Learning to Learn English Vocabulary 

Although to continuously build vocabulary seem like an uphill task because of its knotty characteristics but, it is not a complex process to learn vocabulary explicitly.

Many believe that reading is a good way to enhance once vocabulary, actually it is not so.

It’s all in the vocabulary learning tools that will give you head start in learning new words and building your vocabulary. With little training and regular practice of reading, writing, speaking and listening and vocabulary learning tips you will be able to keep the words in your long term memory for recall at will.

How do we learn words?

Many a time when we accidentally encounter a new word while reading or listening, most of us use different techniques to get its meaning:

  • · Try to get the meaning from context
  • · Look at the Root Word
  • · Look up dictionary for its meaning, pronunciation and usage
  • · Mentally revise the word and its meaning
  • · Make our own sentence to understand it better
  • · Use the word for our conversation and communication.

What do you do to learn English vocabulary or get the meaning of new words you meet for the first time? Ponder over it and jot down your thoughts.

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Although we do learn new words when we read a lot but, we need certain level of vocabulary to understand written material and build on that. Whereas when we deliberately learn new words we have freedom to learn useful words which we tend to remember for longer time.

We all have automated learning system that helps us absorb most new words or learn English Vocabulary without being aware of the learning happening while reading; however, such leaning is short lived. There are many reasons why learning vocabulary through reading has its limitations.


Learning new words is demanding and requires a bit of discipline from your end. But efforts you put into learning vocab will reward you many fold.

These simple vocabulary learning checklists will help you learn new words in a jiffy.

To improve vocabulary you will need to put efforts because knowing a word well requires you to meet/ use it repeatedly. According to research findings you need at least 7-10 exposures to a word before that word becomes part of your system. Therefore, must adopt a systematic approach to build vocabulary and here is how.


Everybody knowingly or unknowingly uses learning methods inherent to him/her for learning anything. With regard to vocabulary we learn new words by:

Associating: When we come across a new word we try to decode the meaning by associating its meaning with the contextual use. (Context means nearby words in the sentence that can give clues).

Linking: We link the word with pre-existing idea, information to get the meaning.

Visualising: to draw on a similar picture of the word from our mind's eye to understand it.

Rhyming: We consciously look for other rhyming words in the text to decode word’s meaning.

Asking: Some of us take the shortcut by asking others for the meaning of the word

Using: Once we learn a new word we deliberately use it so that we remember it for longer time.

Finding the root word: Advanced language users use this method to decipher new word’s meaning by looking at the meaning of the root word. For example ‘Homicide, Insecticide’ are made with root_ cide (Meaning-Cut), Home+ Cide (killing human), Insect+ Cide (Killing insect)

Repeating: Some of us learn English vocabulary by repeating it in our conversation and writing.

Discover the secret of learning thousand words at once with prefixes, suffixes and roots

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Oxford English Dictionary publishes new word updates and revised word meanings, on March, June,September and December every year. For instance, in March 2012, it added:
bit bucket n. An An imaginary trash location, example, "it fell into the bit bucket" means the data was lost.

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