Methods of Learning Vocabulary

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As every student has to pass the rite of exams with various acronyms, the SAT is one of the earliest ones he or she may come across. Most people know it is one of the main exams that high school students undertake and it is based on the American Curriculum. Perhaps the most obvious quality of American exams are that they will be:

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Strongly vocabulary driven

       This might be an advantage or disadvantage to an average student depending on where his or her skills and affinities lie. Perhaps the saving grace of MCQs lies in the fact that there is no need to show any sort of working and steps (as is the case with the British Curriculum) but only to mark the correct answer.

      The bane of the test taker would probably be the onus of having to learn extensive amounts of vocabulary. This in itself is akin to climbing a mountain and is just as challenging. Learning new words is often not a big deal, but English makes it a touch more challenging because it has heavy influences from other tongues. Words commonly spoken today have roots in the Latin, some of the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian), Greek and others.

So what is the Best Way to Learn new vocabulary?

Besides the old school methods of picking up a dictionary and learning the words listed in it, the modern student has an array of methods that can be utilized.

  1. Read more. It seems to be one of the most obvious and oldest of ways, but it definitely has great benefits to bestow on the one willing to undergo the process. At present, individuals have the great benefit of the internet: besides turning to paper based physical books, there are e-books, online magazines, and other electronic devices that can aid the reader to find materials of his or her choice. There are fiction stories, non-fiction reads, trade magazines, topic based websites for readers who love reading about science, fashion, religion, politics, health and personal care, nature, technology, the news etc. What to read is now limited only by the preferences of the reader.
  2. Watch shows and movies that interest you. With the advent of Netflix, online streaming, podcasts, and entertainment networks such as OSN on TV- there is a cornucopia of choice and access. Based on the watchers’selections, they are exposed to a variety of vernaculars, specialist vocabulary and the layers of meanings a simple word may have. That in itself is a lesson on how words can be utilized to convey shades of meanings, their usage, and what part of speech they are.
  3. Listening to lectures, podcasts, music and news can also help students learn new words.
  4. Using various educational apps on phones, iPad, tablets, laptops are another means to make the process of learning simpler and less taxing on the tired student. Certain apps create an interface that is easy to use, fun and not repetitive in asking students to spell out the words they wish to learn. They utilize methods like matching, filling in the blanks, choosing the correct definition for the term or vice versa along with repetition to attain the goals of learning. They further review the old words in the following sessions to ensure that the new words have been properly cemented into the minds of the users.
  5. Knowledge of prefixes, suffixes and roots is also a great key to help unlock unfamiliar big words. Upon encountering new enormous words, having the ability to dissect them at the joints of prefixes, roots and suffixes can greatly aid the student in comprehending the meaning of this unfamiliar word.


In +com+prehens+ ible

  • In = Not     Com= With/ Together     Prehens= Take/Grasp    Ible=Able of doing, being or undergoing

Something you do not have the ability to put together (an idea/ situation/thing)


Circum+ naviga +tion

  • Circum= round about / round Navigat= to move/ to direct or manage on its course/ to know or plot the position ofTion= noun ending

To go around in a circular way (to reach a goal)

By using a mix of these methods it will be a simple task to learn new words. Yes, learning anything new takes time, effort and dedication; however, if the payoff is that you are scoring well in a major exam, then the trade off is pretty acceptable. As with any learning process, there is no one size fits all. Every individual is unique and thus his or her way of observing the world and attaining information will be too—so find the way that best suits you and go make the world your oyster.

Trainers at Proper Choice Training Institute work with individual for betterment of their language skills not only in terms of exam but also for entire lifetime.

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