One of the most common problems faced by students learning and striving to improve in English is the issue of remembering vocabulary.
At Pep Talk India, many students preparing for competitive exams like IELTS, GRE, GMAT, CAT and government exams have the following query:
“After working doggedly to improve my English, I still find it difficult to memorize the large numbers of words that I come across. It feels like all my hard work comes to naught.”
In our opinion, the approach taken by the students needs to be rectified, as merely memorizing a lot of words together will never work for you. You will end up forgetting most of them and fail to recognize when you need it the most.
But fret not, for we have come up with a short list of 5 tips to help you out. You will be pleased to know that this exercise, carried out in select batches at Pep Talk India, has been immensely beneficial for the students.
Here are the tips you should follow:
Instead of mugging up 20-30 words at one go, restrict yourself to learning 5-10 words per week only. Use them in different conversations that you have with people. Learn their meanings and visualize what kind of conversations you could have with people in that week where these words could be used. Remember, building a solid repository of words this way will take some time so prepare for your exams way before they are scheduled and most of all, don’t become impatient. The results will show eventually.
Learning new words one after the other will make you terribly confused. Your strategy instead should be to learn more synonyms so that you can create word clusters and associate them with a particular word.
What should you do if you read a new word in a book? Should you just google its meaning and jot it down in your notebook?
You need to understand it and frame sentences of your own. You will come across several examples on the internet as well. See if these sentences match with yours! Understand the context in which they have been used.
Another effective way to build a good vocab is to use these words in short fictional stories and write-ups. If your imagination is not vivid then recap your daily experience of the day using the words you read. This can be your diary entry about whatever experience you had during the day. Write using pen or paper, your laptop/tablet/mobile or anything that suits you!
We all love to binge on Netflix shows and watch movies of different genres, right?
How about utilizing this time to also improve your English vocab?
First of all, watch everything with subtitles. If there is any particular word being used by a character that seems unfamiliar to you, note it down and also see the situation in which he is speaking the same.
This will provide you context for that word and you will be able to use it in a similar situation in real life!