you're sitting on the bus, in the dentist's office, during commercials—take out the paper and review your vocabulary words until you feel comfortable that you would recognize (and be able to use) these words the next time you see them.

Using Every Resources

English Vocabulary to learntNewspapers often carry brief daily articles that explore the meanings of words and phrases. These articles often emphasize peculiar words that won't find themselves into your working vocabulary, but they can still be fun. Often you'll find that learning one new word leads to other new words, little constellations of meaning that keep your brain cells active and hungry for more. Make reading these articles one of your daily habits, an addiction, even. Play dictionary games with your family in which someone uses the dictionary to find a neat word and writes down the real definition and everyone else writes down a fake (and funny) definition. See how many people you can fool with your fake definitions.

Knowing the Roots


At least half of the words in the English language are derived from Greek and Latin roots. Knowing these roots helps us to grasp the meaning of words before we look them up in the dictionary. It also helps us to see how words are often arranged in families with similar characteristics.
Some common Greek and Latin roots:

Root (source)MeaningEnglish words
aster, astr (G)starastronomy, astrology
audi (L)to hearaudible, auditorium
bene (L)good, wellbenefit, benevolent
bio (G)lifebiology, autobiography
dic, dict (L)to speakdictionary, dictator
fer (L)to carrytransfer, referral
fix (L)to fastenfix, suffix, affix
geo (G)earthgeography, geology
graph (G)to writegraphic, photography
jur, just (L)lawjury, justice
log, logue (G)word, thought,
speech
monolog(ue), astrology, biology, neologism
luc (L)lightlucid, translucent
manu (L)handmanual, manuscript
meter, metr (G)measuremetric, thermometer
op, oper (L)workoperation, operator
path (G)feelingpathetic, sympathy, empathy
ped (G)childpediatrics, pedophile
phil (G)lovephilosophy, Anglophile
phys (G)body, naturephysical, physics
scrib, script (L)to writescribble, manuscript
tele (G)far offtelephone,television
ter, terr (L)earthterritory, extraterrestrial
vac (L)emptyvacant, vacuum, evacuate
verb (L)wordverbal, verbose
vid, vis (L)to seevideo, vision, television


Root (source)MeaningEnglish words
aster, astr (G)starastronomy, astrology
audi (L)to hearaudible, auditorium
bene (L)good, wellbenefit, benevolent
bio (G)lifebiology, autobiography
dic, dict (L)to speakdictionary, dictator
fer (L)to carrytransfer, referral
fix (L)to fastenfix, suffix, affix
geo (G)earthgeography, geology
graph (G)to writegraphic, photography
jur, just (L)lawjury, justice
log, logue (G)word, thought,
speech
monolog(ue), astrology, biology, neologism
luc (L)lightlucid, translucent
manu (L)handmanual, manuscript
meter, metr (G)measuremetric, thermometer
op, oper (L)workoperation, operator
path (G)feelingpathetic, sympathy, empathy
ped (G)childpediatrics, pedophile
phil (G)lovephilosophy, Anglophile
phys (G)body, naturephysical, physics
scrib, script (L)to writescribble, manuscript
tele (G)far offtelephone,television
ter, terr (L)earthterritory, extraterrestrial
vac (L)emptyvacant, vacuum, evacuate
verb (L)wordverbal, verbose
vid, vis (L)to seevideo, vision, television

Authority for this chart: The Little, Brown Handbook by H. Ramsay Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, & Kay Limburg. 6th ed. HarperCollins: New York. 1995. By permission of Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.

Learning Prefixes and Suffixes


Knowing the Greek and Latin roots of several prefixes and suffixes (beginning and endings attached to words) can also help us determine the meaning of words. Ante, for instance, means before, and if we connect bellum with belligerant to figure out the connection with war, we'll know that antebellum refers to the period before war. (In the United States, the antebellum period is our history before the Civil War.)

Using Your Dictionary

The dictionary should be one of the most often used books in your home. (We'll allow room for sacred texts here.) Place the dictionary somewhere so that you can find it immediately and use it often. If you do your reading and homework in the kitchen and the dictionary is on a shelf in the den or bedroom, it's too tempting to say "I'll look it up next time."

Using the Internet

You can use the internet as an aid to vocabulary development by exploring the abundant opportunities for reading available on the World Wide Web.

Links

Vocabulary Training Exercises, in English, French, German and Spanish
http://www.vokabel.com

WordChamp - learn vocabulary in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Includes a variety of drills and thousands of recordings of native speakers, as well as a website decoder to read foreign websites - without translation!
http://www.wordchamp.com

Mentalcode -a collection of language resources with grammar and vocabulary references and interactive exercises
http://www.mentalcode.com

Interlex - a free Windows application that helps you learn vocabulary in a foreign language
http://www.vocab.co.uk

Verbulix - vocabulary and conjugation trainers for English, German and Spanish
http://www.vocabulix.com

ALBIS, a vocabulary learning system for many languages
http://albis.vetsin.com

The Town language mnemonic - a way of memorising vocabulary
http://www.mindtools.com/forlangu.html

VTrain - The Ultimate Vocabulary Trainer
http://www.vtrain.net

Vocabulary training program
http://www.happysquirrel.com

Shoenhof's Foreign Books - a wide range of books in over 700 languages
http://www.schoenhofs.com/

Courses which use some of the association techniques described above
http://www.linkwordlanguages.com
http://www.unforgettablelanguages.com

Foreign language comics
http://www.uclick.com/client/byr/be/
http://www.postwritersgroup.com/spanishedtoons.htm
http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/spanish/index.html
http://learningrussian.com/comics/
http://www.webgerman.com/german/comics/

  • Garner's Usage Tip OF the Day Bryan Garner, author of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage (Oxford University Press), offers this invaluable, free, daily e-mail service. Subscription is easy. http://www.us.oup.com/us/subscriptions/subscribe/?view=usa .
  • Vocab Vitamins (formerly "MyWordaDay"): Colin O'Malley maintains this Website, a treasure for people who know that developing an adequate vocabulary is not a short-term project. Users can visit the Website or have the WordaDay e-mailed to them. Words are arranged in meaningful groups and defined in painstaking and useful detail, with plenty of examples. http://www.vocabvitamins.com/.
  • WORDSMITH: To subscribe or unsubscribe to A.Word.A.Day, send a message to wsmith@wordsmith.org with the "Subject:" line as "subscribe " or "unsubscribe." The Wordsmith has thousands of subscribers. It does a great job of discovering interesting themes and sources of words and then exploring those words—a word a day—for a week or so and then goes off to another theme and series of words.
  • Word of the Day: Maintained by Merriam Webster, Inc., the dictionary people. Go to the online WWWebster Dictionary and click on Word of the Day. From there, you can either subscribe to their free daily service or explore their archives. The guides for pronunciation are easier to follow than Wordsmith's and the examples are well founded and even fun. The Merriam-Webster people also provide a neat link directly to their word database so that you can highlight a word on a Web-page, click on their icon in your personal toolbar and get an instant and authoritative definition for that word.
  • The Atlantic section on Language: from the Atlantic Monthly's online journal. Select from "Word Court," "Word Fugitive," and "Word Police." http://www.theatlantic.com/language/.
  • Word Safari challenges web surfers' knowledge of vocabulary, and then sends them off on expeditions to see the chosen word used in context on the web. Aiming her Web site at building academic vocabulary skills, Ruth Pettis adds new vocabulary words every week. http://home.earthlink.net/~ruthpett/safari/index.htm.

Sources : grammar.ccc.commnet.edu
              www.omniglot.com

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