Study Tricks to Learn Vocabulary

Numerous techniques for conquering vocabulary extend beyond the standard method of memorizing a list of words. Certain techniques are predictable, while others are more imaginative. Regardless of how you choose to learn unfamiliar terminology, ensure you allow yourself ample time in which to do so. Truly enhancing one’s vocabulary is not something that occurs overnight. Whether you decide to learn independently or with an English tutor, the study tricks below can help you ultimately learn vocabulary terms.

Divide vocabulary lists into small portions

First and foremost, it is very important that students do not overwhelm themselves with new terms. Memorizing an intensive list of vocabulary within a short timeframe is likely to be ineffective and frustrating. Instead of attempting to remember a large number of words at one time, attempt to learn one term well each day. The key to successfully expanding one’s vocabulary is consistency; this means you should review each day, but not for an extended period of time. Little by little, you can incorporate an astonishing number of words. And you will not exhaust yourself, either. You may also want to consider these 5 random items to help you study.                    

Use vocabulary words in context

Utilizing a new vocabulary word in a relevant context is just as essential as learning the term’s definition. If you have memorized the meaning of a word but do not understand how to apply it within a sentence, the term will not be of much help to you. So, once you have mastered a word’s definition, you should aim to use that term at least once during the day. Studies show that an individual is far more likely to recall a new word if he/she was able to employ it in a fitting situation.             

Read as often as possible

Another excellent way to learn vocabulary is by reading literature. This includes articles, magazines, newspapers, novels, and so forth. Classic novels, in particular, are known for their extensive and lofty lexicon. However, it should be noted that reading is not a rapid method for mastering vocabulary. Instead, reading is a long-term approach to increasing one’s terminology. You should not expect to see vast improvements immediately.                 

Annotate passages

Certain students form a habit of brushing past unknown words when they encounter them in their readings. Though it may be tempting, this is a practice you should avoid if you wish to broaden the scope of your vocabulary. Instead, circle words in your readings that are unfamiliar to you and then determine what they mean. Keep a dictionary near when you read so that you can easily search for definitions and record them. This is a wonderful way to increase your vocabulary and your understanding of the reading material at the same time. Here are some tips on how to annotate text.           

Learn a foreign language

Many words in the English language are derived from Latin. Studying foreign languages, especially the romance languages, may aid you in learning additional words in English. For example, the Spanish term sagaz means “shrewd,” which is extremely similar to the word “sagacious” in English. Not surprisingly, sagacious also means shrewd. This is just one of a countless number of words that are alike in both English and Spanish. The same can be said of French and Italian, as well. Foreign language study is reputed to assist students significantly on the vocabulary portions of the SAT. If you pay more attention in foreign language class, you just might improve your grade in English, too! Here are 5 tips for learning a foreign language that you may find helpful.

Get to know the English tongue           

Another practical technique to learn vocabulary is studying morphology. Morphology is a field that analyzes the structure and parts of words. It is always a wise idea to be well versed on common English prefixes, roots, and suffixes. For example, recognizing that the prefix “inter” means “between” can aid you in understanding a number of words, even if you have never encountered those terms before. Perhaps “interdependent” is an unfamiliar word to you, but you are likely familiar with the word “dependent.” Thus, if you know what the prefix “inter” implies, you will be able to deduce that “interdependent” means “dependent on one another.” When it seems impossible to memorize your vocabulary words, turn to morphology—and the above techniques—to ease the process.