There are more than 250,000 words in the Oxford English dictionary. This numberdoes not include slang or technical words. However, a good English speaker would normally use only 15,000 to 20,000 of these words. If you think your vocabulary is weak, a little effort everyday over a six to nine month period can go a long way in improving it.
Here are EnglishLeap’s top ten vocabulary improvement tips –
1. Make reading the newspaper a daily ritual. You may be comfortable reading a particular section but make an effort to read different articles on every page. The editorial page is highly recommended not only for vocabulary but also for structuring and presenting thought.
2. Make it a habit to read a new book every week. It is not surprising that those who read a lot develop a good vocabulary. You can consider becoming a member of the local library. Make a list of wordsthat are new to you and look up their meanings in the dictionary.
3. Watching English movies and television shows is important for improving English and learning new English words. The best part about watching English videos is that you can learn the correct pronunciation as well.
4. Use vocabulary cards. Vocabulary cards are used by students who are trying to learn many words in a short period of time. You can make your own cards by writing the word onone side and the meaning on the other side of a square piece of paper. It is a convenient tool to learn new words in your free time
5. Use the internet. The internet is an unlimited resource for reading material. Pick up a topic of your choice and search for articles about it. You will come across plenty of material to read, which you might find interesting, and importantly, will also introduce you to new words. Be sure to look them up in a dictionary.
6. Don’t forget the new words. The best way to ensure that you never forget the new words you learn is to start using them in your day to day conversation. Do not try to force them into a conversation but do use them if you think they are appropriate.
7. Learn pronunciation. Most dictionaries provide us with pronunciations of words using phonetic symbols. It is important to learn the sounds that correspond to these phonetic symbols, in order to become comfortable pronouncing new words.
8. Learning in groups is always more fun. If you have friends who also want to improve their vocabulary, then you can form a group and share new words with each other. You can meet at regular intervals and measure your progress.
9. Learn the root words. Root words are words from which words grow with the addition of prefixes and suffixes. For example: The word vocabulary is derived from the Latin root word‘voc’, which means 'word' or 'name'. Other words like advocacy, vocal and vociferous are also derived from the same root word. Hence, if you can recognize some root words, you will get a fair idea of many derived words. Check out our list of common root words.
10. Keep revising. While it is important to read and learn new words, it is equally important to revise what you have learnt. Fix a particular day of the week to revise all the words you have learnt in that week and add them to your daily vocabulary.