In Lesson 1 on SAT Vocabulary, I empathized with the situation of being too tired or busy to stop and look up a new word in the dictionary. Seriously, who has time building a SAT vocabulary list? Any student taking the SAT test! However, looking up new words in the dictionary is not just the burden of SAT test takers - it should be the discipline of any person. Hear me out in Lesson 2 on SAT Vocabulary as I’ll explain why this is sage advice.
Vocabulary Prep for the SAT Test — Lesson 2 (transcript)
If you have not watched part 1, this might not make much sense to you. If you have watched part 1 and you came back, awesome, great job, here we go!
I’ll tell you a little story about when I was a kid:
I was home one night, doing my thing and my friend from across the street comes over and starts knocking on the door and he says, â€œHey Karl, my dad got a new car, you gotta come over and check it out!â€
So we run across the street together and in the driveway is this awesome sports car. It’s a convertible — his father let us sit in it, he let us touch all the knobs, we turned the radio on, he took us around the block for a ride and it was a really an awesome night.
I remember clearly this idea that I have never ever seen a car like that before and I remember thinking how cool it was. The weird part was within the next month, I would see this car all over the place. I’d see it at the grocery store, on my way to school, and every place I seemed to look I would see one of these cars. I remember as a kid thinking how weird that was because I had never seen the car before and within a month of seeing it for the first time I saw a million other versions of that car.
It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized that I had probably seen that car a bunch of times before my friend’s father brought it home. I just never noticed it because it never meant anything to me. I’ve never been introduced to the car because it never meant anything. I never picked it out of the background, I never picked it out of a line of cars or in traffic, or in anything like that.
This is how I want to relate the story to vocabulary: When you’re at home one night reading through your history text, and you get to a word that you’ve never seen before — do me a favor, one night when you’re light on homework make a commitment to looking up every single word that you have never seen before and every single word that you don’t know the definition of. I want you to write those words out and write out the definitions and maybe part of the sentence it was in and memorize them.
Make the commitment to actually memorizing them. Then I think what you’ll find is this, within the next month or so a very high percentage of those words are going to pop up in your life. They’re going to pop up on TV, they are going to pop up in the movie theatre, they’re going to pop up at the next school dance, or they’re going to pop up in the next class that you go to.
You will see that these words are used in life. The reason you’re not noticing them now is because they’re part of the background and they mean nothing to you. A lot of the words that you are going to see in your school reading are words that you’re going to need to one day to consider yourself a well educated adult. So do me a favor, you’ve come back to this video, please take the next step and one night again when you’re light on homework look up a bunch of words, make a commitment to memorizing them, and wait and see how they pop up in your life.
I have a few other thoughts on vocabulary, please go to part 3 when you have the time.
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