A suggestion was given several times to me when I was a primary class pupil, by a well wishing uncle. He told me to prepare a, ‘word bank”, both in Hindi, English and whatever other language that I learnt.
By, ‘word bank’, he simply meant a bank of words like the money exchange banks. Where you can put include new words and use them where necessary.
As per his suggestion, one was supposed to look up in this dictionary for two new words daily, then at least on weekends. After noting down the two words on a notebook, one was supposed to check its meaning and form one sentence using that word.
He had also offered candy, to whoever would bring him a notebook completed with at least 50 words.
Unfortunately none of the children known to him including me ever did a single word, thinking the venture as something very boring, yet there were cartoons to watch on the T.V. or games to be played.
Today as a high school student, I realize the wisdom of his words. Though he is no more, what he had suggested was something valuable in learning and improving languages.
When students have to write long essays or presentations during high school, particularly in language courses, the major obstacle is choice of suitable words.
The essence of the text may be clear in a person’s mind as to what they want to write, but finding suitable words to express it in a clear specified frame becomes challenging.
For example, the teacher may have asked to write an essay of about 1,500 words; but expanding the views to that extent may seem difficult for just lack of adequate synonyms, metaphors, et cetera.
If a student lacks a large vocabulary in any language, it becomes difficult to express their points even in spoken language. Since it is not only the words but, their correct grammatical use that matters, practice becomes essential.
That practice should include using two to four new words each day, in correct grammatical sentences. Since one would tend to forget them readily, it would be better to put them in writing.
I would just say that it is never too late to improve one’s language skills. Language is the basic form of communication and so the better you are in a language, the better it gets.
Another lesson I learnt through this is that it is always good to listen to your well wishers because it makes you a better person!
The writer is a student of grade 12 at Green Hills Academy.