In India, English is spoken and used as second and third language; and
in some parts of India, especially the North-East part of the country, it is
utilised as the First language. In fact, Indians come across innumerable
problems while learning English. Difficulty in increasing vocabulary of English
is one of the major problems. The present research paper deals with hurdles
that hinder Indian learners from learning and acquiring vocabulary of the
English language. Also, it emphasizes some effective ways of teaching, learning
and memorizing vocabulary of the English language in a simple way.
teaching in Indian classes at every level of curriculum, teachers of English
language find out that since students lack proper knowledge of English
vocabulary, they display impossibility of language recognition; they cannot
write and speak English appropriately. In classes, students cannot acquire what
teachers teach or say besides the genuine problem of knowledge of syntax. Therefore,
they fail to master linguistic competence and that performance. In spite of
possessing a good heap of knowledge of English structures, some people in India
fail to speak fluently. They fumble frequently as a result lack of English
vocabulary. In this regard, it is duty of English teachers in India to discover
the causes behind this failure. Some research should be made to find out new
ways of teaching and learning English vocabulary in effective ways. The role of
the teacher is to guide and motivate students to learn. This research paper
does the same.
The research paper suggests some novel ideas
about studying and increasing vocabulary in new ways. Reading, a receptive
skill, is the most significant factor in increasing vocabulary. Teachers should
make students read a lot. The students need to read anything and everything in
which they are interested- sports magazine, movie magazine, newspaper,
journals, columns and articles in English newspapers, script of the movie, text
books, comics, fictional and non fictional books, etc. If the movie is based on
a novel, they can read the original text of the novel. The reading can
certainly assist anyone in increasing vocabulary. Recently, a new novel based
movie Half-Girlfriend was released in the Indian theatres which is the
adaptation of the novel Half Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat. Students can read the
novel to improve their word power.
Also, just do not read, memorise and remember new words, but try to
write them. Actually, writing is a productive skill in which words are produced
in the form of writing. The words should be written on a paper in the form of
sentences. It is very difficult to remember words in isolation. If a learner
learns the learnt words in sentences, he or she can find correlation between
sentences and words; and if written in the form of a story, the learners cannot
forget the vocabulary so easily. For instance, suppose you have to study the
word beautiful, you must employ the word in sentences. Their utilisation is
obligatory. You just cannot say that nature is beautiful. You have to say that
the nature on the Earth is beautiful, having such different natural things as
beautiful trees, birds, humans, etc. in it.
Learners must not limit themselves to a
single or a few words. Keeping pen and paper with them, they should expand the
vocabulary by using different forms of the same words:
In this way, the
learner can find out many more words of a single word. This sort of learning of
words improves both reading and writing ability of the learner.
Besides this, some people are accustomed to
use roots of words in English. In using it, focus is put on prefixes and
suffixes. This is also an effective way of learning and increasing vocabulary. Some
uses of prefixes are as follows:
inaccurate, inactive, inadequate, inappropriate, etc.
imbalance, immortal, immovable, impair, impure, etc.
rebirth, recall, recapitulate, recast, reclaim, etc.
telegraph, telephone, telephoto, teleprinter, telescope, etc
unaffected, unalterable, unattached, uncommon, unconscious, etc.
Some uses of suffixes are as follows:
attention, attraction, relation, rejection, projection, action, etc.
removal, structural, empirical, lingual, provisional, classical, etc
continuance, observance, arrogance, clearance, tolerance, etc.
opulence, inherence, existence, competence, impertinence, etc.
denouement, clement, impediment, regiment, argument, etc.
Studying this way
is a good idea if the learner possesses patience. In it, the learner has to
study a single prefix or suffix and make many words using them. However, it is
up to the learners if they wish to learn words in this way. These are just
examples. There are innumerable prefixes and suffixes in the English language
to be employed for increasing vocabulary.
writing words on paper, learners’ focus should be on listening to any spoken
English in which the learner is interested. Listening is a receptive skill in
which the learner has to listen to speech consciously. Actually, it is a tough
job for Indian students. However, there is no choice! While listening to any
spoken English, the speaker must listen carefully; because language begins with
listening skill. If the listener listens carefully, he or she can produce the
same. While listening, if he finds some difficult or unknown words, he should
write them on the paper; and if he finds difficulty in writing the word due to
lack of knowledge of spelling of the words, he can write them phonetically; and
still he is unable to write phonetically, he can write the pronunciations of the
words in their mother tongue or can find the words going through a dictionary!
The learner must use the Oxford English Dictionary or the online
dictionary at Oxforddictionaries.com.
While using dictionaries, he should use English to English dictionary.
Bilingual dictionary is also useful but learning English to English increases
the word power of the learner. Suppose, you are going through a dictionary to
find meaning of a word, it will assist you in finding its definition, synonyms,
different uses, and examples in English only.
For getting exposure to the spoken English in
view of learning words, the learners can watch various videos on internet.
There are so many English news channels – BBC,
CNN IBN, India Today, NDTV 24×7, NDTV Profit, Times Now, etc. –
which can be helpful for Indian learners. Besides this, some good channels like
HBO, BBC, etc. are available for assistance.
Various sites like www.ted.com also are available on internet that can be
helpful to develop the learners’ skills for increasing their vocabulary. Besides
these, there are some good videos from EFL
University, Hyderabad or ETNL,
Kerala. You Tube is also one of the best sources for listening to various
videos in English. Just listen to the videos and speeches carefully and note
down unknown and difficult words and use them in sentences.
Learners should take into consideration that
a dictionary is just a guide to assist them. However, the meaning of a word
relies on the situation in which it is utilised. Different words are used for
different situations. A word can have multiple meanings in a variety of
situations and circumstances. For example, the word ‘take’ can be used differently in different situations:
Multiple meanings to be used in different
‘to carry or move somebody or something’;
to go with somebody from one place to another’; to put your hand round
something and hold it; to remove something from a place or a person, often
without permission; to accept or receive something; to capture a place by
force; to get control of somebody or something; to understand something or
react to something in a particular way; to be able to deal with something
difficult or unpleasant, to swallow something; etc.
type of learning definitely is helpful in developing knowledge of words. These
words can be learnt at a time differently. Just make an imaginary text and use
the words in the text. It is very simple.
It is also observed that some people use electronic devices where
different software are available for translation. Often a native learner uses
this online translation method to find out meanings of words. However, some
verification is necessary here; because the translation is bilingual. Suppose,
a Marathi learner does not know meaning of a word, he will write the Marathi
word in the dictionary and find out its meaning; however, the translation
dictionaries are found to be terrible, because most of the time they misguide
learners by defining wrong definitions or meanings of those words! So, some
care should be taken.
you can increase your vocabulary using cards, for example: write a word on the
front side of the card and write its use or meanings (dictionary meanings only)
on the other side. This technique is also proved to be effective.
way of studying and increasing your words effectively is to make some groups of
words. Find out some words which have similar meanings or functions; for
example the word ‘increase’ has some
synonyms- extend, expand, accelerate, intensify, reinforce, etc. The words have
some connection with the word ‘increase’. So when you use the words, you will
automatically remember other words.
way which is also an effective way to increase vocabulary is to use theme; for
example, let us take the theme of technology. Using the theme the learner can
write down words related to it: software, hardware, obsolete, update,
cutting-edge, downgrade, state-of-the-art, upgrade, application, etc.
TS Madaan’s videos on You Tube, the learner can find out a very
interesting way of learning new words quickly. The speaker in the videos takes
some situations and describes the situation by using English words. He uses
objects directly. It is just like using direct method of teaching English. In
this way, anyone can learn more than 30 words quickly.
Finally, this paper suggests some ways of how
to teach and learn words effectively. Actually, there are many ways in which
learners can use vocabulary: playing games of words, making the words personal
and emotional, creating context and using different words, gathering frequency
words together, using substitutes of words, studying words and using them in
spoken English, etc. It is power of learning words that makes a learner strong
and effective speaker.
N. and Krishnaswami, L. Methods of Teaching English. Macmillan India Press, New
Delhi. 2007. Print.
English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.2001.Print.
N.G. Theory and Practice of Teaching English Language. Nutan Publication, Pune.
Channels like HBO, BBC, You Tube