Lindsay Lewis

English/ ESL consultant: Word worker, writer, teacher, mentor and poet. Author of This Won’t Hurt a Bit! on writing clear content.

Learning Vocabulary- particularly the dreaded S.A.T

Posted by on Sep 28, 2010

I believe the greatest struggle my students are having is with learning vocabulary. Unfortunately, S.A.T tests do not reflect the way in which our brains are wired-that is to aquire words in clusters of related meaning.

Memorizing a hundred unrelated words is a waste of time. Focus on lists of synonyms to nail them to your brain! For example learn the words supercilious, haughty and disdainful and make a mind map, or chart of related words. Using a picture enables your brain to use both hemispheres and  increases the chance of remembering a hundred fold. READING is critical (no pun intended)!  Read classics like Frankenstein, rife with words from the Romantic Era (countenance, and visage, both of French origin) in addition to modern writers like Jane Urqhart. Good luck! By the way, countenance means “face” or its expression, as does visage.

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