400 Words Essay Challenge Article – Common Mistakes in Building Vocabulary

by Jan 12, 2019English and Study Tips

Shafayet Ali Mithun

Community Artist and Mentor (Bangladesh)

  • Leadership Strengths (Level 19)
  • Poetry Artist (Level 2)
  • Mentor (Level 2)
Common Mistakes in Building Vocabulary

Building vocabulary common mistakes Here I will share with you some common mistakes in building vocabulary. I will tell you the mistake, and then give an example from the driving world, and the language learning world. That way you get a chance to examine it from different sides.

 Building vocabulary mistake #1: learning in order to pass an exam, and for that reason alone 


Driving world: you take a lot of driving lessons. You dedicate time and money. You learn all the special tricks. You go to the test, you pass the test. You get your driver’s license. But if you can’t really drive well, then… you just wasted a lot of time and effort in order to get a piece of paper. Some people are quite happy with that, and that is OK. You need to ask yourself: what do I really want? Do I want to drive well, or do I want that piece of paper?

Language world: you take a lot of English lessons. You dedicate time and money. You learn special tricks. You go to the exam, you pass the exam. You get your nice score. Great. Do you remember any of it now? Can you use English in your workplace? Can you use it when you travel? Can you easily read an English website and understand it?

Conclusion: exams and tests are there to verify your knowledge. They are not the end product. They can get you some nice pieces of paper, but you will not become a more skilled person because of your score. Find out what is your real purpose and always keep it in mind.Shafayet Ali Mithun
 Building vocabulary mistake #2: memorizing data “like a parrot” with no practice 


Driving world: your driving instructor tells you the exact way to perform parallel parking. You write that down 10 times in your notebook. You say it 20 times back to the instructor. You memorize it perfectly. Now, in the test, you can obviously do it, can’t you? Well, no, at least most of us can’t. Memorizing is never a substitute for drilling.

Language world: your teacher gives you a list of 20 new words. You write them again and again in your notebook. You really memorize them. But you don’t actually use them. Now you are in New York, trying to have a conversation. How much benefit can you get from those words? Not much, I can tell you that.

Conclusion: information is all well and good, but it doesn’t help you much unless you practice it and unless you can use it.Shafayet Ali Mithun
 Building vocabulary mistake #3: starting to practice before you understand it 


Driving world:: your driving instructor asks you to start driving. No explanations about which piece of equipment does what, or which pedal to press. Just start driving. Good luck. I guess some people might make it, but most will simply sit there confused.

Language world: your teacher tells you that the new word you are going to study today is “chukubuku”. You start singing songs about it, playing games with that word, and reading stories that have this word. You get no explanation about what this word means. Or, you do get an explanation, but you don’t actually understand it. Big, big mistake. A very bad way to learn. (By the way, “chukubuku” is an invented word!)


Conclusion: understand the explanation before you start practicing. Practicing will definitely increase your understanding, but if you practice with no idea behind it, that won’t really help you.

One last important tip.Shafayet Ali Mithun


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