• Tips on building your vocabulary


    Tips on building your vocabulary: Advice to learners


         Samson E Philipo



    Mastery of the vocabulary of the language is essential to become a good writer. Good writers are obsessed with words, which are the tools of their trade. These are a few things you can do to build your vocabulary:

    • Rally all your senses to the cause of building a rich vocabulary. Keep your eyes wide open and your ears pricked up and enlist your senses of smell, taste and touch, whenever necessary. Does a word you do not know try to flit past your eyes in your reading? Do not give it a chance. Chase it to the dictionary and apprehend it. Keep a dictionary, both at your reading desk and by your bed.
    • Read a lot, read slowly, and read different genres of books. The benefit of reading a lot is manifold and goes far beyond helping you build your vocabulary. It is where you learn how to string words together and come up with a story. The right time to learn a new word is when you find it in your reading. Do not let that word escape you. Adopt the policy of zero tolerance.
    • Reading is not a running competition; it is a quest for knowledge. It should not be a sprint. Read slowly, savouring each word. Keep a notebook handy when you read, and write a new word or way of saying you learned. And take time out to reread your notes.
    • Be a glutton for words. You cannot afford to discriminate among words. Hoover up every new word that you may encounter. Learn the precise meaning of words whether you intend to use them or not. When you want to clothe an idea with a word they will all rush and jostle to be chosen, that is the only time for you to pick and choose.
    • Do wordpower, grammar and spelling tests. It does not matter how much you scored the first time round. Learn where your weakness lies and work on it.

    Categories: Volume 3