A good vocabulary is a thing we all crave for, and use many methods told at times. But the results are never as we want them to be. And though many techniques enrich our vocabulary, the level we want to achieve or the techniques claim is seldom obtained.
A simple fact is that building a good vocabulary is not easy, whatever technique you use and whatever claims several advertisers make. But it is not impossible either. You need to understand a few simple things and take care of them while working on your vocabulary. And the first one is, the earlier you start, the better you do. So, let’s start.
Today is the Best Day
Next week is not the best time. Next month is too far. Tomorrow has never come till date. Yes, if you want to start, today is the best day to start. The earlier you start building a good vocabulary, the better it is. But if you haven’t started it yet, there is no point in thinking why. Find your material, make a dictionary handy, and start today.
If there is one key to learning, it’s being Regular. Once you start, remain regular whatever happens. Doing fifty words a day and leaving four days makes no sense and you won’t get results. Do less words if you have less time on some day or stick to only revising old words, but do not leave a day.
Pen and Paper are the Best Mates
However good techniques of learning you get, be it CDs, websites, or flash cards, the best pals of a good vocabulary are pen and paper. (Don’t confuse with English Speaking techniques, the needs for the two things are very much different.) Whether it is words found in a newspaper/magazine, or those on a flash card, if you write them once, it will better, both for your memory and your spellings. Of course, spelling is an important part of vocabulary and English language needs even experts to learn them.
Have a Good Dictionary
Most of the dictionaries are good, be it an Oxford, a Chambers’, or a Cambridge. Online dictionaries or softwares are not preferable. Though I cannot explain the reasons very well, this is what I have learnt from my experience as a computer engineering student. In short I can say that online dictionaries/softwares make people lazy, but if you disagree or don’t like the logic, I’m completely fine with that as this is not the complete explanation.
While choosing a dictionary, keep in mind that the words should have usage along with meanings. Usage are essential to understand words and remember them initially.
Hard work is Must
If you have planned to enrich your vocabulary after seeing some ‘Learning English made easy’ signboard, think again. Because there is no way to master a language without hard work. You need not only learn a lot of words, you will need to revise them, again and again. And again.
If you want to build a good vocabulary you will have to work. No doubts about it, please.
Keep Words Near Your Eyes
Keeping new words near your eyes is important so that you can keep on seeing them again and again. Here are a few possible ways.
- Write them in a pocket diary and keep them handy.
- Write them in a copy/on a paper and keep it on your table.
- Write them on the back of a calendar and hang it in your room where you can see it repeatedly and also write on it.
Find out which of the ways is most suitable for you through which you can access the words easily whenever you want to. The words should be seen several times a day. At least thrice for an idea.
Put Your Brain to Work
This is a key point I want to lay stress on. The more you make your brain work, the longer you will be able to remember words. That is, if you write the meanings of all words in front of you, you are less likely to be able to recall them later because your brain wasn’t put to work.
You can get a much better output by only writing words and not their meanings. Now try to recall the meaning of the words every time you see them. Find the meanings of those you forget, in the dictionary, again. This way you will put your brain to work.
To Sum Up
Everyday keep revising all the words you have studied in past 15 days and I hope you won’t forget it for a long time. I have worked on this technique with a calendar and found it the best ever technique.
Though you may think this technique to be a wastage of time, yet I would say there is no use of saving time if your work doesn’t get you results. So if you have failed with other techniques, try this for a period of time, say at least 15 days. I hope you will not be disappointed with the results.
Wish you all the best. For doubts/suggestions/criticism, comments are welcome.