English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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1 Learning new academic and specialised words

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Figure 1 Knowledge of academic and technical vocabulary is needed at university

Studying a university course involves reading and writing texts containing words that may be new to you. There are specialised (or technical) words and word groups that are associated with a particular subject area (for example, chromosome in biology, derivative in economics, baud in ICT, global integration in business studies). There are also many general academic words that are used across most subject areas (for example, conceptequitablecapitalismexclusivecomprise).

While it is possible to acquire some new vocabulary naturally, simply by using it, you can also use strategies to enhance this process.

In this section you will reflect on your current vocabulary building strategies and consider other ways in which you can develop your ability to learn new words.

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