Fun approach to vocabulary building
Learning through roots is a very methodical approach to learning and understanding words. At the same time inculcating a certain approach to vocabulary building also helps to increase your word power. The first and foremost requirement is to feel the need to acquire a better vocabulary. You might be quite content with the way you are. So, the ploy is to realise that there are striking and superior words waiting to be used. Do not skip over difficult portions while reading books or any thing else. In case you come across a difficult word, it is always better to pause and look up the meaning so that things become clearer. For practice, on a daily basis, note down significant words for further study whenever you are reading, surfing the Internet, talking to friends, or watching television. As a student, whenever I read or came across a word which was difficult to understand, I always made it a point to record it in a separate notebook which I had especially kept for this purpose. Nowadays, this methodology is suggested by all those who teach verbal subjects for test preparation. So, the lesson is, go by your gut feeling and devise your own novel ways to become skilled at vocabulary.
Come to think of it, it's a little vicious circle, people who don't read have a poor vocabulary and people who have a poor vocabulary don't like to read. For that reason, read as much as you can and whatever pleases you. If you are sports oriented, read the sports pages in the newspaper or may be pick up an autobiographical novel of a sportsperson or your favourite athlete. Nowadays we have books on almost all topics available so getting your kind of book should not be a problem. If books seem to be a sore point, read magazines which need shorter reading time. The essential thought is identifying things that you will like to read often with a view to learning as many new words as may be possible. A dictionary plays a pivotal role in the life of a learner. The faster you build up a habit of consulting it the better it will be for you. Do not refer to the really abridged school versions, mind you; most of the words will be missing from there. To start with, buy a decent medium sized dictionary which does not look too daunting to you and keep it by your side. When you look up a word in the dictionary, read its complete meaning. Most of the times a word has more than just one meaning. Can you imagine a word like 'set' has a hundred different meanings in the dictionary? It is also a good idea to gradually start reading the etymology of the word. This habit provides a meaningful insight into the world of the origin of the word and the way the word has evolved.
As you grow older and enter the fiercely competitive arena of entrance examinations you will realise how your vocabulary will act as your saviour. It is imperative to set aside atleast15-20 minutes everyday for building up your vocabulary. Just fifteen minutes are needed to revise the words you have learnt the previous day and to add a few new ones. Devise your own ways to learn these words, make flash cards, or make word clusters or you can just simply jot them down in your vocabulary learner.
Word groups are particularly helpful to further your own subject also. Let's say your favourite subject is history, the words that come to mind in this cluster are record, account, chronicle, story, past, annals, yesteryear, antiquity, recital, etymology, biography, saga, archives, tale and so on…
In case you find traditional methods boring, you can play vocabulary games like crosswords, Hangman, fill-in-the-blanks, unscrambling words, take vocabulary tests for fun and Scrabble. This routine should certainly get you excited about learning new words and adding to your fast increasing word list.