Building your vocabulary is an important part of learning. Many wish to get there; but very few manage to. The reason is mostly one of these common mistakes that they end up doing:
Learning words only to pass an exam
No matter how much time and money you spend on taking English lessons; if you cannot remember any of them, it is of no use. Building your vocabulary is not something you need to do just to pass an exam. In fact vocabulary is something that will be of use to you throughout your life, at each and every phase. Understand the real purpose of building your vocabulary and keep it in your mind.
Memorizing words without practicing
Many people try and learn at least 10 words on a daily basis. They write them down in their notebooks again and again. Yet they hardly get there when it comes to building vocabulary. The reason is because they don’t use them. You can memorize words perfectly; but unless you start using them again and again, you cannot expect them to get registered in your mind.
Practicing words before understanding them
What do you do when you come across a new word? Read stories that have that word? Sing songs about it? Play games with that word? Bad idea! These things might give you an explanation; but they won’t really help in making you understand the word. The main purpose of practicing words is to increase your understanding. Without any idea about the meaning of the word that you learn, such practicing it would be of no use.
Don’t just rely upon understanding the context
Many teachers feel that it is always better to understand words from their context. However, it may not work always. At times, this might make you end up with too many new words, the meanings of which you have no idea about. For instance, what would you make out by the sentence – “Marta has a parasol.” You can sit and guess the meaning all day long; but would it lead you to the right answer? Probably not! There is an easier way of understanding this. Look it up on the dictionary. Once you understand the meaning of the word, it starts to make better sense.
Knowing words is not going to help build your vocabulary. You have to understand their meaning and figure out ways to use them during your conversation. You can’t just invent new meanings to words. The guessing game hardly works when it comes to building vocabulary. The secret lies in understanding the words and then practicing them again and again. With time, you will be amazed to see how far you have gone.
Thankfully technology has brought to light many options such as Vocabulary builder app and Vocabulary quiz, which can help you understand the new words that you learn, efficiently. Make sure you choose the best option make the most out of it.
Remember – it is not just to pass your exams that you should build your vocabulary. Make sure you understand the purpose of building vocabulary before you give it a try.