Teacher Guide to Learn New Vocabulary Words
Building a good vocabulary is one of the most valuable things you can do. There are well over 150,000 words in the English language and there will never be an end to learning new, interesting words.
Big, fancy words and endless lists of vocabulary homework may seem uninteresting and useless but it's really very important. Knowing your language helps you to communicate with others effectively, write and read. There's nothing more satisfying than reading a good book where you understand all the words and don't have to stop or stumble over them. You will grasp the true meaning of sentences, and be able to express yourself properly.
There are a few tips and tricks to building a strong vocabulary. By practicing often, using games, and discussions to review words you will start a strong foundation by which other, bigger words will come more easily. Often once you learn the meaning of most root words, or what a word is before suffixes and prefixes are added, new words will be easier to recognize and understand without having to even touch a dictionary.
That said, the first most important thing you can do is to have your own dictionary, or one that is always easy to find. This way whenever you come across a word you don't know you can take a quick peek in the dictionary to find out the meaning and pronunciation of it.
Once you have your dictionary handy the next important step is to read. Read things that interest you, whether it be magazine articles, novels or even comics. Take your time reading and whenever you see a word that doesn't quite make sense look it up in your dictionary and write it down in a notebook or on a card. This way you can go back and review the word as often as you want until you've memorized it.
Review your list or cards as often as you can, even if it's only once or twice a week. Look at the word and cover the meaning with your hand. Say out loud or in your head what you think the meaning for that word is and then uncover the written one down to see if you're right.
Use mnemonics (pronounced new-mon-icks) to memorize words. Mnemonics are memory tricks we use to associate with things in order to recall them easier. For example for the word "austere", which means simple, limited or without excess or luxury, picture "A-steer" (cattle) clothed in monk's robes. It sounds silly but every time you try to think of what the word means these simple silly pictures will come automatically and connect you to the word and meaning.
Another excellent and fun way to get into vocabulary is to play games. Games like Boggle, Scrabble, trivia and even Pictionary can help you to learn new words and memorize them. You'll be spelling, and possibly drawing or acting out words. You won't even realize you're learning!
By using these tips and tricks you'll have no problem building a great vocabulary. Why wait, start today and one day you'll be close to knowing that 150,000 plus words in the English language in no time!
Related Teacher Resources That Are Worth A Look:
- 10 Easy Tips to Learn Vocabulary Words Faster
- Exploring Words
- Grade Level 1
- Grade Level 2
- Grade Level 3
- Grade Level 4
- Grade Level 5
- Grade Level 6
- Grade Level 7
- Grade Level 8
- Free Vocabulary Tests
- Word Traps
- All Vocabulary Units