As a previous ESL Teacher in Clark Institute of the Philippines, a tenured teacher told me the three ways to improve once vocabulary bank. After learning this, surprisingly my English Vocabulary grew significantly. Learn this five ways to improve your vocabulary.
Synonyms and Antonyms
Every word has its own synonyms and antonyms either for alternative spelling or more accurate information. One of my favorites is the word Problem which means “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome ” other synonyms of this are mishap
For Antonyms, it is more of the opposite of the word, note that not all opposite are being used. For example, gruntled, the opposite of disgruntled , is barely being used since the word happy can be used instead. Learning this using Thesaurus (no, it is not a dinosaur), which is a dictionary focused on antonyms and synonyms, is the best way to learn this.
Prefix and Suffixes
– A prefix is defined as a word, letter, or number placed before another. This usually serves as an indication of changes to the root word, while suffixes are morpheme added at the end of a word to form a derivative, e.g., -ation, -fy, -ing, -itis which is more of identifying the word on its word family(Grammar). Learning this Prefixes and suffixes will definitely increase your understanding of vocabulary.
For example – Uni – means one so, Uniform (one – Form), Unicycle (One – Wheel)
To read more about prefixes and suffixes you can check this file I found that is really helpful.
This is far my most favorite part when it comes to learning vocabulary, the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.
Learning word alone is not effective compared to knowing the deeper meaning of the word.
Few examples are the word typhoon which originated in Japan or China (Tai Fung) which means strong wind. Another is Boondocks which was coined during World War 2 by Americans in the Philippines (Bundok in Filipino means Mountain) but now it is often applied to an out-of-the-way city or town considered backward and unsophisticated.
My favorite Etymology is from the word Narcissism which comes from the Greek myth about Narcissus a handsome Greek youth who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.
In learning vocabulary, one must know its origin, the words you can put it before or after, and other ways to write or to say.
Added Bonus, during my TESOL Training in Clark Institute of the Philippines, I learned from our academic head about Collocation Dictionary which is another dictionary that gather the typical usage of the word or phrase. Check Cambridge Collocation Dictionary