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What Is a Vocabulary Builder?

Alex Tree
Updated May 23, 2024
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A vocabulary builder can be a game, flash card set, or book. Vocabulary games are designed to introduce new words in a fun way to both kids and adults. Flash cards can work in a similar way and are found in education shops and on the Internet. Books are a popular and natural way to build a better vocabulary and are often touted as the best vocabulary builder for people of all ages. Whatever method used, building a vocabulary requires consistency, so it is important to choose something a person will stick with.

Games aimed at building vocabulary enable players to learn the meanings of words in a fast paced and fun way. Some vocabulary games work via multiple choice, and the player gets to select which word corresponds with a definition or vice versa. Another way vocabulary games can teach students is by displaying a sentence or paragraph that has a word missing. In this type of vocabulary building game, the player has access to a few possible word options and chooses the one that fits the sentence or paragraph best. Sometimes vocabulary builder games keep track of right and wrong answers to determine the competency of a student and tailor future rounds of the game to his or her ability.

Flash cards can be used to build a person’s vocabulary. Questions such as, “What is the definition of floccinaucinihilipilification?” are typically written on one side of a flash card while the answer is placed on the back. This technique enables a person to flip through the flash cards and challenge herself to remember the definitions that belong to the words she is attempting to learn. Depending on whether a student answers correctly, flash cards can be cycled through more or less regularly in the future.

Reading books is one of the best ways to build a full and complex vocabulary. Both children and adults can learn this way by simply reading what they like most. The key to turning a book into a vocabulary builder is coming across unknown words. Even the sports section of a newspaper or cooking magazines can house words a person does not know. These words do not have to be long and rarely used; they can be something relatively simple, like "optical" or "relation," as long the person did not know the word before but makes an effort to discover its meaning.

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Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and Language & Humanities contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By nextcorrea — On Jan 05, 2012

My dad kept a huge copy of the Oxford English Dictionary close to the dining room table where my family ate dinner every night. Before we would begin eating he would pick a word at random and read its dictionary definition

Dinner would proceed as normal from there but we would all try to use the word whenever we could. It was always kind of funny and it sparked a lot of good conversation. My dad was great for stuff like that. He somehow knew how to make the most boring things seem like a game that everyone wanted to play.

By jonrss — On Jan 04, 2012

I have a simple app on my phone that gives me a new word everyday. I have a decent vocabulary to begin with and this app is designed to introduce users to some of the most obscure and arcane words in the English language.

It offers a definition, spoken pronunciation, roots and an example of usage, fairly standard stuff. I honestly don't remember most of the words and most are so obscure that there would never be a good time to use them. But a few have worked there way into my vocabulary.

I like this kind of vocab building because it is steady and persistent but you don't have to sit down with a bunch of flash cards every night. It is like a convenient and brief way to get a little continuing education.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and Language & Humanities contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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