Author Kimberly K. Parker opens the pages of her soon to be released book, Vocabulize: How to Maximize Your Vocabulary at Any Age. Class has now begun!
Happy Women’s History Month! Today, I want to share a piece of my history that would not have been possible without the support of one of my teachers.
In my first post, I shared three very easy ways to maximize vocabulary. In this post, I’ll add onto that list.
I left off sharing how my Social Studies Teacher, Ms. Bailey, afforded me the opportunity to serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies at my school’s Black History Month Program. That opened a door for me I never imagined.
Ms. Bailey lovingly guided me throughout the process. She placed special interest on developing my closing remarks. She told me it was important to recognize my efforts as well as the efforts of others. She insisted I conclude by saying, “ … and yours truly, Kimberly K. DeBraux.” I must confess: it sounded a little weird because that was my introduction to closing a speech that way. However, I trusted her judgement and, with a little reluctance, did as she advised.
Two days later just as class was ending, Ms. Bailey called me to her desk. She told me Ms. Bernstein, the Chair of the Social Studies department praised both our work on the program. What’s more, Ms. Bernstein extended an invitation for me to advance to the highest level in the school because she was so impressed with my speaking abilities. “This has never been done before, Kimberly. You’re making a little history today, young lady!” Ms. Bailey said. “We both are, Ms. Bailey,” I replied.
That was one of the most exciting days of my 12-year-old life! In my next post, I’ll share the conclusion to this story. For now, let’s learn more ways to maximize vocabulary.
In my soon to be released book, Vocabulize: How to Maximize Your Vocabulary at Any Age, I reveal the strategies I’ve used to help me (a pretty average, everyday woman) learn new words year after year. Maximizing vocabulary is not just for a highly intellectual group of people. Anyone can learn to maximize vocabulary! It all begins with having the desire, a great strategy and strong commitment.
So, let’s get started! In today’s blog, I’m going to teach you three more strategies to use when maximizing your vocabulary:
- Learn the Definition – Simply put, each word you have ever used has a meaning. Some easy ways of learning definitions include writing down the meanings of new words and committing them to memory, using new words in your everyday conversations whether written or oral, and learning the synonym of the word. Again, a dictionary is a useful tool to have for learning word definitions. I will discuss this strategy in length later in this book.
- Learn the origin of the word – Spelling champions learn how to spell well because they have learned the origin of many words. Whether the word is Latin or Greek, a good way to learn word origins is to use an etymological dictionary. An etymological dictionary, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, will provide you with both the meaning and origin of the word. You will find that many English words derive from other languages. While this is true, the meaning of the word tends to remain the same.
- Visualization – Visualization is a powerful method for maximizing vocabulary. It involves using the imagination to create a picture in the mind that can represent the word that you want to learn. Are you familiar with the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” It means we can use pictures to effectively convey an idea, a thought, or a concept and thereby increase vocabulary. This is why picture books are effective for teaching small children new words. By visualizing a word and its meaning, one can easily maximize their vocabulary.
Here’s your assignment for today: I want you to learn the definition and origin of one new word. Then, I want you to create a visual of that word so you’ll always remember its meaning. If you’re really up for a challenge, go for three new words. Be sure to pay close attention to the origin of the word. By knowing this, you will fully understand the meaning of the word.