What is independent reading? And how can it help increase vocabulary? Independent reading is reading that we do of our own volition. It could be a romance novel, a sports magazine, or a local newspaper. It’s anything we pick up and read because we want to read it, not because we’re required to read it for a class or assignment. The reason independent reading promotes vocabulary growth is because we are exposed to new words and can discern their meaning through the context of what we are reading. The greater the variety of our independent reading, the more vocabulary we are likely to assimilate.
The following techniques will maximize the value of independent reading and its link to vocabulary development.
1. Read different genres of books. Variety is the spice of life and it is also the key to increasing vocabulary. Mystery, science fiction, biography, sports, humor, inspiration, instructional books, history – they all have their own vocabulary. Each thematic area has particular words to describe both the objects that make up that world and the processes or actions that occur.
two. Read different authors. Each person has a unique set of vocabulary and way of using language to convey ideas. Reading books and articles written by different people will expand your English language skills and introduce you to new words that will enrich your vocabulary.
3. Read in different types of media. Reading magazines, newspapers, books, and articles on the Internet can broaden your command of English. This is because writers in these separate media use language in different ways, for example books include more descriptive material than other forms of writing and are therefore good sources of adjectives and adverbs.
Four. Join a book club to ask you to read books that you may not have selected yourself. Book clubs choose reading material in a variety of ways. Some usage lists are provided by librarians, others accept suggestions from members, and others are managed by publishers who provide new options each month. Either of these situations is a benefit because the books selected are likely to be ones that you would not have chosen on your own.
5. Work through a reading list. You can find reading lists at your local library or by searching the Internet using “reading lists” as a search term. The key to Techniques 4 and 5 is to expand your comfort zone by finding new material in subject areas that are not as familiar to you as your usual reading choices.
6. Keep a notebook and write down the words you don’t know. Find them and write the definition. This is a proven technique that works. Discerning the meaning of a word through the context in which it is used only gives you a superficial level of understanding. Looking up the definition provides you with detailed information about the word. You are also actively thinking and writing about the word, which will help keep it in your memory.
Independent reading is one of the best ways to add new words to your vocabulary. Use the techniques in this article to maximize your acquisition of new words and broaden your understanding of the world we live in.