Archive for the ‘English In A Nutshell’ Category

Following are a few methods for expanding your vocabulary with words you will feel comfortable using. Try one or more of these at your convenience. The ones that seem most appealing will probably work best for you.

1. Make a list of subjects that fascinate you most.
The more you enjoy a topic, the easier to learn about it. Now go to your local library and search for a dictionary of words specific to one of these topics. If you like Baseball you may find a dictionary of baseball words for example. Not every topic will have its own dictionary of relevant words but you? I be surprised how many do. Once you have found a dictionary for one of your favorite topics, thumb through it looking for words that you have never heard or words you have heard that you don? know the meanings of. The sheer joy of having found the words and their meanings will help them sink into your memory. Since they relate to a favorite topic, you will likely practice and use them regularly with all the commitment needed to make them a part of regular conversation.

2.In different parts of the country people favor different words.
Try picking up or subscribing to a newspaper from another part of the country. Or enlist a friend or relative from another area to join in on vocabulary improvement and offer to send them a copy of your heaviest big city newspaper in exchange for yours. Or go online and read such a newspaper on line for free.

3. To make learning easier and more productive, use flash cards in a new and more effective way to master several words at once.
Instead of putting separate words on separate cards with separate meanings. Pick four words that all have the same or similar meanings and write them on one side with their meanings clearly identified on the other. Since you will be learning the same or very closely related word meanings for four words, you will be learning four words and one definition with slightly subtle changes. This brings it all together as one task in which you learn 4 times as much in about the same time.

4. Object words are easier because your are learning the definition of a word which is also a tangible item that you can picture in your mind.
Go to a unique curio shop, specialty store or science or other obscure type of museum you have never been too before. Keep any brochures or other documentation that describes what you are seeing. Let the mental pictures drive the names of these items and their descriptions deep into your mind for recall later.

5. You learn much more by being humble than by being proud.
Just as when driving you should be willing to stop and ask for directions, you shouldn’t? be afraid to do some digging when there? a word you don? understand. Look it up or even have the courage to ask. Go on a word hunt. Write down what you didn’t? understand and quickly. Hound that word and its meaning with your own research until you find it. The satisfaction of victory over your ignorance of that one word will bolster your confidence that you can learn many other words if you want to badly enough.

Advertisements