Top 5 Tips for Learning Vocabulary Terms:
- Practice, practice, practice. Learning a word won’t help very much if you promptly forget it. Research shows that it takes from 10 to 20 repetitions to really make a word part of your vocabulary. It helps to write the word – both the definition and a sentence you make up using the word – perhaps on an index card that can later be reviewed. As soon as you learn a new word, start using it. Review your index cards periodically to see if you have forgotten any of your new words.
- Make up as many associations and connections as possible. Say the word aloud to activate your auditory memory. Relate the word to words you already know. For example, the word GARGANTUAN (very large) has a similar meaning to the words gigantic, huge, large, etc. You could make a sequence: small, medium, large, very large, GARGANTUAN. List as many things as you can that could be considered GARGANTUAN: Godzilla, the amount of homework from this class, the popcorn tub from the movie theater, etc.
- Use mnemonics (memory tricks). For example, consider the word EGREGIOUS (extremely bad). Think EGG REACH US – imagine we’ve made a mistake so bad that they are throwing eggs at us and a rotten EGG REACHes US. Such funny little word pictures will help you remember what words mean, and they are fun to make up. Also, find out which learning style suits you best. Everyone learns differently!
- Play with words. Play Scrabble, Boggle, and do crossword puzzles. These and other word games are available for the computer, so you are not dependent on a partner to play. Also, try out the Franklin Electronic Dictionary that features built-in word games.
- Get excited about words! Come to appreciate the sometimes-subtle differences between them. Do you know the difference between something that denotes something else and something that connotes something else? If not, go look it up. Learn to say what you really mean and discover the joys of being able to express yourself in writing. Your future can depend on how rich your vocabulary is. A good vocabulary will make a difference on the standardized tests, like the SAT and GRE, that could determine whether or where you go to college. It will also determine the quality of your communication. So be in it for the long pull. Let building your vocabulary be a lifelong proposition. Remember: “In the beginning was the word.” Until you have a word for something, it does not exist for you. Name it, and you have made your reality richer.
(For more tips, visit http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/vocabulary_tips.htm.)
Online Word Within a Word Practice and Games: http://quizlet.com/subject/word-within-a-word/