Strategies for Vocabulary Building

The Strategies for Vocabulary Building are important for learning new words in the most effective way and being able to effectively communicate with people in English. There are several strategies and concepts that you can use for building your English vocabulary and we’re going to cover the most effective, and proven strategies.

Read as much as you can

By reading as many magazines, fiction and non-fiction books, and journals as you can, you will encounter new words. You can guess the meanings of many of these words by their context—that Is, you will get a clue to the meaning from the words that surround the new word. If you are still not sure, you can look up the word in a dictionary to check if you were right.

Use a dictionary

Buy a good dictionary, preferably a college-level dictionary. The dictionary should be all English, not a bilingual one. A good dictionary should include the following information about a word:

  • Its pronunciation
  • Its part of speech (noun, adjective, verb).
  • A clear, simple definition.
  • An example of the word used in a sentence or phrase.
  • Its origin (root, prefix).

You can also use a pocket dictionary if you travel back and forth to classes.

Learn roots, prefixes, and suffixes

Roots and prefixes from Latin and Greek make up many English words. It has been estimated that more than half of all English words come from Latin and Greek. Prefixes are added to the beginning of a root and suffixes are added to the end to modify the meaning of words. Learning these will help you increase your vocabulary.

Learn from listening

Listening to good programs on the radio and television as well as to people who speak English well is another way of improving your vocabulary. Since you cannot always ask the speaker to tell you what a particular word means, write down the words and look them up later.

Use a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms are words that have almost the same meaning; antonyms are words that have almost the opposite meaning. Knowing the synonyms and antonyms of a word will expand your vocabulary. Some dictionaries of synonyms and antonyms explain each synonym and how it differs in meaning from other synonyms. Since no two words have the exact same meaning, this is very useful for you.

Make your own word list

Get a notebook for your vocabulary study and use it to create your own word list. Whenever you read and come across a word you don’t know, write it down in your notebook together with the sentence in which you found it. Try to work out the meaning of the word from its context. Then look the word up in a dictionary and write the definition in your notebook. Also, write down any other information such as the root of the word, and see how it is connected to the meaning. Lastly, write your own sentence using the word. Writing will help you remember the word and its meaning. Try to add a new word to your list every day.

Create your own theme groups

Words are easier to remember and learn when you group words with similar meanings under a theme. For example,

Create your own theme groups 1

 

Then you can make another theme with the opposite.

Create your own theme groups 2

 

 Use your new words

Using your new words whether it be in speaking or writing Is an important step in learning them.

Leave a Reply