You can improve your vocabulary in several different ways. When working to improve your vocabulary, it is important to know your goals. Are you preparing for a standardized test like TOEFL or GRE? In that case you will need a vast vocabulary. Improving your vocabulary is easy if you know your exact requirements and choose the right method. Here are some proven techniques to improve your English vocabulary.
1. Vocabulary Trees
Vocabulary trees make learning new words easy because they provide context. You can use them to improve your specific vocabulary. Once you have created a few vocabulary trees around specific themes, you will automatically start thinking in vocabulary groups.
2. Make word charts
You need to make a conscious effort to learn new words. Jot down unfamiliar words that you discover in magazines and newspapers and then look them up in a dictionary. Against each word, write down its definition. Remember that people who possess a commendable vocabulary actively pursue words. Review new words until they become quite familiar to you.
3. Use every available resource
Few people like to read dictionaries but if you can develop a taste for them, your vocabulary will improve within a few weeks. Now you don’t even need to buy dictionaries. Most dictionaries are now available online and they are even better than their paperbacks. Carry a pocket dictionary with you all the time. You can learn new words while waiting for buses or trains.
4. Play vocabulary games
Do crosswords and play word games with your friends and family members. If you are an imaginative person, you will not have much difficulty building fun vocabulary games.
5. Use a thesaurus
A thesaurus is a different kind of dictionary. It groups words according to their meaning. A thesaurus can be quite helpful if you are preparing for vocabulary tests.
6. Learn the roots
A large number of English words have Greek or Latin roots. If you know these roots you will be able to guess the meaning of words built with them.
Manjusha Nambiar is an ESL tutor and content developer. She gives English vocabulary lessons and formal letter writing tips at her site perfectyourenglish.com.