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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.
Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Rating Form

Package 4 – Grouping strategies 3 - Recording new and useful known vocabulary using a variety of recording strategies

In Package 3 we looked at recording strategies. In this package we are going to put those ideas into practice. It might be an idea at this point to refresh your memory by reviewing the strategies we introduced in Package 3.

Activity 1 - Reading and Recording I

You will now use the grouping strategies to record the vocabulary from a text. To do this effectively, you need to read the text and:

  1. highlight new vocabulary and expressions

  2. highlight vocabulary and expressions that you already know and that you think are useful, but do not use very often   
  1. When Lord King, chairman of British Airways, the ruthless, aggressive, bull-like British businessman, emerged from the High Court in the spring of 1994 after his long libel battle with the owner of Virgin Atlantic Airways, he managed a weak smile as he shook his adversary’s hand. He had taken on the opponent he had expected to crush, an opponent with a fuzzy beard. Instead of destroying him he had been hammered, forced into a humiliating apology and a payout of six hundred thousand pounds in damages. He had met the whiz kid cum high flyer Richard Branson.

    Lord King was not the first to make that mistake. Richard Branson does not look the part. There he is, a man usually to be found in Marks and Spencer’s sweaters with a wooly beard sitting in the boardroom of one of the biggest British success stories of the 1980’s. If asked to guess his profession, one might say he was a teacher or maybe a social worker. One would never imagine that he is the founder and owner of one of the largest private conglomerates in Britain, an empire that encompasses everything from soft drinks to hotel and hypermarket subsidiaries, not to mention an airline that has rapidly grown into Britain’s favourite and this is not achieved by being a soft touch.

    There was little evidence in Richard Branson’s early career that he would become such a high flyer. He had a poor academic record at school despite being the son of a successful barrister and attending one of Britain’s most expensive public schools. He dropped out of school at sixteen.

    He then entered the business world. He published magazines, ran a small mail order record business and launched his own record company before he was twenty-one.

    In 1984, Richard Branson entered into a partnership the American lawyer, Randolph Fields, who had the idea of a cut-price transatlantic airline. Typically, Branson moved fast and within three months was photographed in the cockpit of their first Boeing plane. Branson is brilliant at marketing though he has never read a marketing book. He rarely speaks in marketing jargon, he simply knows how to do it. Branson made his airline the fun and fashionable airline to fly. He promoted it innovatively, not by advertising, not by cost-cutting but by embarking on ingenious and creative adventures in powerboats and by almost killing himself by trying to set the world record for hot-air ballooning.

    Unlike most eighties money-makers and entrepreneurs, he showed a genuine and modern social conscience. When the AIDS epidemic began, he responded by starting a cut-price condom manufacturing company and he was responsible for initiating a campaign to make London a cleaner city. Perhaps it was this that made Lord King think that Branson could be easily scared off as a rival by his own campaign of dirty tricks, which had begun in 1994.

    Adapted from Vogue Magazine

    • Change highlight color:

If you would like to read more about Richard Branson or Virgin, go to:


Activity 2 - Reading and Recording II

Having identified the target vocabulary, drag and drop your highlighted words into this table under the headings given.

Activity 3 - Reading and Recording III

The final stage involves re-recording the grouped vocabulary using the recording strategies that you encountered earlier in this unit. In this activity, you are given some of these strategies but they are incomplete. Use the words from the Activity 3 possible answers and them here.

Mind maps – complete this mind map.

  1. owner     founder    chairman   1.money-maker Ans: money-maker   2.entrepreneur Ans: entrepreneur
    business / company
    3. small business Ans: small business
    4. subsidiary Ans: subsidiary
    5. conglomerate Ans: conglomerate

      run / start / 6. launch Ans: launch a business a business
  1. Example sentences – use three very similar words to complete this sentence.

    Aston Villa 7. destroyed Chelsea 5-0 last night.

    Ans: destroyed

                     8. crushed

    Ans: crushed

                     9. hammered

    Ans: hammered

Phrasal verbs & Prepositional combinations – check the boxes to match the verbs and prepositions.
  on out into over in in on up down off from
13. take
(Correct answers are highlighted in yellow)

Definitions and Translations – write definitions or translations for these two words.
  1. encompass
    to include comprehensively
  2. humiliating
    causing someone a huge loss of dignity, self-respect or pride

Synonyms / Antonyms / Similar meaning tables and diagrams – complete the table and diagram below.

Word Synonym Similar or Related Word Antonym Similar or Related Word
opponent 16. adversary
Ans: adversary
17. rival
Ans: rival
partner / ally competitor

          war ____________________   18. campaign

Ans: campaign
19. battle──────────fight
Ans: battle

Word families – mark the parts of speech for this word family.

to manage to do something 20. verb
Ans: verb
to manage something 21. verb
Ans: verb
manager 22. personal nouncountable
Ans: personal noun / countable
management 23. collective noununcountable
Ans: collective noun / uncountable
managerial 24. adjective
Ans: adjective
managerially25. adverb
Ans: adverb

What do these two related expressions mean?
  1. management material
    someone with the potential to be a manager.
  2. management speak
    popular modern business jargon and cliche such as ‘a win-win’ situation, ‘24/7’ and ‘thinking outside the box.’

Prefixes / Suffixes – what do the following prefixes mean?
  1. hypermarket
  2. transatlantic
  3. encom pass

Pronunciation and Word stress – mark the word stress for these words on a paper.
31. adversary34. entrepreneur
32. humiliating35. innovatively
33. encompasses36. epidemic

Word class – complete this words class diagram.
      37. barrister
Ans: barrister

Collocation tables – which adjectives do you think collocate with the nouns?
nouns smile look expression thought idea
38. weak
39. creative
40. aggressive
41. ruthless
42. ingenious
43. crackpot
(Correct answers are highlighted in yellow)

Pictures – select picture which shows a man with a fuzzy or a wooly beard.
(Correct answers are highlighted in yellow)

Connotation – mark whether these words have a positive, negative or neutral connotation.
positive negative neutral
45. a soft touch      
46. a whiz kid      
47. a high flyer      
48. dirty tricks      
49. rival      
50. opponent      
(Correct answers are highlighted in yellow)

Formality tables – match the less formal words with their more formal equivalents in the box below.

Clines – complete this cline on adverbs of frequency with words from the text.

58. usually
Ans: usually
59. typically
Ans: typically
60. rarely
Ans: rarely
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