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Students: Expand your English vocabulary!

February 20, 2013

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Image courtesy of Horia Varlan at Flickr

Image courtesy of Horia Varlan at Flickr

 

You learn something every day if you pay attention.

-Ray LeBlond

OR if you subscribe to a word of the day email.

 

Expanding your vocabulary can be difficult, especially since you rarely have the opportunity to use an SAT vocabulary word: when is the last time you have used ‘iconoclast’ or ‘hyperbole’?

However, the inescapable first step to improving your vocabulary skills is knowing that a particular word exists, which is why it is recommended that you subscribe to a mailing list or visit a website that will provide you with a new word every day.

 

We recommend word of the day services from Merriam-Webster Online and The New York Times Learning Network.

 

Tips:

 

  • Do not just read the word of the day. Say it out loud, as then you are more inclined to pay attention to how the word is spelled, and those of us who are not visual learners can benefit from this oral tactic.
  • Think of synonyms for the word. You can confirm that you indeed do know the definition of the word and that you are comfortable with the context in which the word should be used, i.e. have you correctly identified its part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.)?
  • If you can, use the word! Today’s word of the day at the Learning Network is ‘mendicant’, which certainly poses a challenge for use in everyday conversation. However, when searching for the word in news articles (news.google.com), the results show many examples of how it is used to in current events and thus how ‘mendicant’ may be worked into a conversation.

 

If you really find yourself struggling to use the vocabulary word, send your coordinator an email and impress us!

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