Vocabulary should be like a garden during spring which is full of flowers. That is, your vocabulary should be full of new words to make your speech and written language more interesting. Nobody says, ‘Learn vocabulary’. It is often referred to as ‘building vocabulary’. That is because, just like building a house takes few months, building vocabulary doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice.
Active vocabulary building
Read books, magazines and newspapers of good repute to learn new words. Speak with learned people or listen to talks by famous people. Keep a dictionary nearby to look up a new word. Understanding the meaning as and when you learn it, is a great way to remember the word.
To further memorise the word, use it in a sentence. Keep a track of new words by writing it down in a notebook along with its meaning.
Another source of building vocabulary is conversing and writing. To make a speech or a written content interesting it has to have new words in it. Looking at the same words over and over again will make the reader and listener bored. Unless you want to be stamped as boring, pick out words that can be substituted by another new word. This way you will not only know the meaning of the new word, but also remember it.
Passive vocabulary building
Great way to learn nouns (names, places and things) is to stick a note on each of the articles lying around with its name on it. Movies and music do provide an alternate method for learning, but not as good as the ones you can learn by speaking.
Memorising and using the learnt words in correct context
No two words in English mean the exact same. There are synonyms, equivalent words but not equal words. Hence, try to use the newly learnt word in a correct context. This way, the word will not sound artificially used and you will remember where to use it.
If you have learnt quite a few new words today, write them down with their meaning. Use them in sentence and place them in a location visible to your eyes. Review them the tomorrow. If you do not revise, you will forget it. Next time you see the word somewhere, it will sound familiar, but you will go insane not knowing what it means.
If you come across a new word in a movie or magazine, stop to think why that word is being used. After you have spent 30 minutes researching on a word this way, you will never forget it.
Learning random words never help. That is why word list in GRE books are difficult to memorise. They have to be used every day, in correct context for our brain to imbibe it. But once you understand the word and its meaning, your brain will help you dig that precise word when necessary.
Read, speak, write and listen as much as you can to build your vocabulary, for it is the sign of a learned person.
A fantastic self improvement article, ‘Robert’s Awesome Tricks for Improving your Vocabulary’:
Read more articles on how to improve English speaking
- Improve English Pronunciation – Tips and Tricks
- Tips for Speaking English with Neutral Accent
- How to Speak English Fluently – Few Tips
- Improve English grammar – Tips and Tricks