Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Vocabulary Tips: Learning New Vocabulary

I recommend that students don't try to learn too much vocabulary at once. It's better to choose six words a day than to learn a great big list of them at the last moment. Also, they should try to categorise the words they learn into concept groups, such as weather, food, jobs, etcetera. There are many things to pay attention to when learning new words. Here are some suggestions:

  • The translation
  • The pronunciation
  • Parts of Speech
  • An example of the word used in context
  • Collocations (which words it is commonly used with)
  • Concept Groups

I'll provide you with an example to show what I mean:

Hot
Caliente
/hot/
adjective
It's a hot day.
day, drink, weather,
chocolate
Weather, Food

Obviously, it isn't necessary to use all of these headings, and different students will need to learn different aspects of vocabulary, but noting down a few more ideas than just the translation helps a great deal when they come across this word again. One more suggestion for the really disciplined is to use a vocabulary notebook, so that revision of words learned is more organised.

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