Tuesday, May 1, 2018

English Language Vocabulary Learning Strategies

The mathematicians that study language and have lots of computing power are forming English language databases. These databases can be used for machine language translation, formulas to rank collocation, most used priority word lists, word grouping tendencies and other linguistics research.

These frequency-based wordlists contain the words that are most used in English. Frequency-based wordlists can help you target specific English vocabulary by indicating which words you should try to learn first.

Vocabulary analysis and summaries from the "Brown Corpus 1990".

Table 1

Words - Percent of words in average text
86,741
43,831
15,851
6,000
5,000
4,000
3,000
2,000
1,000
10
99.99%
99.0%
97.8%
89.9%
88.6%
86.7%
84.0%
79.7%
72.0%
23.7% 
Table 1 shows us that in most written English just a few word types account for most of the English words in any text. Ten words account for 23.7 % of the words on any page and just 1000 word families account for more than 70% of the words used.

In English after a basic vocabulary is learned "context becomes king".

In the following example the word "weather" can be used in about eight different contexts and be used to mean, define or explain about thirty different situations or conditions. To properly study English language vocabulary students require background information and context.

"Weather"

As a Noun
Definition 1. the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as characterized by sunshine, moisture, temperature, precipitation, and other variables.

Similar Words: elements, climate 

Definition 2. unpleasant, turbulent, or violent atmospheric conditions. 

Example: We needed shelter from the weather.
Similar Words: gale, elements, blow, windstorm , storm 

As a Transitive Verb 
Inflected Forms: weathered, weathering, weathers

Definition 1. to dry, season, or modify by exposing to weather.
Similar Words: season , dry 

Definition 2. to discolor, deteriorate, or harm by exposing to weather. 

Similar Words wash , rot , erode, deteriorate 

Definition 3. to endure past the end of; survive.
Example Their marriage weathered the hard times.
Synonyms: withstand , survive, stand, outlast , endure , ride out
Similar Words: overcome, surmount, outlive, sustain, brave

As an Intransitive Verb
Definition 1. to resist deterioration when exposed to weather.
Example: The colour has been able to weather the intense sun shine.

Definition 2. to display the effects of exposure (deterioration or change in color)
Similar Words: rot, corrode, fade, deteriorate

As part of Idiomatic Expressions
Phrase used as an idiom: "under the weather" = sick or not well