Go on, I know you are curious now…
English is a fascinating language. Many words derive from other languages, where they’ve been adopted by the English language and adapted. Think of the word “alcohol” which is derived from Arabic “al-kuhul” . So, we can say that English is connected to many languages.
Let’s go LEXIPLORING…
How many times have you thought “I know this vocabulary” while in class? Probably a lot. It means that you have seen the word before and maybe know one of it’s meanings BUT do you really know it? Just knowing a word is fairly limited considering that there are a number of contexts that a word could be used in. You need to explore the many different aspects of a word.
How is it spelled / Which syllables are stressed / What part of speech is it / What is the “core” meaning / Are there other meanings / What lexical-family does it belong to / Does it have a metaphorical meaning / What connotations does it have / The appropriacy in social contexts / The grammatical position in a sentence / commons phrases it appears in / Are there synonyms / Can prefixes or suffixes be added / What image is associated with it….
Yes, there is so much that you can learn from just one word. You could increase your vocabulary bank two-fold* if you consider just 4 or 5 of these areas.
I recommend using your smart devices – there are some really good vocabulary apps. My favourite is Google Play’s “Vocab Builder“. It’s free and allows you to explore new words or see how far your current vocabulary goes. In class, have a little notebook ready, write down any new words or ones that you have heard but don’t use. Use your Vocab Builder to find out more about the words or simply use a dictionary and go LEXIPLORING!!
* to lexiplore – Nicoletta’s combination of lexis (words) + explore – to discover what a word has to offer.
* two-fold – to increase by doubling