Chapter 6 improving your vocabulary


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Chapter 6 improving your vocabulary

  1. 1. HOW TO STUDY IN COLLEGE Chapter 6 – Improving your vocabulary
  2. 2. Improving your vocabulary <ul><li>Trouble/struggles in a class can sometimes be traced to poor comprehension of terms essential to subject matter </li></ul><ul><li>Some first year courses can introduce almost as many new words as a first year FL course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chemistry: kinetic, isomer, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some courses introduce new meanings for terms you already know; should be learned as if new words </li></ul>
  3. 3. Improving your vocabulary <ul><li>A large wide-ranging vocabulary is necessary for grasping important ideas and facts (mechanic and tool kit analogy) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Using a dictionary <ul><li>According to text, using a dictionary is the best way to improve vocabulary when your encounter a new word </li></ul><ul><li>Context clues : can be useful, but have limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides only the meaning fitting the situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You often end up with a synonym (not quite the same) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your guesswork can be slightly or greatly mistaken </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Using a dictionary <ul><li>Pocket dictionary suggested . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Abridged vs. unabridged </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware that NO WORD IS EVER FULLY DEFINED EVEN BY A GOOD DICTIONARY! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Words have multiple shades of meaning – these become apparent when using words in a variety of context. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DETERIORATION (pollution, corruption, recession, atrophy, loss) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The deterioration of: honesty in government, economy, atmosphere, muscles . . .. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Recognizing word roots and prefixes <ul><li>Get to know the most common English roots and prefixes to help learn more than one word at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Root = the core of the word; it holds the basic meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Prefix = a word beginning that modifies the root </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated 60% of common use English are made partly or entirely of prefixes or roots – once learned, they can help you understand many words with no dictionary </li></ul>
  7. 7. Recognizing word roots and prefixes video
  8. 8. Recognizing word roots and prefixes <ul><li>Table 6.1 (129) – Common word roots (bio, cardio, geo, hydro, pyro) </li></ul><ul><li>Table 6.2 (130) – common prefixes (anti, de, multi, non, pre) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing meanings of prefixes/roots can unlock meanings of unfamiliar words, but it should not replace a good ol’ dictionary </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mastering difficult words <ul><li>No quick/easy way to a powerful vocabulary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Book suggests writing new words down on notecards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>record words encountered in the classroom or in textbooks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In textbook readings, pay special attention to the definitions of words (defined after first used or in glossary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn words that intrigue you; more effective than memorizing from a given list </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The frontier vocabulary system <ul><li>Based on natural learning processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The four characteristics of all learning processes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skills progress from the simple to the complex </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each skill is developed in an orderly sequence of steps </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Each step is at a different level of difficulty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No significant step may be skipped. Each step seems to develop the muscle or brain pattern that makes the next step possible. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same with learning words – progress from simple to complex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty in learning a word depends on the complexity of the idea it stands for </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The frontier vocabulary system <ul><li>The basis of the frontier vocabulary system: </li></ul><ul><li>Easiest words learned first </li></ul><ul><li>At the forward edge of the mass of all the words that have been mastered is an individual’s frontier; very few words beyond frontier have been mastered </li></ul><ul><li>Greatest learning takes place in the frontier area </li></ul><ul><li>Words in the frontier area are similar; here, almost-known words need only a “slight straightening out” </li></ul><ul><li>Learning becomes inefficient when a learner skips beyond the frontier </li></ul>
  12. 12. The frontier vocabulary system <ul><li>Frontier words: you might know how to pronounce it; you may know one of its meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>You can master these words with minimal effort, rapid progress </li></ul>
  13. 13. Vocabulary development <ul><li>Words are difficult to remember out of context; it helps to have a body of information with which to associate a word </li></ul><ul><li>Learn words by concept/illustration – this makes them especially memorable </li></ul>