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Updated : 2011.09.09  19:24:24
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1. How to Use Synonyms
     Many synonyms or words with many different meanings confuse English learners. To study these synonyms and words with many meanings, many students use a thesaurus to find synonyms easily, and use the words they find in them. However, you should be careful when you use synonyms right from the thesaurus because the words might be used differently even though they share similar meanings.
     Let’s see an example. When you find the word “love” in a thesaurus, it will show you different forms of the word love as a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective. Let’s look at the noun form of “love.” It means adoration or very strong liking. Some of the synonyms are affection, amour, crush, appreciation, worship. If you have chosen to use a synonym for love, you can’t just choose one word from the list because they might change the whole meaning of the sentence. If you change the sentence, “I love you” to “I appreciate you,” the meaning of the sentence will change.
The best way to study synonyms, or words with many meanings, is to find sentences that contain the word that you are looking for. These days, many dictionaries provide example sentences. So, after you find the word in a thesaurus, open a dictionary and see how the word is used in a sentence. You will find not just the meaning of the word, but how it is used. When looking to find the right synonym, it will be very helpful to learn how the word is used.
2. Motivation is Important: My Experience
     Having the right motivation to learn English is very important because it will drive you to study harder, and you will feel accomplishment later on. In my case, it was like “to live or die.” I went to the States when I was 12. In order to survive, I had to study English. I had to eat lunch with someone, do my homework, get good grades to graduate, etc. I think for the students here in Kyungwon University, leaning English has become a similar “do or die” situation in order to graduate, or get a good job. These needs create a strong motivation for the students to learn English. Of course, I do not doubt that students will study English very hard in order to achieve what they have hoped for, but my wish is that students will obtain different motivations to study English that are not only related to surviving in Korean universities and workplaces.
3. How to Choose an English Language Book
     When people find English books to read, they tend to find books that are either bestsellers or something that they can show off to others. Obviously, the books might end up in a bookshelf or left unread. It is very important to choose the “right” English book for you. Here are several things you might consider before you hand your book to the counter.
     First, know what kind of subject or books you like and want to read. This way, you will have less percentage of giving up reading the book. Second, once you have chosen what kind of books to choose from, find a book that interests you. Third, choose a book that is not too difficult for you to read. Find a book that you will not need to look up many new words otherwise you might get too tired of it and eventually give up. If you find a book that you can easily read with a few unknown words, you have found the right level book. This way, you will build up confidence in reading English books. Don’t let it burn you out. Once you finish reading one book, you will realize it is easier to read another.
   Books in a series like Harry Potter can be helpful. I started reading English books with a mystery. Mystery novels usually start with crime scenes or some interesting clues that will not bore you out reading in the first few pages. It will keep you reading until the incident or problem is solved. Reading English versions of Korean books can be helpful too. Since you have read the Korean version of the book, it will be much easier to read. Then you will be able to compare the two different versions of the books. 엄마를 부탁해 (Please Look after Mom) and 시크릿 (TheSecret) can be good examples. Though The Secret is not a Korean book, its Korean version has been widely read and thus is easy to find at your local bookstore.


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