Top Tips for IELTS

Learning vocabulary better – word families

This is a quick lesson on one way to improve your vocabulary. The suggestions are

don’t learn one word at a time – learn the whole family of words

focus on the more common words in English – they are the ones we use most!

learn how to express the same ideas in different ways

A quick note on word families

A word family is just a group of related words, for example

individual – individually – individualist – individuality 

The idea is that if you can learn to use them all you can start to say them same things in different ways. That should be great for your vocabulary band score.

An even quicker note on the Academic Word List

The AWL is not just a collection of those words that we use most often in academic writing. All the word families in it are among the most common words in English. Those are the words you want.

See how this works by doing some exercises

Below you’ll find exercises on two common words – vary and different. Part of the idea is to show you that these are not in fact just two words, but two word families. Also I hope you’ll see that if you learn a few words well, you can find different ways to say the same thing. That’s good.

You will find more similar exercises on my Academic Word List page


Get more help with IELTS preparation on the main pages of my site

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2 Responses to Learning vocabulary better – word families

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  2. Kellen June 12, 2015 at 6:00 am #

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