Vocabulary plays a pivotal role in GRE or SAT exams. A large collection of words and skillful reading makes scoring much easier. Plus vocabulary is something that we should be improving throughout our lives.

A person’s vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. Words form the framework within which we think and give ideas a definitive form. Knowing a word, however, is not as simple as merely being able to recognize or use it. There are several aspects of word knowledge that are used to measure word knowledge.

  • An extensive vocabulary aids expression and communication.
  • Vocabulary size has been directly linked to reading comprehension.
  • Linguistic vocabulary is synonymous with thinking vocabulary.
  • A person may be judged by others based on his or her vocabulary.
  • Wilkins (1972) once said, “Without grammar, very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed.”

Types of vocabulary:

Reading vocabulary

A literate person’s vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when reading. This is generally the largest type of vocabulary simply because a reader tends to be exposed to more words by reading than by listening.

Listening vocabulary

A person’s listening vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when listening to speech. People may still understand words they were not exposed to before using cues such as tone, gestures, the topic of discussion and the social context of the conversation.

Speaking vocabulary

A person’s speaking vocabulary is all the words he or she uses in speech. It is likely to be a subset of the listening vocabulary. Due to the spontaneous nature of speech, words are often misused. This misuse – though slight and unintentional – may be compensated by facial expressions, tone of voice.

Writing vocabulary

Words are used in various forms of writing from formal essays to Twitter feeds. Many written words do not commonly appear in speech. Writers generally use a limited set of words when communicating: for example

  • if there are a number of synonyms, a writer will have his own preference as to which of them to use.
  • he is unlikely to use technical vocabulary relating to a subject in which he has no knowledge or interest.

About Deepak Devanand

Seeker of knowledge
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