How to improve English vocabulary?
The English language has a vast number of words. Be it simple or complex, all words can be replaced by alternate words with a varying degree of change in their meaning. But how to harbor all these words in our mind. It does seem a little taxing. Right!
However strenuous it may sound, but once we follow an easy pattern of working with words, it’s a walk in the park to memorize and use them. It’s wonderful how words can change the way a sentence sound. It makes a huge impact on your English speaking and writing skills. So here are 10 ways to improve your English vocabulary. We at Speechify, have been trying to improve vocabulary and speaking skills of our students in our spoken English classes for last five years. Our online English tutors in India have largely figured out what works and what does not.These easy ways are coming to you straight from the teacher's table who was once a student just like you. These are tried and tested.
1. Maintain a diary
One should maintain a diary or a notebook to jot down any word or phrase that we learn and would like to use it in the future. Writing it down in a diary would be very helpful to refer later on. Write down all the words and phrases in an organized manner.
Divide your diary into two sections, words, and phrases. Categorize words based on their first letter, or any other familiar theme. This will help you to easily refer and find the words when needed. While writing a word, also write a meaningful sentence with it as it will remind you of how to use it effortlessly.
2. Read a lot and be curious
People who have a daily reading habit, generally, have a better vocabulary. There are no shortcuts here. You should try to read as much as possible in English. Be curious about the new words you encounter. Never move ahead without finding the meaning of a word or phrase that you are not aware of. Initially, your reading speed will be slow. But with time, you will build a formidable vocabulary.
3. Make a Pinterest board
Those of you who don’t know about Pinterest, it’s a website where you get a plethora of information on any subject from life hacks to study hacks. You can find anything and everything under one roof.
It’s a very useful tool to improve English vocabulary as you can see them in image form, relate to them, and pin them on your board. So, create a board for yourself on Pinterest, pin all your favorite words and phrases that you find on Pinterest, give your board a nice name. Keep it private or share it with people. You can refer to these pins whenever you want.
4. Highlight words while reading
To enhance English vocabulary, one should always highlight a new word or a phrase one comes across. This is cardinal as it helps to retain the word and also look at how it was used in a sentence. Always write the meaning on top of the word. One can always open the novel and refresh their word bank even if they have read the novel a hundred times. This hack can be applied to some beautiful phrases that you come across in the novel. It’s the best way to absorb the nectar of the book.
5. Google the synonym
When you feel that your vocabulary is not enough to sustain the world of language, don’t look any other way just Google. Every time you say a word that has been used very often, try googling the synonym for the same which will instantly change the way your sentence sounds.
She played an important role in the drama.
She played an indispensable role in the drama.
Look at these sentences they are similar in meaning but how the word indispensable has given a whole new appearance to the sentence.
6. Praise or compliment someone
Yes folks, it’s a beautiful way of adding new words to your vocabulary and also making someone happy. So how does this work?
Compliment someone in your office, for example:
The presentation you delivered was phenomenal.
You have an impeccable sense of style.
Once you start giving compliments to people using such words, it will be easy for you to remember these words and also use them effectively.
7. Observe great speakers
Another fine way of adding words to your vocabulary is to observe great speakers. They effectively use the right diction, eliminating unnecessary words. They speak in an impactful way that is relatable to a large number of people. Just careful observation will help you add lots of gripping words to your vocabulary.
8. Follow an English speaking YouTuber
We all watch YouTube channels and have some favorites. So, to improve our vocabulary we must follow some of them who speak English fluently. For example, if you’re an ardent viewer of food channels, watch them use the best way to define the food they make and how they taste. Note it down and use these words regularly. It’s wonderful how words can make you imagine and give you a taste of it at the same time.
Following vloggers will also help us add words to our vocabulary as they speak for the general public and talk about daily life. The words and phrases they use are also noteworthy. So, get your dose of entertainment and word bank from them. Make the most of these talented vloggers.
9. Practice English speaking
No brainer, just talk to yourself in English or speak with your friends. Reflect on your conversations. This will not only help you correct yourself but also use new words or phrases as often as possible. Nobody’s going to judge you. You are your judge. If you struggle with finding a speaking partner, you can take the help of Speechify, where you can practice English speaking with expert teachers.
10. Stick it on the fridge
Try using one new word every day, stick a post-it on the fridge with the word on it or wherever you spend most of your time in the house. This way you will remember the word and its meaning whenever you look at it.
11. Word Power Made Easy
If you are trying to improve your English vocabulary, then you would have encountered ‘Word Power Made Easy’ book by Norman Lewis. It’s a great book that teaches you many similar-sounding words. It’s a great way to find the common root of words. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to decode new words based on your skills in finding the root. This book is worth reading at least once.
Vocabulary building is like a well, it’s never full. You can only keep adding to it. The main task is to retain them and use them at the right time. That will only happen if you keep using them in your conversations. The more you use them, the better you will be at speaking or even writing. They say “knowledge increases by sharing not by saving” and the same rule applies to vocabulary as well. Share your conversations, compliment people, talk to yourself, and consciously use new words that you want to keep possession of.