View Full Version : Vocabulary Improvement For A Visual Learner


Whitestar
07-27-04, 11:01 PM
Hello.

I am an aspiring writer with one big problem. When I was seven I began reading some books because my mom was quite an avid reader. She pushed me into it and I began to like it. However, I found watching television to be easier than reading. Although I had no problems in spelling or reading orally, I always had a reading comprehension problem. Furthermore, I had a very poor vocabulary. As a result, I began watching A LOT of television.

By the time I was in high school, I learned that I had a learning disability and a visual learner (that would explain why I watched a lot of TV). By age 28 I began reading more and more. Now at age 30, I am determined to become a writer. My comprehension has improved tremendously, however, I still have a problem with learning how to improve my vocabulary. What methods must a visual learner like myself use for improving my vocabulary?


Whitestar

paulbf
07-28-04, 02:02 AM
Welcome!
Have you ever tried just browsing a dictionary? It can be fun. Good for a short attention span.

sneekkers
08-05-04, 10:35 AM
hey,

try to get on a listserv for a word a day...
there are a few but i belng to one that is great...
i get the word, its meaning, its orgin and a sentence with the word being used, usually from a newspaper article...
an no spam or ads...

also do crosswords, word searches and play scrabble-make it fun!

:cool: sneekkers:cool:

Ron Horton
01-03-08, 07:14 AM
According to my view you had a bad habit of watching TV at young age. That's what i feel you might be lagging in vocabulary and sentence formation. So i suggest you to browse some dictionaries and go through some editorials where you can increase your vocal ability instead of watching TV. vocabulary-vocabular .com

Tiddlywinks
01-03-08, 10:27 PM
Browsing maps, as many as you can find, new and old. Maps increase spatial intelligence. You have to look at the legends to determine keys. I like Reader's Digest's Word Power. Don't be afraid to check out children's dictionaries or encyclopedias from the library. They usurallly have many pictures in them. I applaude your quest to increase your vocabulary. Remember, some times you will have to make up pictures yourself, to help you remember the words.

ah09087
01-05-08, 07:46 PM
According to my view you had a bad habit of watching TV at young age. That's what i feel you might be lagging in vocabulary and sentence formation. So i suggest you to browse some dictionaries and go through some editorials where you can increase your vocal ability instead of watching TV.

I disagree. I acknowledge that all TV and no reading is not the best approach but I have learned alot of words from movies and TV shows. In fact 2 days before I took my PSAT I watched Stranger Than Fiction and a word I learned from the movie appeared on the test. The word was 'fastidious'. I guess it depends on the movies and shows you watch.

michinobu_zoned
12-03-08, 08:23 PM
According to my view you had a bad habit of watching TV at young age. That's what i feel you might be lagging in vocabulary and sentence formation. So i suggest you to browse some dictionaries and go through some editorials where you can increase your vocal ability instead of watching TV.
My vocabulary used to be pretty good for a kid. As time progressed, it became less so. I used to be good at writing in high school, but I decided to focus on math and science and aspired to be a computer scientist. So, my vocabulary isn't as good as it used to be - when compared to my peers.

I think it's entirely to do with practice, in my case and in the case of the original poster.

michinobu_zoned
12-03-08, 08:27 PM
I disagree. I acknowledge that all TV and no reading is not the best approach but I have learned alot of words from movies and TV shows. In fact 2 days before I took my PSAT I watched Stranger Than Fiction and a word I learned from the movie appeared on the test. The word was 'fastidious'. I guess it depends on the movies and shows you watch.
Do you use closed-captions? LOL, surprisingly I think TV helped with my vocabularly too. My mom used to have us watch the TV with the closed-captions, and I believe that's how I managed to have a natural nack at spelling words as a child. It's not like I read whole novels all the time, although in elementary school I read four or five, and in highschool I read one and college I read none.

kwalk
12-03-08, 10:45 PM
picture dictionary. I have been meaning to get these for awhile now, as I recognize I am kind of like this as well. It has a lot to do with my attention span and memory. The t.v. is very good to over stimulate you. I rarely paid attention or remembered all the vocabulary on t.v. that i noticed. IF anything, the repetition might of done SOMETHING. Along with scenario relationships, etc. Which is bad for many of us who watch t.v., as it isn't completely realistic or creates a fantasy. The more I set myself away from the t.v., the less naive and realistic I am. My working memory can really screw with me :)

rando
07-06-09, 07:38 AM
Whitestar, there are several ways in improving your vocabulary, actually there is 6, that i elaboration, repetition, read and record, personal relevance, imagery, play with words, and the way how children do it. As for your case, being a visual learner, imagery applies to you. It is a vocabulary building strategy that utilizes creation of visual images to represent words, although it does not work well in all types of words, there best ways to use imagery in improving your vocabulary. I recommend you check this site: improvingvocabulary .org
it provides tips and pointers on how to effectively use imagery in enriching your vocabulary. I hope this helps...

ginniebean
07-06-09, 11:54 AM
Reading is an excellent way of developing vocabulary. Don't discount cue cards, write out a hundred or so words, (cut the cue card in half otherwise they are too big) keep them in your purse and when you have some interminable wait, you can use that time to dig out 3-5 cue cards and look thru them. Once you have a word down pat after several times of not having to look, it usually does stick with you.

KDLMaj
07-06-09, 09:37 PM
Some thoughts:

If you have problems with learning words and what they look like, that's one specific area of the brain. Fortunately, you can recruit lots of different areas of your brain for this. Color seems to be particularly effective for folks.

So suggestion 1: Cue cards with colors and pictures

Make cue cards with new words, but make the cards colorful and visual. So for the word "There", draw (if you're the drawing type) it into a picture of a big house and use color in the card. This will recruit several areas of your brain at once, and you'll find yourself able to commit the word MUCH more easily to memory.

Personally, as someone with surface dyslexia, I often gave colors to numbers and words to tell them apart and remember them. Each of the "there", "their", and "they're" are a different color to me- that makes it much easier for me to remember which one to use. "there" is green, "their" is yellow, etc.

Second: TV

Simple and effective solution here: ALWAYS watch TV and movies with captions. This is a classic suggestion for kids who are struggling with written vocabulary. At first it's distracting, but you'll quickly grow used to it. These days, if there aren't any captions, I am more lost than I would be with the captions.

Third: Remember pieces of words, not full words

and this is one I use personally, not so much backed up by research like the other two- I find it easier to remember parts of words than full words. So when I'm trying to commit a new word to memory, especially if it has a strange spelling, I remember the oddness to it and don't try to remember the things I can sound out. I also try to remember how it would sound if you sounded it out and not how it is supposed to sound. So "yacht" (had to look it up anyway haha) sounds like the animal to me and not the way we pronounce it, but it means I recognize the word after sounding it out and feel more comfortable using it. If I tried to store that visual representation as the sound it's supposed to make when pronounced- I'd never recognize it while reading.

Fourth: Purchase TextAloud online (and get one of the premium voices- AT&T's Crystal works well for me) and have it read things aloud to you.

It'll highlight the word being pronounced (and you can change the background colors and text colors if you have contrast problems). This will help recruit your visual memory in the process of learning new words. It's very cheap and VERY effective. At the end of the day- read, read, read. That's the best long-term solution. And TextAloud makes it much easier.

Fifth: Write, write, write!

This is often very useful for folks trying to improve vocab and spelling. Physically write and/or type new words over and over again, I do this all the time still. It recruits muscle memory to help you learn new words. Nonverbal thinkers are often also very kinesthetic thinkers- also very common for folks with ADHD. This is how I got through spelling tests as a kid- I couldn't remember what the words looked like, but after writing them out 100+ times the night before the test, I was able to remember how to write them the next day. To this day, when I learn a new word that I need to keep in my brain, I'll write it over and over again. I've also found typing to be a HUGE source of vocab for me. So lots of internet forums and chat rooms. If you're a big fan of roleplaying games by any chance, there is an amazing text-based game called Gemstone IV (gemstone .net) that has been an invaluable resource for writing, reading, and spelling for me.

(I can't believe I'm typing this haha, but here goes): I'm going to plug the online roleplaying game big time. Since everything is text based, you are *constantly* processing everything verbally. Because it's a strictly in-genre game, you are forced to continually act "in character"- which basically means you are writing the story of this person you have created the entire time. Meanwhile others are doing the same. You are simultaneously forced to learn better word recognition and to enhance your vocabulary- the game uses a WIDE variety of vocabulary- I was constantly running into new words that we don't see very often. The player base is also generally adult age due to restrictions on acting out of character.

I credit nothing else more than I credit my time spent in this game for the fact that my reading and spelling are as passable as they are. I can't stress how night and day different my spelling and reading were when I first started that game in high school and even six months after beginning it. People often ask me how they missed that I was dyslexic until college, and while I have several replies, the real reason is this game. So if you're looking to enhance your vocabulary and to hone your storytelling skills at the same time- pick up a subscription to this game for a month or two and really get in there and practice. Spend most of your time interacting with others, and you'll quickly pick up quite a bit in the areas you're looking to boost.

And yes, once again, I cannot believe I just pushed a geeky online roleplaying game to help an adult expand vocab and writing skills. But it really did work.

anupamkhanna
09-06-11, 02:10 PM
Welcome!
Have you ever tried just browsing a dictionary? It can be fun. Good for a short attention span.

Stuc.co.in is very good site for browsing dictionary. It contains flashcards, wordlists etc.