Vocabulary Building – A Word A Day

 In Grammar, Vocabulary Words

A Word A Day is  a great habit and for the English language learner to adopt, and its also a pretty effortless and fun way to expand your vocabulary.  Here are some tips for learning A Word A Day (AWAD), which will ensure you have a great vocabulary before long!

a word a day best practices

1. Select a new word, then use it in a conversation or written sentence the same day.

Once you understand the meaning of the word, try to relate it to something which is familiar to you, and then use it in your own sentence. Do this with whenever you learn a new word a day.

2. Study the different grammatical forms of a new word.

Take the word ‘drive’ – this is both a verb: to drive and a noun: I am going on a drive.  Its adjective form is driven. Driver can also be a noun (the driver of the blue car). Not all words have all grammatical forms. Here, it is useful to have a good English dictionary at your side.

When you have read and understood different variations of a new word a day, make a sentence with each one.

3. Do word associations

Try and associate the word with other things (like a mind map) – this helps you to remember the new word.  For example, if you have the new word FOOTBALL (a noun),

Think of nouns associated with the word (soccer, game, ball, goal)

Think of verbs associated with the word (to kick, to pass, to score, to win, to lose, to bite (!))

Think of adjectives to describe it (fast, beautiful, popular)

Think of examples of the word (Manchester United, Luis Suarez)

4. Carry a notepad with you

If you see a new word while going about your day – while riding on the bus, train, in a restaurant – write it down and look up its meaning on your smartphone.

5. Look for examples on the internet

There are a lot of language or educational websites that offer AWAD (A Word A Day).  Some are specifically designed for learners of English as a Second Language. Or, you can just enter a word in a search engine (such as Google) and write down some sentences that come up that contain that word.

To really remember a word you need to reuse that word over and over before it sticks in your long-term memory. So make sure you include that word in your communication regularly until it is stuck in your brain! Try the A Word A Day AWAD exercise, and expand your vocabulary one day at a time!

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