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Five Effective Ways to Learn Vocabulary

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  1. Keep a Vocabulary Log – Learners should keep a written log of vocabulary words indicating part of speech, definition, sentence using the word, and a list of related words. A visual cue can also be included to aid with memory.
  2. Make use of context clues – If learners come across a word they do not know, they should look for context clues which can include a synonym of the word, an antonym, an example, or additional and general information leading to the meaning of the word. Analyzing the parts of the word such as the prefix, suffix, and so forth can help.
  3. Practice often – Learners should take advantage of the numerous exercise books on the market today. Townsend Press, for example, has numerous textbooks to develop vocabulary including those from the Academic Word List. Learners can also use numerous mobile apps to learn vocabulary. Publisher websites provide numerous interactive exercises also.
  4. Read a lot – Reading is one of the best ways to improve vocabulary. There are no shortcuts and learners must make it a habit to read often. They might underline words they do not know and then include them in their log. It must also be emphasized that not every word needs to be understood to understand the overall gist of a text so a selection of words might be included so learners do not get overwhelmed and discouraged. Learners should be encouraged to read for meaning also.
  5. Memorize – It is known fact that information that needs to become part of our long term memory must be focused on which means memorizing vocabulary words can make this possible. Learners can create a set of flashcards to practice. A monthly ScriptoPro account (where a learner signs up as an “instructor”) will allow for unlimited flashcard sets. Instructors of classrooms can also create sets for their learners to use. Try it today!

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