Vocabulary and reading

Best Methods for Improving Vocabulary

The best methods for improving vocabulary are by reading more and by reading different types of materials.

You simply cannot get away from this fact! Memorizing lists of words is not very effective.

Vocabulary is important to reading comprehension, and research indicates that vocabulary should be learned in meaningful contexts. Readers don’t need to know all the words in order to understand a selection; the circumstances of the sentence often provide enough clues to figure out the meaning of an unknown word. The more we see of an unrecognized word in relevant contexts, the more likely we are to remember its meaning.

If certain vocabulary words are assigned to be remembered, it might be helpful to learn them in related clusters and/or context.

  • Practice in several short sessions. It is more effective than one long session.
  • Try having the student make up “Rather Questions” related to personal life experiences to help him or her remember meanings.  For example: ” I want to go to the movies tonight, so I should assuage, rather than aggravate, my parents.”
  • Understanding morphemic (meaning of words) analysis with root words, prefixes, and suffixes often improves vocabulary.

Remember that, in general, the best way to improve vocabulary is by increasing independent silent reading, which provides meaningful context.

Check our our vocabulary development packet for The Prefix: IN  at our Reading Spotlight Store.

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