Vocabulary is one of the important aspects of learning a language. A person's vocabulary is the amount of words they are familiar with in a language and it is very important to language learners. So we Chinese students are always willing to do anything if we can expand our vocabulary. As a result, our teachers write a lot of vocabulary book with a great set of separated words to us and we, as students, recite it mechanically. But the result of our hard effort turn out to be a failure. We didn’t master the English language and cannot say proper English. What is the reason? We all have read some graded books which are written with a particular amount vocabulary. I found it very surprising that a novel can be written with only 2000 or less words! But we college students cannot write a good assay even when we have a vocabulary of 5000 words. So it’s very obvious that we don’t master a correct way to learn English vocabulary. Lexicologists say that the extant which we are familiar with a word can be separated into four groups as belove. 1.
Never encountered the word.
Heard the word, but cannot define it.
Recognize the word due to context or tone of voice.
Able to use the word but cannot clearly explain it.
Fluent with the word – its use and definition.
As far as lexicologist’s concern, only the last two categories of the list can be count as someone’s vocabulary. So it is not proper to say I have a 5000-word of vocabulary when I recognize it. The true vocabulary I have includes only the words which I am able to use(the USE there refer to the usage of both oral and written). So the problem we have is quite obvious—we can’t use the words properly! When we write an assay we are troubled to find a correct word to express ourselves, because we are not familiar with the usage of words. When we speak to a somebody we have to stop now and then to figure out which word we should use… From the brief analysis above, we can see that we recognize a lot of...
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