At Woodward English on Twitter we have an “English Word of the Day” to help you improve your vocabulary with a new word every day from Monday to Sunday. We also include an example of that new word in a sentence so you can see it in context.
How can you use the English word of the day to help you learn?
The most important thing about learning vocabulary is to USE the new word.
It is best to learn words in context or associated with something and not just reading long lists of words (which is boring and doesn’t help you very much). That is why we have created 7 Tips to help you learn the new word of the day.
7 Tips for learning an English Word a day
1. Use the new word in a sentence
After you have read the word and understood its meaning, use that new word in your own sentence. It is best to try and create a sentence that has some type of relationship or connection with your life.
2. Look for grammatical variations of the word
Look for the different ways (grammatical forms) the word can appear. For example if the word to suspect (a verb) is given to you, you can look for its noun form (suspicion), its adjective form (suspicious) etc. Suspect can also be a noun (a suspect). Remember that not all words have all grammatical forms. It pays to have a good English dictionary to help you with this.
Once you have the different forms of the new word, you can then try and make a sentence with each one.
3. Do Word Associations
Try and associate the word with other things (like a mind map). Not only will it help you remember the new word but it will also increase your knowledge (vocabulary) of other things associated with the word.
For example if you have the new word CAR (a noun),
Think of nouns associated with the word (parts of a car: windscreen, steering wheel…)
Think of verbs associated with the word (to Brake, to accelerate, to crash…)
Think of adjectives to describe it (Fast, rusty… )
Think of examples of the word (Limousine, Jeep…)
If the word is an adjective for example BIG
Think of synonyms or words with a similar meaning (large, enormous, huge…)
Think of antonyms or opposites (small, tiny…)
Think of examples of the adjective (Big: Elephant, a continent, Jupiter…)
4. Carry a list or a notepad with you
Write the new word and its meaning (and maybe an example too) in a small notepad that you can carry with you and read whenever you have a spare moment (or some people keep them in their smartphone). This can be read while you are sitting on a bus, on the underground/subway, or while you are in a waiting room. This will help you see the words more than once and will help them stick in your mind.
5. Make flash cards
Make little cards with each new word on one side and the meaning of that word on the other side. Put them on the ground and if the meaning is face up, then try and think of the word. If the word appears face up, then think of its meaning. When you start to have a lot of cards you can shuffle them and randomly pick out 10 or so every day.
6. Look for examples on the internet
Type the word in a search engine (such as Google) and write down 7 different sentences that contain an example of that word. This way you will see the word in context and maybe other vocabulary associated with it. For better results, look for one sentence every day over 7 different days.
7. Learn the word again on other days
Don’t just learn or practice a word one day and then forget about it. You may think you have learned the word (since you have just been using it) but if you try to remember/use the new word a couple of weeks later, you may find it difficult. To really remember a word you need to reuse that word over and over before it sticks in your long-term memory.
There is a saying in English “Use it or lose it.” Basically this means if you don’t use (or practice) something you have learned, you will eventually forget how to use it properly.
I hope these tips have helped. See you at our English Word of the Day on Twitter.