Learning Resource Centre (Library) @ Kendriya Vidyalaya, Madurai


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How to Make a Personal Dictionary

By Rio Ann Hessler, eHow Member

Creating a personal dictionary or glossary of terms is an easy way to learn and use unfamiliar words or words that we have difficulty learning. The internet offers a plethora of online word dictionaries and sentence dictionaries. But in order to remember the words for the long term it’s more efficient to keep your own dictionary handy. Children can benefit from designing their personal dictionary as well with the help of an adult. Use these ideas to help you create a personal dictionary for you or the children.

Difficulty: Easy


Keep track of unfamiliar words and words that are difficult to use and remember. These words may be verbs that are difficult to use or words that you or your children can’t spell correctly over and over. The words may be technical words from specialized fields such as medicine, law, finance. Write the words on a notebook or on index cards to track and to learn them.

Find the meaning of the words to create your personal dictionary. Look up the words on a paper or online dictionary and write down the meanings. Find a dictionary that provides details such as how the words function as a verb, noun and adjective. Identify and write each function for the word. For technical words use a specialized dictionary, such as a legal or medical dictionary.

Write sentences with the word once you find out the meaning. Try to keep the sentences simple using everyday language to easily associate them with the word. Create a sentence for each word function; as a verb, noun and adjective for example.

Set aside time to review your personal dictionary. Go over the words on a regular basis, such as daily in the morning or night time. Repetition will help you memorize the word meanings and usage.

Test yourself with the personal dictionary. Hide the meaning of the words and their use and try to rewrite them without looking at the dictionary notes. Once you have mastered some of the difficult words using your personal dictionary, drop them and add new words to your vocabulary.

Consider creating a personal dictionary when studying a foreign language. Use the steps outlined above to memorize the spellings and use of difficult foreign words, verbs and phrases.

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