After writing new vocabulary down in a class, do you use it in your life? One reason that it might be difficult to do this is probably that you don’t really know how to use it properly. Even if you took a memo about new words, it would be just a definition of the word. To use English more natural, learning which word is used in combination will be very useful and also you won’t feel scared when you use a new word in front of your friends or in a class. Here is an excellent dictionary site of a collocation. Online OXFORD Collocation Dictionary
Take an example of “vocabulary”. Searching it on this site, you can find some examples and a group of words which can go together with vocabulary. Here is a copy of the result below.
ADJ. extensive, large, rich, wide English has a rich vocabulary and literature. Try to develop a wide vocabulary. | limited, narrow, poor, restricted, small | active, passive | basic, essential, key | formal | business, scientific, specialized, technical
VERB + VOCABULARY have | acquire, learn Learners of languages acquire vocabulary through practice. | build, develop, enlarge, enrich, expand, extend, increase, widen This book has been designed to help you expand your vocabulary. | enter The word ‘think tank’ entered the vocabulary (= became part of the language) in the 1960s. | use Specialized vocabulary is used in all the major disciplines.
VOCABULARY + NOUN item
PREP. ~ for/of the essential vocabulary for tourism
PHRASES not in sb’s vocabulary The word ‘failure’ is not in his vocabulary (= for him, failure does not exist).
This is a great tool, and it would be exactly what some of you are looking for. Not only when you speak English, but also write an essay, you can refer to these definitions. Ideally, it will be good to search the word also in this dictionary right after finding a definition of a new word, which helps your learning.
See more detail about Learning English in Toronto.