The English language has more words than any other language in the world, and the vocabulary of native speakers expands a little with new slang every year. Whether English is your native tongue or not, this article can show you a few tricks for learning new words each day. Read further if you’re looking to fluff up your vocabulary bank.
Practice with Scrabble
Scrabble has been known to boost IQ, delay brain degeneration in the elderly, and to supplement vocabulary. According to the scrabble experts at Unscramble.org, an easy way to practice Scrabble is by using tools that will help you unscramble the words. By constantly looking for anagrams, you’ll stumble upon uniquely spelt words that aren’t commonly used. The upside of practising with Scrabble is that there are many other intellectual benefits, such as learning strategy and improving memory.
Read About Something Foreign to You
Your vocabulary might be solid surrounding certain topics, but it might be weak in others. If you want to minimize the number of areas that you get lost in, it might be a good idea to read articles about topics you wouldn’t normally meander into. Reading the news is always a good option because politics is a common conversation topic. But why stop there? Why not consider taking a look at a medical journal or a nutrition blog?
Poetry requires a variation in vocabulary to make the rhythm and rhyme flow, while also creating figurative languages such as symbolism or metaphor. Reading poetry will not only give you a new appreciation for one of the most timeless arts in history, but it will also require some research on your part to understand both the surface meaning (the meaning of the words) and underlying meaning (the meaning of the poem itself).
Use an App
Many apps are designed to help you boost your vocabulary bank while also retaining new words. Look into some apps and choose one that sounds like it would support you in the ways that fit your needs and learning style, and you’ll be on your way to using more flowery language in no time!
Study Greek and Latin
The majority of English is primarily composed of Greek and Latin. By learning the Greek and Latin roots, your vocabulary will significantly grow. You’ll discover the meaning of parts of words that make up bigger words. For example, “phil” means knowledge, and “soph” means love. So “philosophy” means “love of knowledge.”
Listen to Podcasts
Finding a podcast on subjects that interest you is a great way to learn new things about the stuff you already have an interest in, or to accumulate knowledge in things you may not know of yet. The people who host podcasts are typically well-versed on the topics they discuss because they have to fill the time slot, share useful information, and keep it interesting for listeners. Using the same words would obviously be repetitive and boring, so they’ll have a full vocabulary on whatever it is they’re talking about.
Use a Thesaurus
One of the best things you can do when you learn a new word is to try to find other words that are associated with it or have similar meanings. Download the Merriam-Webster dictionary app and make use of the thesaurus feature as well. This will also improve your writing if that’s something you’re interested in.
Try to Learn Groups of Words
You’re more likely to retain the meaning of words if you learn them alongside other words with similar definitions. This will also help you gain an understanding of a larger selection of words at a time, rather than just one. Instead of clicking through social media, review the definitions while you’re on the train or waiting in line somewhere, and make an effort to use them throughout the day if the opportunity arises.
Learn with Music
Music is an excellent way to absorb new information because it pairs meaning with one of your five senses. There’s a reason why you can’t get that new pop song out of your head even though you’ve only heard it a few times. When you put a phrase with a catchy rhyme or melody, it increases the possibility of memorization tenfold.
So if you hear a word you’re unfamiliar with in a tune, look it up! Chances are, you’ll remember it years from now. Also, if you can put a new definition into your own little song, then go for it if you really want to remember it later.
One of the keys to improving your reading comprehension is through building onto your vocabulary. If you can find a learning style that suits you, then you’ll certainly be on your way to strengthening your overall linguistic skills.