Words are the basic element of the language. By expanding your knowledge and use of words, you will be able to communicate more clearly and concisely. Yet most English learners struggle to increase their vocabulary effectively. So what is the key to improve English vocabulary?
You might want to check out 5 tips below for the answer.
Read and listen
These activities will give you opportunities to learn new words, especially if you read and listen (with transcripts) from a variety of sources. Since the language will be very different depending on types of material you are using, reading/listening from a wide range can improve English vocabulary. However, do not see the word alone, you should see it in the whole sentence. Fortunately, reading and listening will not only expose you to new words but also do it at a regular intervals, integrated it into the context, which is characteristic of effective vocabulary learning.
While doing these exercises, pay attention to words that you don’t know but do not look them up right away, you will interrupt the narrative. Just try to figure their meanings from context before checking the definition from dictionary.
A good movie, a good book or interesting videos on Youtube maybe the right material for you to start. (Check out our blog post about TV shows that helps you learn English to get some ideas)
Use a journal
Now you have collected a bunch of new words, you will probably want to write them down before mastering it. Keeping a journal where you divide your words into lists of topics so that you can refer back and build them into your everyday vocabulary is always a good idea. However, not just write the word, but you should also try drawing to create a connection between the word’s meaning and the drawing which most relate to it. Making the words become personal and emotional that way can help you to remember them better. Plus, this journal can be a positive motivation for you to learn even more words since you can track how many new words you’ve already learnt.
Word games are a fun and effortless way to increase the recall speed of the vocabulary you know already as well as to pick up new words occasionally from your fellows. There are classic games such as crosswords or scrabble that you can play, but you can always create any kind of word game to enjoy with a group of friends.
If you are a videogame player, you can also turn them into English learning experiences by change the language of the game into English. And then you can learn new vocabulary while playing. Especially story based games which involve dialogues can help you practice your reading and conversation skills too. Not mention to the chance you might have to interact with other players from abroad when you work together to accomplish a goal.
Engage in conversations
The ultimate goal of learning a language is to use it, firstly in making conversations. By doing it, no matter how simple the conversation is, you will have chance to use your vocabulary and make them become vividly. By extending the topic of the conversation you can also practice the fluency of words using in real life context which in turn will help you to master the words. You can also learn more new words from the conversation.
Try the Spaced repetition method
It is a simple memory technique called “Spaced Repetition System” which based on the “forgetting curve” study of Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German research. He suggested the best way to improve recall is to test the information frequently, but not too frequently. Therefore, if you need to learn vocabulary make it a habit and learn it in context. Just set a time everyday to review your vocabulary, not the word alone but in clear example sentences or other contextual aids.
eJOY ENGLISH is an English learning app which applied this technique. You can always try to use the app and improve English vocabulary in a fun and sustainable way.
Hopefully you will find these tips helpful for you in some way. By practicing regularly you can make see incredible progress in vocabulary learning.