This is a guest post by Muzaffar Khazhimatov – an honored member of English Club Pro and a student from Edelweis Progress Center (EPC).
How you doing guys. Today, we will talk about something which has always been the pain in our necks. Learning new words! The tips you will read are really helpful for me and my friends, in fact, these strategies saved my life in exams many times. In advance, I had better say that most strategies are recommended for Intermediate students.
1. Carry a small notebook & pen
You can always write a new word. Moreover, you will be able to revise these new words wherever and whenever you want. The notebook you see in the picture below is always with me (IELTS takers, it would be great if you make keeping this kind of mini notebooks as a habit). Why? Because when you have some free time, instead of goofing off you may take this notebook and revise the words. Going to college in the morning, revise the words. Going somewhere in a bus, revise the words.
You will have to write all definitions of a single word. For instance, let’s take the word `run`. I guess you didn’t know that `run` also means `to be in charge of`. For example `He has no idea how to run a business`. Here comes another tip, when you find a new word or phrase, make up an example and write it in your notebook. By this way, you will bear in mind new words much better.
2. Learn all forms of the word
As we know, there are nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs of a single word. Thus, you had better learn all forms. In order to demonstrate my point, let’s take the word `beautiful`. It is an adjective. What is the noun of this word? That’s `beauty`. How about the adverb? That’s `beautifully`. The verb? It’s `beautify` See, now you have 4 words. That’s why it’s better to learn all forms.
3. Learn more collocations than individual words
Collocations are the basis of the fluent and natural English. The reason is some words only go with certain prepositions or just other words. Let’s take the word `aware`. Many students misuse the word by saying `I got aware or I am getting aware`. That’s a serious mistake because we say `I became aware or I am becoming aware`. I should inform you that you already know a lot of collocations.
4. Learn topic topic-based vocabulary
Let’s take technology and related words to it as an illustration. There’s a word `obsolete` which simply means `out of date, old`. Another word is `cutting-edge` which means very new. If you are curious, you may find lots of words on this theme. If you want to be a doctor, try to find words related to medicine. I tried myself and found dozens of related words and phrases. There are also topic related collocations =)
Where to find new words?
1. Read a lot
Read anything you enjoy reading. It can be fiction, magazine, or even the course book of Economics =) There, you may find collocations, some topic related phrases and etc. Find the definitions of unknown words and write them down immediately to your mini notebook.
2. Listen a lot
Besides getting new words, you will correct your mistakes in pronunciation and spelling. I recommend listening to the bands like `Breaking Benjamin`, `Three Days Grace` and `Linkin Park`. Yes, they are rock groups but the words they use in their songs are really helpful to build your vocabulary.
Subscribe to `The word of the day` emails. You may find them in the websites of the dictionaries like Marriam-Webster, Oxford and etc.
Tuesday: Topic related vocabulary
Wednesday: Academic words
Friday: Topic related vocabulary
Saturday: Academic words and idioms
Sunday: Revise all of them