The standard approach to learning a new word is to define it, pronounce it, and then use it in a sentence, but words have many more dimensions. We remember words by context, by collocation, by sound, by spelling, even by movement (tracing the letters). I use the following list to remind myself of the many ways students can learn a new word.
|Ways to learn a word:||Questions to ask:|
|define||What does it mean?|
|listen||How many syllables does it have? What does it rhyme with?|
|pronounce||Are there any tricky sounds? How does the mouth move when pronouncing the word?|
|trace||How do you draw the letters of the word? Can you write the word with your finger?|
|spell||What are the letters in the word? Does it follow any special spelling rules?|
|visualize||Close your eyes. How many letters does the word have?What’s the first letter? What’s the last letter?|
|analyze||What part of speech is it? Does it have a root word?
Does it belong to a family of words?
|personalize||What does it mean to you? Can you describe someone you know with the word?|
|associate||Where do you hear it: at work, at school, at the doctor’s office? Is the word often used with another word? (For example: save time, save money, save a seat)|
|categorize||How is it different from similar words? Is it more formal or informal? Is it used for more for men or women?|
|generate||Write a sentence with it.Use it in a role-play.|