How to Improve Your Vocabulary While You Read : Reading is The Key
Perhaps the best method you can use to improve your vocabulary is to read. When I say read, I’m not just talking about comic books, mainstream magazines, or celebrity tabloids. I’m talking about reading materials that are actually challenging, those which may be beyond your vocabulary level. It is these books that will improve your vocabulary, and they will allow you to become much more skilled. It should also be emphasized that reading will not improve your vocabulary over night. Those who have excellent vocabulary skills are generally people who have been reading books for years.
They have a large repository of information stored in their brains, and they can reach into that repository to pull out words whenever they need them.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important for parents and teachers to emphasize vocabulary while their children are young. It becomes harder as you get older. Generally, children have more time to read than adults. Once you become an adult, and you are working to pay your bills and deal with other daily issues, you don’t have as much time to read as you used to have. This is why you will want to read early, and read often. You must also create a strong desire to strengthen your word power. You will want to learn how to use words in both your speech and your writing.
Improving Your Vocabulary Must be Deliberate
I would also like to point out that just picking up a book and reading it will not maximize your vocabulary. To succeed, you must make an honest attempt to do so. Your dictionary should be one of your most important reference manuals. You should literally go through the dictionary, reading it from start to finish, looking at various words. When you are reading something, and you come across a word you don’t know, you should look it up. The action of looking up the word will allow it to stick in your mind, and you are much more likely to remember it in the future.
It may not always be necessary to look up the word, as the sentence which surrounds it may convey its meaning. However, a dictionary should be an important manual for anyone who is truly interested in their vocabulary improvement. One method that many people use to increase their vocabulary is index cards. You can take a 3 x 5 card, and you can write down a word, followed by its syllable breakdown, and its markings. On the opposite side of the card, you will want to write the meaning of the word. It can be the actual definition, but some people find it easier to remember when it is used in a sentence.
Techniques you can Use to Build up Your Vocabulary
Many words will have multiple meanings, so you will want to address this on the opposite side of the card. You will want to hold a few of these cards, and it will be helpful for you to review them a few times a day. After you’ve reviewed them at least seven times, it is very likely that they will be stuck in your long term memory. When you see the words in the future, or when you hear them, you will automatically know what they mean. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of only storing them in your short term memory.
Your brain is a very sophisticated mechanism. It will get rid of any information that is only stored in your short term memory. Those who are successful with building their vocabulary are those who add these words to their long term memory. It is also important to learn how to build your vocabulary while you read.
If you come across a word you don’t know while you read, you will first want to attempt to learn its meaning based on the context in which it is used. Then you will want to analyze the structure of the word. The structure of a word can often determine whether it has negative or positive connotations.
You can sometimes learn a lot about a word by simply saying it out loud. The way it sounds may convey a message that may tell you a lot about it. Even then, you will want to look it up to find out exactly what it means. This will allow you to recognize the word if you should run across it in the future.