Does your job demand you to attend meetings with fluent speakers? Is sending emails a vital part of your daily tasks? Do you struggle to understand your course material due to complicated language?
If you feel like these meetings, emails, or courses are a burden because you find it difficult to keep up with the conversations, express yourself eloquently, or decipher the words in your course book, then you need to work on your vocabulary. Sending emails or writing essays with the same basic phrases you always use will give the impression that you’re an amateur. Building your vocabulary is a key way to improve your speaking and writing skills. That said, let’s dig deep into some tried-and-tested ways that will help you improve your vocabulary without feeling like you’re tackling a Herculean task.
1. Read Every Day
Using newspapers to wipe mirrors and glass is a wonderful cleaning hack, but that’s not the main objective of having them, so make sure you read them first. Read whatever you can get your hands on, whether that’s magazines, books, recipes, or even the ingredients on the back of your tomato sauce. Reading is the easiest way to learn new words. Not only that, but you will also see how they’re used in a context, so you will be able to incorporate them into the sentences you use easily. As you read and discover new words, try to guess their meaning first by understanding the full context rather than looking them up in a dictionary. Look for well-written novels, non-fiction books, or technical articles; they will introduce you to a variety of words you’re unfamiliar with.
2. Play Word Games
Learning doesn’t have to be boring, you can learn while playing with your family on weekly game nights too! Classic games like Scrabble and Boggle will help you expand your vocabulary in a fun way. You can try to work out the daily jumble answer, solve the crossword puzzles, and tackle tricky anagrams — these are all excellent options that can challenge you to memorize new words. If you want to master Scrabble or Words with Friends, expert gamers explain that a word unscrambler is a useful tool that can help you out when you are looking for words that you can make out of scrambled letters. You may have played these games as a child, but it’s time to break them out again.
3. Converse Regularly
Whenever you learn a new word, try to include it in your next conversation. It’s okay not to get it right the first time. Allow yourself to experiment with newly-discovered words in low-stake situations with friends or colleagues. Practicing will help you master the art of words. As with reading, talking with others can help you discover new idioms and expressions as well. Make sure to jot them down on a piece of paper or in a note on your smartphone and go over them later so as not to forget them. Don’t forget to regularly go over all the words you previously learned, too so that they don’t slip from your memory.
4. A Word a Day Keeps Stutter Away
Imagine yourself in a situation where you are trying to persuade someone of something, and you keep stuttering because you can’t find the exact words that make sense to your audience. If you don’t want to experience such situations, the best thing to do is reinforce your word-stock by learning a new word every day. You can create a list by adding a new word daily to your dictionary. However, if you feel like this method is too rigid for you, look for a word-a-day website or mobile app. Some online platforms provide you with a word a day upon your subscription. This way, you will be more confident to run conversations freely without the fear of stammer.
If you want to enhance your command of the language, both as a writer and as a speaker, and be able to express yourself clearly and eloquently, then you need to improve your vocabulary. In addition to grammar and punctuation, great vocabulary will improve your command of the language and enable you to say what you mean precisely, instead of using ambiguous sentences and vague language. Make sure you use the thesaurus as well to learn several of its synonyms and antonyms, too. Having a strong vocabulary will boost your confidence and make you omniscient and dexterous. Now, go look up the last two words!