How to improve your vocabulary
One of the main objectives of students is to increase their vocabulary range in both their professional and personal lives and even though it’s easy to make lists of new words, it’s harder to actually remember and, more importantly, use the new words! Read on for four tips on how to improve your vocabulary:
- Put the new words in context:
When learning new vocabulary, make one or two example sentences with the new words. Try to make the example sentences ones you will remember by personalising them. It is much easier to remember a word or phrase that has personal meaning than a random word from a vocabulary list!
- Learn collocations:
Collocations are words that naturally go together in English. We say ‘do homework‘ and not ‘make homework’; we talk about ‘an aisle seat’and not ‘a corridor seat’on a plane. Learning collocations will help you increase your vocabulary allowing you to use more appropriate words; instead of saying ‘she has a very good imagination’ you can say ‘she has a very vivid imagination’. Collocations will also help you sound more natural when speaking in English!
- Group vocabulary by theme:
It’s easier to study and remember new vocabulary if it is organised according to themes. You can have professional vocabulary, vocabulary for travelling, small talk vocabulary and so on. This will help you remember new vocabulary as you will be studying words that are related to each other.
- Use the new vocabulary:
A new word can only be learnt if it is used so make sure you use your new vocabulary as often as possible. Research shows that a word has to be used at least five times before it becomes automatic!