Improving vocabulary skills requires constant attention. This 'how to' focuses on a basic strategy for increasing vocabulary in specific subject areas through the use of a vocabulary tree.
Time Required: Varies
- Choose a subject area that interests you very much.
- Write a short introduction to the subject trying to use as many vocabulary words concerning the subject as possible.
- Using your introduction, arrange the principle ideas concerning the subject into a vocabulary tree.
- To create a vocabulary tree, put the subject at the center of a piece of paper.
- Around the central subject, put the principle areas relating to the subject. Example - verbs, descriptive adjectives, where, etc.
- In each of these categories, write the appropriate vocabulary. If you need to, write sub-categories.
- Create the same vocabulary tree in your native language
- Your native language tree will be much more detailed. Use this native language tree as a reference point to look up new words and fill in your English tree.
- Rewrite your introductory essay concerning the subject taking advantage of the new vocabulary learned.
- To make this vocabulary active, practice reading your essay aloud until you can present it by memory.
- Ask a friend or fellow classmate to listen to your presentation and ask you questions about the subject.
- Remember that vocabulary goes from passive knowledge to active knowledge - this means that you need to repeat a word often before it becomes active vocabulary.
- Be patient with yourself, it takes time for this process to work.
- Try to always learn vocabulary in groups of words instead of random lists. In this manner, words are related to each other and are more likely to remember over the long-term.