1. Increase your vocabulary by learning to use CONTEXT CLUES, so that you can teach yourself new words every time you read.
of the vocabulary youll learn in life wont come from reading the dictionary.
Most vocabulary it is learned by reading textbooks, novels and other literature.
Often when reading youll come across words that youve never seen before.
And often youll figure out what these words mean by how they are used in
the text you are reading. Most literature includes context clues to the meanings
of words that some readers may not know. The context clue is most often presented
in the sentence or paragraph where the word is located.
following are six types of context clues used to help the read understand the
meaning of words. To help you better understand each clue weve provided
Description clue. Descriptions are included in the text to allow the reader
to understand the meaning of a word. In the following example, descriptions of
the water as being cloudy, dirty and hazy help the read understand the meaning
John and Carol arrived at the lake they didnt dare enter the murky water.
The water was so cloudy, dirty and hazy that neither of them thought it would
be safe to swim in.
Definition clue. In the text a definition is indirectly provided in order
to help the reader understand the meaning of the word. In the following example,
ambushed is defined as being attacked by surprise.
the army marched through the jungle they were ambushed by a tribe of savage natives.
Reporters said that the army should have know better than to walk through a dangerous
part of the jungle where they could be caught off guard and attacked.
Synonym clue. A synonym clue is where the author includes a synonym to help
the read understand the meaning of a word. A synonym is word that has a similar
meaning as another word. In the following example, the synonym argument
helps the reader understand the meaning of the word altercation.
and her mom got into a serious altercation. Afterwards Jill decided that getting
into a heated argument with her mom just wasnt worth it.
Antonym clue. The author uses an antonym to help the reader understand the
meaning of a word. An antonym is a worth that means the exact opposite of another
word. In the following example, the antonym slowly is used to help
the reader understand the meaning of hastily.
hastily crossed the street and was hit by a car. However, Johns friend Lisa
slowing crossed the street looking for cars as she went and made it safely to
the other side.
Summary clue. A summary clue is where the author of the text makes several
statements that enable the reader to understand the meaning of the word. In the
follow example, the statements made about being bad-tempered, grouchy and cranky
help the read to understand the meaning of the word cantankerous.
child is the most cantankerous child Ive ever met. He is always cranky or
grouchy wherever I see him. And Ive never met such a bad-tempered child
in all my life.
Visual clues. This is where a picture, drawing, diagram, chart or other type
of visual aid is used to help the read understand the meaning of the word.
clues are one of the best ways to figure out the meaning of a word you dont
know. So the next time you come across a word you dont understand use context
clues to help you understand the words meaning.
2. Increase your vocabulary by learning to use WORD PARTS so that you can figure out word meaning by looking at their prefixes, suffixes and roots.
Words can be made of combination of different parts called ROOTS (or BASES), PREFIXES, and SUFFIXES. Roots, prefixes, and suffixes have their worn separate meaning and can be looked up individually in a dictionary. These meanings suggest the overall meanings of the words they compose.
A PREFIX is a letter of group of letters that come at the beginning of a word. A prefix alters the meaning of a word. For example, adding the prefix un to the word “happy” changes the meaning of “happy” to the opposite of happy. In addition, sometimes adding a prefix changes the part of speech. An example of this adding the prefix dis to the adjective “able” which produces the verb “disable.” Because of their significant impact on root words, prefixes are the most frequent word part studied.
A SUFFIX is a word part added to the end of the word. It does not generally alter a word’s meaning, but it will often change a word from one part of speech to another. For example, when the suffix -ness is placed after the adjective “kind“ the results is the noun “kindness.”
A ROOT is a basic word to which prefixes and suffixes can be added. It cannot be further separated into parts and is fairly constant in form and meaning. It can be found at the beginning, middle, or end of a word.
Be aware that there are times when a group of letters appears to be a prefix, suffix, or root, but it is not. For instance, the prefix anti- means “against” or “opposite of” as in “antisocial.” However, anti- is not a prefix in the work “anticipate” or “antique.”
Learning word parts is very useful in building one’s vocabulary. Roots and prefixes come from Greek and Latin words. One Latin or Greek word may provide the clue to a dozen or more English words. One expert said that ten Latin words and two Greek words are the basis for 2,500 English words. The prefix pseudo which means “false” is at the beginning of 800 words. The root anthrop which means “mankind” is used to begin 112 words. Therefore, studying word parts is an efficient way to improve a person’s word knowledge.
3. READ WIDELY, READ A VARIETY OF THINGS so that you will be exposed to thousands of new words each month. Keep a vocabulary journal to record the interesting words you find, or make word cards so that you can see your vocabulary growing.
IF YOU READ MINUTES A DAY, YOU WILL READ MILLIONS OF WORDS PER YEAR
minutes per day words per year
1. Read even as little as 15 or 20 minutes per day over a long period of time. (a year)
2. It is important to read a significant quantity of material.
(about 20 pages each day, 100 pages each week)
3. Read a variety of material
4. Read consistently -- every day
5. You can stop reading a book before finishing it and choose another one.
6. Read books that are challenging to improve your vocabulary.
7. Keep an informal daily journal of your reading.
4. TEST YOURSELF and have fun at the same time.
can use the "It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power" feature in Reader's
Digest magazine each month.
Reader's Digest Online http://www.rd.com "Free registration and signup"
on | Games | in the top navigation bar
on Word Power under MORE FUN WORD GAMES
signup - (Free) or
login - (member already)
ahead and try some of the other games. Have fun and learn!
Word of the day and many other useful links. http://dictionary.reference.com/
Word Games: http://www.wordplays.com
Word games from http://www.pogo.com/ (Word games)
All levels, fun vocabulary matching games.
Vocabulary Tests on Vocab Test.com: offers you, the eager student ready to learn,
free vocabulary tests, which are the best way to boost your verbal skills. http://www.vocabtest.com/
a free resource used in over 20,000 schools to enhance vocabulary mastery &
written/verbal skills with Latin & Greek roots. http://www.vocabulary.com/
The Fun Way to Build Vocabulary Skills!
Test Preparation & Vocabulary Building
Made Fun. http://www.vocabulary.co.il
Longman Vocabulary Website: Word
Yahoo Word Games: http://games.yahoo.com/word-games
Vocabulary and Donate Rice at the same time!
for ESOL Students: Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you learn English
as a Second Language (ESL) This project of The Internet TESL Journal (iteslj.org)
has thousands of contributions by many teachers.
PODCASTS (Links to iTunes)
Hot for Words | Learning words can be fun. Marina Orlova – Not your typical philologist. Etymology, philology , word origins, origin of, hot teacher.
5. Use the Library to find other resources for building you vocabulary. Bookstores have “Word for Today” calendars, crossword puzzles, and vocabulary word card boxes.
6. USE your words from time to time in conversations.
Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.