Whenever we ask readers, teachers and students what seems to be their biggest problem in reading the Bangkok Post, almost everyone immediately answers “vocabulary!”. It is true that inexperienced readers are likely to find a great deal of unfamiliar vocabulary in the Bangkok Post, but that is not really a “problem”. As we hope to show you, it is really an “opportunity” for you to increase your vocabulary to a level where you can use English effectively in school or at work.
One way to do this is, of course, to make a serious effort to learn new vocabulary by using your dictionary to look up the large number of the unfamiliar words you run across in our newspaper. That is not the method we are going to recommend, however. Besides being rather boring, overuse of the dictionary can actually interfere with your understanding of the stories you read. It slows down your reading speed so much that it is difficult to see how ideas fit together. Instead, we are going to suggest two extremely useful strategies for increasing your vocabulary and your reading comprehension at the same time. We strongly suggest you begin with the section on context.