Skip to comments.The Quickest Way To Learn New Vocabulary Words
Posted on 04/06/2013 3:11:49 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
Most words can be learned and taught most easily in groups, for example, words used by doctors, terms used every day by car mechanics, vocabulary typically heard in a lawyers office.
Imagine a photograph of a scientific laboratory with captions on the key elements: test tube, bunsen burner, beaker, pipette, thermometer, technician, lab coat, goggles, periodic table, fume hood, centrifuge.
A teacher can walk students through the lab, pointing out the most interesting sights. Quickly and naturally, children learn vocabulary, they have a glimpse of what scientists do, they learn about a new world that may excite their enthusiasm.
Words can be grouped in so many memorable ways. Words that came to us from German or Chinese. Words that indicate a color. Words that rhyme. Words that start with a kick-ass K-sound. A good rule of thumb is: any excuse for a group. .
Consider words heard in the kitchen. Words youre likely to encounter in Times Square. Words associated with computers. Words you need to study the American Revolution. Words found on a French menu.
Conversely, learning words one at a time, unconnected, no scaffolding between them, is blatantly inefficient. Membership in a group provides a mnemonic boost.
Some schools teach the as a high-frequency word which children are told to memorize as a separate design. Th- is a distinctive sound that occurs in almost 1000 English words, half from Greek (theory, thesis) and half from Old English (this, that, they, thin, they, their, and many others that children speak every day). How much better to teach dozens of words in one bolt, using this special sound that American children know intimately from the age of two. (But ze French never can get it right.)
So, what is the most noble cluster of all? Many years ago, in a book long lost, I read about a cluster that goes back 35 centuries. I was impressed. The Sanskrit root rg- means orderly, lawful, a field with straight furrows properly plowed, a kingdom skillfully governed. The roots reg-rect-rig flowed through Greek and Latin into more than 50 English words.
These words, about straightness, are similar but you might never think of the connection: direct, directly, director, direction, directive, rector, rectify, correct, correction, rectangle, dirigible, rictus, rectitude, erector, erection, erect.
These are more about control: regular, regimen, regulate, regulation, regulator, registry, regulatory, register, registration, rigor, rigorous, irregular, incorrigible.
Others are associated with kingship: regal, royal, regalia, regime, regimental, regiment, region, regional, regimentation, regency, regent, regulus, regnant, regius, regicide, Rex, Regina, Reginald, Reggie, Roger, Regis.
Thats a lot of descendants from one parent.
The Rig Veda, which date from about 1500 B.C., are Hindu holy texts written in Sanskrit, an Aryan language. Rig Veda might be translated Verses on Knowledge or Stanzas on Order. In a chaotic world, thats the primal need.
Some scholars say that the Vedas, as chanted by Hindus today, are as close as you will get to Bronze Age language.
(For another large cluster, see 3: Latin Lives On on the authors site, Improve-Education.org.)
Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Norm Crosby....
politics = many blood sucking insects.
You can Rig a sail, you can Rig an election, you can even drive a Rig, but you can’t Rigatoni...
Thus opposite of PROgress is....
(courtesy Will Rodgers)
You can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish...
You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your friend’s nose...
I find the best way to learn new words is to use them ... then after a while I start wonderin’ what they mean and I look ‘em up!
ways to easily memorize foreign vocabulary:
Learn words by frequency of use: http://www.amazon.com/Word-Hoard-Introduction-English-Vocabulary-Language/dp/0300035063
Learn vocab as grouped by themes: http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-German-Wordpack-Valerie-Grundy/dp/0198603363
Flashcards are a must!!!
As for the rest of the article:
Words can be grouped in so many memorable ways. Words that came to us from German or Chinese. Words that indicate a color. Words that rhyme. Words that start with a kick-ass K-sound. A good rule of thumb is: any excuse for a group. Consider words heard in the kitchen. Words youre likely to encounter in Times Square. Words associated with computers. Words you need to study the American Revolution. Words found on a French menu.
I think it's crap.
Written English is
like a code. We have approximately 44 sounds that, unfortunately, must be represented by only 26 letters. And, as the author did note, we have also accepted words into English from many foreign languages.
Nonetheless. Start with the simple sounds and progress to the more complex. The kids'll learn it. "f" comes first; "ph" comes next; and "gh" comes last.
Some people say that English isn't phonetic. They're wrong. It's just phonetically complex; and though a trip to the laboratory may be fun and even edifying for young-skulls-full-of-mush, it isn't necessary to learn "vocabulary" words.
Good post. I’ll add that people (”studies show”) have a difficulty remembering more than three new things at a time.
EVERY DAY WE USE WORDS
THAT HAVE REMAINED UNCHANGED
FOR 2000 YEARS
Latin Lives On — 333 Common Words That Are Letter-for-Letter Identical In Latin And English
by Bruce Deitrick Price
bump for later
i found this to be true when i was teaching my sons to read... even the so called "sight" words could be sounded out if you know the phonetics... btw--i am big on having my sons study Latin and Greek root words... this has proven helpful in growing their vocabulary... doing crossword puzzles on an almost daily basis throughout much of my life has helped me grow my vocabulary...
as far as grouping words, i did this when my younger son was a baby... i introduced him to words in groups... starting with parts of the body before he could even speak a word... i would say, "show me your eyes,' and he would blink his eyes... "show me your nose," and he would point to his nose... we covered a lot... toes, tummy, tongue, head, hair, hands, fingers, legs... etc...
then i did the same with types of food, furniture, clothing, colors, shapes, a lot of it before he could really speak... i placed objects in front of him and he would pick up the item i named... we used colored bean bags and crayons for colors, etc...
i taught him to recognize the alphabet and the sounds of the alphabet the same way...
by the time he was 16 months he knew over a thousand words... i agree with you about the suggestions in the article being crap... unless you are teaching babies... :)
Yes. I agree completely. My understanding of the article was that it referred to spelling [perhaps, I'm mistaken], and in that context, I found it, um, unconvincing.
You, on the other hand, were teaching concepts, and groupings are crucial for that -- even for older children and adults. It's fascinating to me that by, say, the age of four, a child in a well-functioning household, can understand the abstract concept "furniture" and knows that forks don't belong to it.
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