How to Improve Your Vocabulary

Improving the vocabulary, as perceived by most, seems to be a rather difficult and superhuman task to accomplish. Do not worry as we’re about to outline the best way to tackle the task at hand and quickly rally up your English vocabulary. Before we dive in deep, we’ve also outlined what going through the effort of increasing your vocabulary can mean to you personally.

1. Benefits to improving your vocabulary
– Higher level of confidence when speaking in public
– Easier to achieve your goals through proper communication
– Expanding your vocabulary will, in turn, advance your corporate career

2. Five proven ways to improve your vocabulary

Tip #1: Read, read, read and read some more
Reading a lot has proven to boost the vocabulary the most. The reason is plain and simple; most of the words (vocabulary) are attained through context. With that being said, the more context/words you are exposed to the better your vocabulary will become as a result. There is a catch though, in order to really rally up your vocabulary we advise you to really focus on any words that you are not familiar with.

Tip #2: Try to understand based on context
When encountering a word you don’t know, first try to go through the context and figure out what the word might mean. Second, try to look up the exact meaning of the word to compare to how you interpreted the word through surrounding context. This will maximize your ability to remember that word. Additionally, we advise to read books, articles or anything pertaining to context that is more likely for you to encounter words you do not know.

Tip #3 Repetition is key
Several studies have shown that it takes a person an average of 10 to 20 repetitions to really master a word. Note that just encountering and looking up the meaning of a new word will not enable you to remember this word in the future. From personal experience, I’ve found it very helpful to create a list where I add new words and reviewing it until I am certain I remember the meaning of a word.

Tip #4 Association for memorization
Associating your newly attained words will further assist you to memorize it and use the word in the right context. Take for example the word audacity which is not an average day-to-day based word. When you’ve taken note of its meaning, it helps tremendously when you try to associate the word to a synonym. For our example, audacity would best be associated with the word dare.

Tip #5: Prefixes & suffixesOur final tip will help you catch two flies with one hand. When encountering a word you do not know, it also helps to focus on so called prefixes and suffixes. First, the process begun with trying to understand the word through context and second, try to create a new word based on pre and suffixes. A few samples include:

Prefix:

Orientation – DISorientation

Happy – UNhappy

Suffix:

Happy – HappyNESS

Comfort – ComfortABLE

Not so much of a reader you say? I hear you and don’t worry; there is hope for you as well. There are word games available which are known to boost a person’s vocabulary. Especially the art of using pre and suffixes will become more natural to you through these games. Play games such as ‘Words with Friends’ and ‘Scrabble’ where you’ll need to come up with words from a rack of random letters.