You can build a large house if you have a lot of bricks. And you can use English more freely if you have a large vocabulary.
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Learning a language is like building a house. The bricks of that house are the vocabulary words. You can build a large house if you have a lot of bricks. And you can use English more freely if you have a large vocabulary.
I’m going to give you 7 tips for learning new words.
1. Look at the word and a photo or video that represents that word.
View photos or video of real people, real places, real things, and real activities. Cartoons can be helpful, but photos of real things and real people are even better. They are powerful; they may be emotional; they are great for helping you remember the words that you are learning.
2. Listen to the words.
Students learn better when they both see and hear. If you hear the word while you see the word and view a photo that represents the word, you are more likely to remember the word. And if you hear the word and learn the pronunciation, you will feel better about using that word when you speak.
3. See and hear the word in sentences and conversations.
Imagine that you learn the word taxi. And you want to talk about going to the airport in a taxi. Do you have a taxi, take a taxi, or do a taxi? You see or hear a sentence that says, “Sarah will take a taxi to the airport.” Because you heard the word in a sentence or a conversation, you know how to use that word in a sentence.
Also, when you watch or listen to someone using the word in a sentence, that person’s voice and facial expression shows the meaning too. For example, you might hear someone say, “The price on this sweater is outrageous.” The voice and facial expression show that if something is outrageous, it is surprising and causes anger.
4. Speak the word out loud.
After you hear a new word, say it out loud. Use the word alone, and then use it in a sentence. Pronouncing the word out loud and using it in a sentence will help you remember it.
5. Use a dictionary for words that you do not know.
A dictionary says a lot about a word, including the pronunciation, the meaning, and example sentences.
6. Keep a notebook.
When you learn a new word, write it down. Next to the word, you can write down the meaning, an example sentence, and the translation in your own language. You can also draw a picture for the word.
7. Use the word in real conversations.
After you learn a new word, try to use it in a conversation as soon as possible. Is there a person in your life who encourages you to use English? Call or meet with that person and talk about the vocabulary words that you are learning.
Dictionaries are great. Vocabulary lists are great. But the best way to learn new words is to listen to them being used in real sentences so that you can speak them in real sentences.