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Chapter 6 improving your vocabulary

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Text of Chapter 6 improving your vocabulary

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