- Examine ways to improve your vocabulary.
- Increase your awareness and adaptation of language.
- Realize the importance of checking for understanding.
Group Similar Words Together
Build Your Vocabulary
- By age 2, people can recognize and speak 200 words.
- By age 3, people can recognize and speak about 2000 words
- By age 5, people can recognize and speak about 4,000 words.33
- Most adult native test-takers range from 20,000–35,000 words
- Average native test-takers of age 8 already know 10,000 words
- Average native test-takers of age 4 already know 5,000 words
- Adult native test-takers learn almost 1 new word a day until middle age
- Adult test-taker vocabulary growth basically stops at middle age34
- Keep a journal of words you don’t know.
- If you don’t know a word, look it up in a dictionary.
- Learn to recognize both Latin and Greek roots of words.
- Play vocabulary games (e.g., anagrams, Boggle, crossword puzzles, scrabble).
- Make synonym and antonym word lists.
- Take a writing and/or editing course.
Increase Your Awareness and Adaptation of Language
Check for Understanding
- The first part of this section provided several different ways to help you improve vocabulary (e.g., use repetition, group like words together, build your vocabulary, and read).
- Further and increase awareness (a person’s ability to be mindful and sensitive to all functions and forms of language) and adaptation of language (the ability to alter one’s linguistic choices in a communicatively competent manner).
- It’s important to remember the three basic steps to ensure understanding: T (talk first), A (ask questions), and P (prepare to listen).
- Go through the various key terms within this chapter. Did you know all of the definitions before reading this chapter? Which terms did you find difficult to understand? Why?
- Read a speech from either Vital Speeches of the Day or American Rhetoric. After reading/watching a speech, find a video where the speaker was interviewed. Watch how the speaker sounds when both giving a speech and when answering questions. Analyze the speaker’s use of both language awareness and adaptation.
- Find someone who does not speak English as their first language. During your interaction with that person, put into practice the TAP Method for understanding. How easy was it for you to understand this other person? Why? How did it feel to use the TAP method? Were you effective during your interpersonal interaction? Why?