Vocabulary Improvement Technique #4 - Making a Word Personally Relevant Will Dramatically Enrich Your Learning
Making a word personally relevant will DRAMATICALLY enrich your
learning. Studies show that our memories are actually geared to "forget" or "block out" information that isn't perceived as relevant. The same studies also show that your memory DRAMATICALLY improves when information is made PERSONALLY RELEVANT.
Make up your own examples
When you learn a new word, think of common examples in your own life where the word would apply. For example if you learn the word "belligerent", which means "aggressive and war-like", you could think of your belligerent neighbor who makes aggressive remarks over the fence. Next time you are complaining about him to your friends, tell them that you are "fed up with your belligerent neighbor".
Define it in your own words
Another way to make a word personally relevant is to define it in your own words. When you look up a word, first read the definition presented in the dictionary. After you have closed the dictionary, try making up your own definition. For example, you could think of that belligerent neighbor and define
'belligerent' in your own words as perhaps, "my neighbor who always seems to be eager for a war of words".
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