Image courtesy of Velaia (Paris Peking) via Flickr (CC 2.0)
In Part 1, we looked at two sure-shot ways to build your vocabulary: forming a reading habit and learning words in context. Here are some more suggestions to increase your word power.
3. Listen to natural speech
Want to learn new words and pronounce them right at the same time? Listening to lots of natural speech can be the answer. From a lexical point of view, it can introduce you to several new words within a specific context, making it easier for you to retain them in your memory. Should you choose to give this method a try, be sure to watch videos that come with transcript. That way, you get to listen to new vocabulary as well as see it. A good place to begin is TED Talks (www.ted.com), where there are plenty of short, powerful talks to choose from. When you watch a TED video, see to it that you read the transcript and jot down new vocabulary. You may also want to pay attention to how words are pronounced so that you say them just the right way.
4. Try using new words or risk losing them
Learning new vocabulary is one thing, but forming an ability to recall them when needed is something else. Not putting newly learnt words to immediate use could mean losing them in the long run, as they may no longer be fresh in your memory by then. One way of getting round this problem is to focus only on vocabulary that is personally relevant, as you are sure to have opportunities to use them at regular intervals. Keeping this in mind, before you decide to learn new lexis, ask yourself whether the word or phrase is something you would use in your day-to-day conversations. And make an effort only if the answer is a resounding yes! Your task doesn’t end there, though. Use the newly acquired word at the earliest opportunity. Once you’ve used it a few times, it usually sticks in your mind, becoming a part of your active vocabulary.
We’ll be back with more vocabulary tips in the next part.
|Meaning||:||certain to be successful|
|Example||:||Continuous practice is a sure-shot way to improve your sporting skills.|
|Meaning||:||the words that someone says in written form|
|Example||:||The police have transcripts of all the telephone conversations made by the suspect.|
|in the long run|
|Meaning||:||at some time in the future|
|Example||:||Although expensive, new machinery will help us cut costs in the long run.|
|stick in your mind|
|Meaning||:||stay in your memory for a long time|
|Example||:||He has won several tournaments, but his first ever final sticks in my mind.|