Why should you always learn vocabulary in context ?

Learning vocabulary in context means that you learn new words when you are reading or listening. You learn a new word by seeing how it is used in a sentence. Many learners try to memorize a list of individual words.

The fact is that learning isolated word without context is just waste of time and effort. It will not work. You can learn many words, maybe 10 to 20 new words a day. But you don’t know how to use them and you will forget them in the short period of time.

Here are some reasons why you should always learn new words in context :

  •  You have an example sentence of HOW TO USE new word.Learning a new word separately will not help you learn how to use it. You might remember its meaning, but when it comes time to speaking or writing, you will not able to use it to produce a complete sentence.
  • You remember new words longer. Research shows that the more information you have for a certain word, the longer you will remember it. Just repeating a word over and over again does not help. You have very little information about its meaning and how to use it so you can not remember it for a long time.
  • You learn Common phrase . When you learn new words by reading in context, you might see a group of some words always go together in certain order. It is an English phrase or idiom. And common phrases are as important as common vocabularies. You can not improve your English if you don’t learn English phrases. Check out this post to know why: How are common phrases important to your English speaking ? 
  • You learn different meanings of a certain word. Some words have many different meanings. The best way to get through all of the meanings is to learn them in their context. When you learn them in context, you can know the meaning of the word in that sentence
  • You learn to guess the meaning of new words. It is a good habit. The fact is that you can learn all the English words. By reading or listening other words found around it, you can its meaning. Another benefit is when you try to guess the meaning of new words first before you check it in the dictionary, you will remember it longer.
  • You learn vocabulary in an active way. When you read a story and there is a word you don’t know, you will desire to find out its meaning. Otherwise, you can not understand fully the story. You learn the meaning of a new word because you WANT to learn it. This will help you learn faster and remember longer.
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