Vocab-Backup Strategy


book_coverQuotes from inside the book


“If you can recapture the “powerful urge to learn” with which you were born, you can go on increasing your vocabulary at a prodigious rate—No matter what your present age.”

                                                                                         Norman Lewis 1978

“increasing your vocabulary does not mean merely learning the definitions of large numbers of obscured words; it does not mean memorizing scores of unrelated terms. What it means—what it can only mean—is becoming acquainted with the multitudinous and fascinating phenomena of human existence for which words are, obviously, only the verbal descriptions.”

                                                                                                                                     Norman Lewis 1978

“. . . by words, the mind is excited and the spirit elated.”

The Athenian playwright Aristophanes (c. 450-385 BC)




I must build a library (of mine) to learn knowledge, but (first) I must build words to learn a language.’’

“It is unfair to think that vocabulary is one word. It is the whole language that makes our minds work.”

Adel M. Alharbi, 2014


If you can recapture the “powerful urge to learn” with which you were born, you can go on increasing your vocabulary at a prodigious rate—No matter what your present age.”

                                                                                                                             Norman Lewis 1978


Quotes for the 5 steps of Vocab-Backup

Step #1: Synonyms First!

“Synonyms are easier to remember’’


Step #2: Meaning with Context

“Context must marry meaning”


Step #3: Pronunciation Practice Process

“Hear your sound to produce your voice (private speech strategy). It will work.”


Step #4: Bookmark Your Vocabulary Search

“A bookmark is always connected to my memories.”


Step #5: Remembering Strategy for Writing

“Writing makes words continue to flourish in our minds”

Chapters at a glance


How and Why Did This Strategy Come About?

Why Learning Vocabulary is Important

My Vocabulary Story

Introducing the Vocab-Backup Strategy – VBS


Step #1: Synonyms First!

Synonym Strategies Process

Semantic Map Example


Step #2: Meaning with Context


Step #3: Pronunciation Practice Process


Step #4: Bookmark Your Vocabulary Search


Step #5: Remembering Strategy for Writing



·       Do you want to boost your vocabulary knowledge, read and comprehend new texts, and be a good conversationalist?

·       Do you feel that your writing style stays the same every time you put your pen to paper?

·       Do you want to improve your learning habits and enhance your memory and attention?

·       Do you struggle to understand course content in college, or are you a teacher who wants to help your students build their academic vocabulary?


If any of the above applies to you, I encourage you to read this book. It identifies and offers help for most issues that arise when you encounter new words which might hinder your understanding of a new text or involvement in conversation. These moments of disconnection come from not knowing words. Thinking strategically and improving your autonomous self-learning skills are the basic aims of this book; they will help you to retain new vocabulary into your longer-term memory and develop your language.

For over 10 years, I have been a language learner, teacher and researcher. I have carefully researched and gained knowledge about these topics (vocabulary acquisition; vocabulary learning strategy). Now, I am ready to put this book in your hands for you to use as a reference.

My greatest motivation to write this book came from my students. They struggled to keep up with academic work and to write excellent college papers. Now, I want to share what I know to help people like them.

This book contains the self-learning strategy that each learner has but may not know how to use. The Vocab-backup Strategy has been analytically collected, designed, researched, and published to enrich your learning habits with the most important skills you need to build up your vocabulary size.

With the sequential processes and procedures found in this book, you can develop an excellent knowledge of new vocabulary, beginning with Step 1 – Look for synonyms first – up to Step 5 – Remembering Strategy for Writing.


I am putting in your hand my passionate project that I have built from nothing. Since I first thought of writing this book, my goal has been to assist teachers and language learners of any language, because what I have gone through during my language learning has proven that the vocabulary learning strategy works better to develop your language, which is necessary for becoming successful in your academic life.

However, and for sure, this work also should empower teachers, educators, English as a second language learners, and curriculum designers. Teaching and learning strategies are the core factors in this book, but more significantly, they are your tool for better learning and for enriching your mind at every moment.

In this project, I prioritize successful practice of language learning. For over eight years I taught language learners, and I decided to create this work to integrate both my learning and teaching practices that converged together from various education experiences. So, I pledge to offer this book as a tool and guide for my students and colleagues to achieve remarkable learning and teaching outcomes.


About This Book

A good strategy must lead your way and light your path. Vocab-backup strategy is a step-by-step guide, but it is also a strategy to help you boost your vocabulary knowledge. I have tested it, published it, and I now want you to benefit from it. Vocabulary learning is a tough and challenging process, and language speakers and learners need strategies to help them expand their comprehension of language. I have put over eight years of experiences into thinking, analyzing, designing, collecting and developing a highly effective vocabulary learning strategy, which I am now delighted to share with you. Vocab-Backup Strategy, or VBS, is a tool that will assist you as you infuse your mind with vocabulary, taking ideas from vague global concepts to specific local ones. This tool will enrich both your previous and new vocabulary knowledge, helping you expand your vocabulary and establish extra connections within the language areas of your mind. The VBS works sequentially, which means that you have to complete step number 1 before you move on to step number 2. This process lets your brain work from unknown and easy access words to more detailed understanding of the new vocabulary. A good quick skill to have is to write down each of the five steps on a separate notecard and practice applying each step in turn while encountering new vocabulary.

This book was sparked by my students’ determination as they struggled to manage their language learning and showed that they wanted to succeed in their academic life. If you spend a lot of time reading your textbooks or struggling to establish a good writing style, or feel incompetent to speak using proper language, then Vocab-backup Strategy: 5 Sequential Self-learning Steps to Boost your Vocabulary Knowledge will enrich your vocabulary knowledge, prepare you to undertake new tasks, and boost your language cognitively, socially, and linguistically.

Adel M. Alharbi





I greatly appreciate hearing from people about my work so I can learn from them and make my work more responsive to their needs. So, before you close my book, I would like you to reflect on these questions and post your review on Amazon.

1)Was this book helpful to you? Why?

2)What is one thing about this book that changed your opinion about the topic discussed?

3) How can I make this book look better in the future?

Your feedback is very important to me.. thank you!

Please post your supportive review  (including your answers to questions 1 and 2 above) on Amazon.

Then  send me your answer to question 3 via email at adlism@hotmail.com so I can make the next edition of the book even better!


Thank you in advance,

Adel M. Alharbi




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