Vocabulary knowledge is the single most important factor contributing to reading comprehension – Laflamme, 1997
SIMPLE WAYS TO EARN WIDE VOCABULARY
The core to earning a top grade mark in English Literature or Composition involves the mastery of an array of skills, chief among which, is using extensive vocabulary. This means students must never ever try to make their writing look more academic by using “clever” words for their own sake. Instead, always understand that there is a difference between a person’s passive vocabulary (the words one understands) and a person’s active vocabulary (the words one actually uses).
LEARN THE CULTURE. There are a number of different kinds of English around the world. British and American English might seem the same, but there are many little differences.
When you are learning new words in English, keep in mind from which country your syllabus is coming from: the UK or USA . You should learn British English if your syllabus is from OCR, AQA or Edexcel and American English if your syllabus is from College Board or Advanced Placement, and so on.
The word color, for example, is spelled as “colour” in British English. British people use the words “brilliant” and “cheers” often, but Americans prefer to say “cool” instead of “brilliant” and “see you” instead of “cheers.”
A SYNONYM is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase.
In each of the following groups, circle the item that means the same as the boldface word in the introductory phrase:
- intermittent snow: A. irregular B. uninterrupted C. drifting
- A sylvan setting A. urban B. rural C. barren
- A moot issue A. debatable B. pressing C. secondary
- Delivered a diatribe A. baby B. tirade C. newspaper
- Inane comments A. laughable B. brief C. sensible
- histrionic behavior : A. melodramatic B. proper C. subdued
- abrogate the treaty: A. ratify B. sign C. enforce
- Surprised by the perspicacity: A. shrewdness B. betrayal C. obtuseness
- an incongruous remark: A. courteous B. jarring C. lengthy
- a bucolic setting: A.countryside B. neglected C. urban
- exacerbate the injury: A. treat B. report C. intensify
- known for their idiosyncrasies: A. individualistic B. intelligence C. wealth
- a lackadaisical performance: A. indifferent B. energetic C. unenthusiastic
- emulate the actress A. praise B. mimic C. criticise
- banal lyrics: A. sentimental B. trite C. effective
ANSWERS: 1a 2b 3a 4b 5b 6a 7b 8a 9c 10b 11c 12a 13c 14b 15c
How did fair?
Once again Dear Reader, with practice you will see your vocabulary improving so much in both written and spoken.
Good luck in all your endeavours.