For those who are not acquainted with the phrase, ‘Lexical Resource’, it is simply a collection of words and phrases with the knowledge where it fits properly. In the IELTS tests, 25% marks of a student come from his ‘Lexical Resource’. Naturally, the ‘LR’ is of immense importance for a student. The Lexical resource is one of the 4 grading criteria for all the 4 types of the tests of the IELTS.
Let me make a discursive discussion about the ‘LR’.
For the IELTS tests, you have to possess a wide range of vocabulary. As you are not expected to repeat the same words repeatedly in the tests and lose marks that way, for that your vocabulary should be rich with synonymous words. There is some hidden danger for using synonymous words, because in some cases a ‘Synonymous Word’, might have different meanings, so you have to pick and choose the perfect and suitable synonym for each word you use. The less common words you use the better for your score, but writing uncommon words does not mean that you write a ‘Long and hard to understand words’.
A very Common mistake: Students or candidates often seen to make a common mistake, they repeat the same word throughout the writing or speech (in speaking test), instead of using appropriate ‘Synonyms’ (This happens due to lack of knowledge). So, it is advisable to the candidates, if they make the same mistake of repeating a word time and again, they should rectify it while checking the writing.
Another big mistake is: In order to execute their vocabulary, they make a guesswork and write an inappropriate word and get penalized. While writing an essay, candidates often get known topics like- Health, Education, Environment, Globalization and some more. So a genuinely prepared candidate, with proper knowledge of the common topics, is expected to have a wide range of vocabulary over those topics.
Weakness in spelling: Weakness in spelling happens due to lack of practice. Even a candidate with having a strong vocabulary but weakness in spelling score lower grade. Whereas if one make rare or occasional spelling mistakes, he can still make it ‘Band 7’. But there are no instructions on ‘How rare/occasional’ mistakes are allowed. So to be on the safe side, make your vocabulary strong with accurate spelling and pronunciation as well.
Collocation: Its’ a part of the ‘LR’, it simply means, a grouping of words in sentences, it is a very ‘Important Concept’ for any language learners. Only if your ‘Combination of Words’ are right in a sentence, then your vocabulary would get counted. It is often seen that trying to execute vocabulary, candidates make a mess of things and lose marks. At the same time, candidates should know the appropriate preposition that follows a word, often they are seen to make errors in ‘Collocation’. A candidate with huge vocabulary but the lack of ‘Collocation’, won’t earn any reward for his bone-crashing efforts of cramming thousands of words. Using words in the wrong context are penalizing, as it changes the meaning of the entire context. So, once again some more examples: If you write: I did/have done a serious mistake. Yes, of course, it is a big mistake. You should have written: I made/committed a serious mistake.
Mistakes in using prepositions: His painting consists of a number of montages OR Instead if you write: His work comprises of a number of montages. You have used the words in a right way, followed by the preposition ‘of’. But instead, if a candidate writes: His work contains of a number of montages… wrong, it should be: His work contains a number of montages. (just delete the preposition of and everything is okay). Thus enriching of vocabulary is not possible by cramming dictionaries, rather you got to know the right usage of each word in your vocabulary. Similarly, if you write: A major drawback of the system is… Or A major disadvantage of the system is… In both the cases, you are right. But, if somebody writes: A major disadvantage/drawback to or in the system is… incorrect usages of a preposition, better you repeat a word once or twice but don’t commit such mistakes.
Writing make a mistake or commit a mistake is okay, but don’t ever write do a mistake or did a mistake… Both are wrong. If you write… This man has done a crime… also you have done one, well not a crime but a mistake. You must right: This man has committed a crime (to be perfect). In such cases ‘Commit’ is the word that perfectly fits. e.g. The boy jumped at the pond or in the point… both are wrong. The right way to write this: The boy jumped into the pond.
Another point for explaining the importance of Lexical Resource: Already mentioned, it is of no use cramming the dictionaries to enrich your ‘LR’. Naturally, the question comes to the mind, ‘Why so?’. While adding a new word to your LR, you must know the forms of it, the noun form, the adjective or the adverbial form etc.: If you write: These two pens are different… Its’ okay, you have written the adjective form. But, if somebody writes: These two pens are difference… Wrong. If you want to use the word ‘difference’ here, you should write: These two pens have differences OR There are differences between the two pens. (Difference is noun and different is adjective). So, knowing the different forms of each and every word is of immense importance.
However, the phrase ‘Lexical Resource’ instead of ‘Vocabulary’, might not be clear yet to some non-native speakers. When you get to know the meaning of a certain word, it is in your ‘Vocabulary’, but not necessarily in your LR. As per dictionary, the word meaning of ‘Lexical Resource’ is, ‘Available source of wealth relating to words’. So, it clearly explains, why ‘LR’ is not just your vocabulary, its’ about the in-depth knowledge of using the words properly and accurately according to the context. When you will be writing for your IELTS Tests and asked to write on a given topic, you will get to see that more than a few words, would require repetition. Your ability to avoid ‘Repeating Words’ by replacing with synonymous words is what called your ‘Lexical resource’. Keep it embossed in your mind, your ‘Strong Lexical Resource’ will enable you getting a higher Band Score, as it is always responsible for 25% of your score.
Connotation: A rich ‘Lexical Resource’ is linked with several things, apart from collocation, there is ‘Connotation’. It’s an extremely important part related to ‘LR’. What is it actually? There are lots of words, which are used both in positive and negative senses. If you write: ‘She is slim’. It means you are admiring the girl. But instead, if you write, ‘She is skinny’. Does it at all mean that ‘You are appreciating? No, you are criticizing the girl and indicating that she is too slim and looks skinny. But the word slim and the word skinny is almost the same word according to the dictionary (almost, not exactly). Thus, you can use the word, ‘Affect’ in both senses, examples: His speech had affected the boys in such a way that, they have got motivated. (It is written in positive sense). But, if you write ‘His speech affected the young mind of the boys’. It, of course, has written in a negative sense.
Therefore you need to expertise on collocation which means that you need to write with clarity of understanding and not live the readers keep guessing. So the importance of ‘Lexical Resource’ is hopefully understood. I am providing some common ‘Collocations’ below. The Verb ‘have’ and related Nouns or Phrases are like: They have left for the USA. They have their breakfast. He is doing his homework. He will keep his promise. Its’ 4 pm, who don’t you go and play? Just see, the uses of the words have, doing, keep/keeping are used in such a way that you can call them word family.