How to improve your vocabulary
Following are a few methods for expanding your vocabulary
with words you will feel comfortable using. Try one
or more of these at your convenience. The ones that
seem most appealing will probably work best for you.
1. Make a list of subjects that
fascinate you most. The more you enjoy a topic,
the easier to learn about it. Now go to your local library
and search for a dictionary of words specific to one
of these topics. If you like Baseball you may find a
dictionary of baseball words for example. Not every
topic will have its own dictionary of relevant words
but you? I be surprised how many do. Once you have found
a dictionary for one of your favorite topics, thumb
through it looking for words that you have never heard
or words you have heard that you don? know the meanings
of. The sheer joy of having found the words and their
meanings will help them sink into your memory. Since
they relate to a favorite topic, you will likely practice
and use them regularly with all the commitment needed
to make them a part of regular conversation.
2.In different parts of the country
people favor different words. Try picking up
or subscribing to a newspaper from another part of the
country. Or enlist a friend or relative from another
area to join in on vocabulary improvement and offer
to send them a copy of your heaviest big city newspaper
in exchange for yours. Or go online and read such a
newspaper on line for free.
3. To make learning easier and
more productive, use flash cards in a new and more effective
way to master several words at once. Instead
of putting separate words on separate cards with separate
meanings. Pick four words that all have the same or
similar meanings and write them on one side with their
meanings clearly identified on the other. Since you
will be learning the same or very closely related word
meanings for four words, you will be learning four words
and one definition with slightly subtle changes. This
brings it all together as one task in which you learn
4 times as much in about the same time.
4. Object words are easier because
your are learning the definition of a word which is
also a tangible item that you can picture in your mind.
Go to a unique curio shop, specialty store or science
or other obscure type of museum you have never been
too before. Keep any brochures or other documentation
that describes what you are seeing. Let the mental pictures
drive the names of these items and their descriptions
deep into your mind for recall later.
5. You learn much more by being
humble than by being proud. Just as when driving
you should be willing to stop and ask for directions,
you shouldn't? be afraid to do some digging when there?
a word you don? understand. Look it up or even have
the courage to ask. Go on a word hunt. Write down what
you didn't? understand and quickly. Hound that word
and its meaning with your own research until you find
it. The satisfaction of victory over your ignorance
of that one word will bolster your confidence that you
can learn many other words if you want to badly enough.
Written by David Geer