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VOCABULARY LEVEL 3 – Package 5 – Linking and extending recorded academic vocabulary

Learning Outcomes

By the end of VOCABULARY LEVEL 3 you should be able to
✔ study vocabulary independently
✔ use different strategies to expand and record vocabulary

Introduction to Independent Learning

Independent learning gives you more choice about what, when and how fast to study. It also prepares you to learn after university.

In order to study independently you need to be able to set your own aims, choose how you want to study and reflect on the usefulness of studying that you do and on your overall progress.

Since you have chosen to study VOCABULARY LEVEL 3, we can assume that you want to learn more about how to expand and remember words more effectively. This course provides you with some example activities for studying these skills. For most of these exercises, we have suggested an aim. We hope this can guide you in choosing aims for yourself later.

Try these activities and then reflect on their effectiveness in helping you to develop and improve your reading skills. If they are helpful, do some similar exercises later. If they are not successful, you may try different exercises.


Learning vocabulary is an essential part of learning a language. The more words you know, the more you will be able to understand what you hear and read and the better you will be able to express yourself when speaking or writing. Besides coping with the vast number and rich variety of words in the English language, the main problems for students are deciding which words to learn and how to recall them.

In this package, we shall look at vocabulary recording strategies which will:

  • help you to decide which academic words to record (and which not to)
  • show you how to record new and existing academic vocabulary
  • expand your academic vocabulary to a more advanced and sophisticated level

After all, according to Bergen Evans,

many studies have established the fact that there is a high correlation between vocabulary and intelligence and that the ability to increase one's vocabulary throughout life is a sure reflection of intellectual progress.

But as Bergen was an American lexicographer, a Rhodes Scholar, a Harvard graduate and a Northwestern University> professor of English, this statement is probably not very surprising.
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Package 5 – Linking and extending recorded academic vocabulary

Linking and Extending

One of the methods which seems to prove highly effective in retaining new words and expressions is to link or connect them to existing vocabulary. As we have already mentioned, it is still very important to group words together, but this does not mean that you should only record new words.

Look at the example below.

New word  Known word

adversary …………………..link to…………………opponent

Once you have done this, it is possible for you to add existing words in order to broaden your base and then to extend your usable vocabulary to a more sophisticated level.

New wordsKnown wordsOther known wordsMore new words

adversary...link to…opponent.....add to…enemy / competitor…extend to…rival / contender

Activity 1

Link, add and extend these words from the academic word list

Vocabulary notebook

You are also strongly advised to keep a vocabulary notebook either in a book or online. Research has shown that recording, reviewing and extending vocabulary using the strategies that we have looked at, significantly improves learners’ active and passive vocabulary.

Useful websites

You may also like to visit these websites for further information and practice on vocabulary.


1. Go to the Vocabulary Level Tests at:


Do not do all of the tests immediately; do one or two a week.

2. Go to http://www.visuwords.com/ and create mind maps for these words from the academic word list:

3. Go to http://www.thesaurus.com/ and create a synonym,antonym and similar word table or diagram for these words from the academic word list:

4. Finally, Free Rice is an interesting and enjoyable way of developing your vocabulary whilst helping people at the same time. Simply go to http://www.freerice.com/  and for each correct answer, you get a harder one and the website donates rice to the United Nations World Food Programme.

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