Expanding vocabulary and Improving spellings

The English language has always been a dynamic thing. It has incorporated words from at least 10 other languages in its midst. As the internet would inform you, there are more than 300 words that can be used to indicate that something is ‘good.’ Now, with so many words out there, it is important to know some of them to give your writing some pizzazz.


This is what a sound vocabulary does:-

Exhibit A- Henry wiped his forehead under the straw hat while looking up at the sun.

Exhibit B- Henry wiped his forehead of the profuse perspiration gathered there, his straw hat providing poor protection against the blazing sun high in the sky.


Essentially, both the sentences are saying the same thing, but how they are saying it, makes all the difference. While reading Exhibit A, did you feel the heat? Did it make you think back to a day when you felt as hot as Henry did? Probably not because there wasn’t any substance in terms of vocabulary used in it to compel the reader to ‘feel’ along with the character.


Exhibit B- probably made some of you recall a day when you did wipe your head of sweat while the sun was high in the sky. By simply adding a few words and changing a few, the sentence becomes more capable of making the reader empathize, visualize with what is being written, making the writing impactful.  


Improving vocabulary assists in more ways than one. You can spend an hour fumbling for the ‘right words’ to convey something, by the end of which you still wouldn’t have a convincing copy. If are equipped with good vocabulary, your writing time is cut into half because you won’t have to go chasing words or repeating them in a way that makes them less effective. Good vocabulary is the difference between feeling ‘good’ and feeling ‘splendid’; which one sounds happier?


Spellings, well, without being able to spell splendid, it’s doubtful that it would make much sense. 

Good vocabulary is the byproduct of reading, a lot of reading. Students are encouraged to read as much as they can and as many genres as they can in order to familiarize themselves with the plethora of interesting words out there.

They are also taught how to substitute a commonly used verb for an interesting more specific verb. Example: - The dog ran across the slippery kitchen floor. Instead of ran if one uses skidded across the slippery kitchen floor, the word choice gives a better mental picture of what the dog did. Similarly, they are taught interesting adjectives and adverbs that can make their writing more lively. One can never know too many words which is why this process extends beyond the classroom as well. The more children read, the better they are able to write.

Through in-class corrections and assignments, students are encouraged to practice their spellings till they memorize them well. They are given spelling tests, and lists to learn from every single week in order to constantly engage them in improving their spellings. English language provides plenty of instances for students to get confused between spellings, especially when homophones come out to play. Students need to know that while flour and flower are pronounced the same, you can only eat one of them. 

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