“A man with a scant vocabulary will almost certainly be a weak thinker”
– Henry Hazlitt
Words play a vital role in communication. When it comes to the choice of words in a sentence it isn’t easy to be perfect all the time. Most of the English language learners complain that they fall short of words when they speak, whereas, some people even say that it is a challenge for them to remember or recall the words when they are in a conversation. But majority of the learners confront problems related to building a bank of words. Thus, it’s pertinent to only only learn and improve vocabulary, but also to retain the words long enough to use it in conversations.
Well, now imagine, how you would feel if you had a magical potion that would solve all the vocabulary problems?
We always give ideas or suggestions to language learners to build the word power. And, Yes! The most popular ideas suggested to the learners are reading a newspaper, magazine or a book.
Understand, not everyone in this world likes caffeine. Some people are addicted to water too. Let us keep it simple. Reading doesn’t work for all. So we need another method that works for all.
Vocabulary can be built with a simple approach and that is ‘Knowledge”. Knowledge of words is important for its use. With knowledge of word, I do not mean to look up for the word in the dictionary.
Knowledge of the word includes three things:
- Know the part of speech of the given word
- Know the meaning of the word
- Know if there are any synonyms of the word
It is definitely easy for people to use adjectives over nouns. In an English class, students were asked to pick a word and frame a sentence. Guess what were the words? The words were, ‘angry’ and ‘anger’.Majority of the students chose angry to form the sentence. Why did they choose angry? Not because they didn’t know the meaning of “Anger”. It was because it is an adjective and is easy to use whereas anger is a noun and learners found it difficult to place it in a sentence.
How can English language learners build and improve vocabulary?
Knowledge of the word. Get to know the part of speech of the word before its meaning. “Knowledge is power.”
Be realistic. Use the word in situations that are realistic.
To make sure that you remember all the words, it is important to use the word daily at least three times in three different sentences. But try to be as real as you can.
Reading is a great way to build your vocabulary. However, pick up books or genres that interest you. Picking up books based on popularity and likes of other people may not help much.
Look for synonyms. It is just another way to increase your knowledge and build a power bank.
Remember, you are gaining knowledge about words and not just simply building your vocabulary. Knowledge comes with experience and time. Be patient and keep absorbing!