10 Tips To Build Your Vocabulary
What’s the best way to learn English vocabulary?
How can I learn more words?
The truth is, that to successfully learn new vocabulary, you need to create good study habits, keep it interesting and make sure that you are having fun!
Building your English vocabulary is something that you should be doing, every day… So, you need to find fun and interesting ways to do it!
In this video, I’m going to talk about a number of different tools and techniques that you can use to improve your vocabulary – you might not like all of them, but you will definitely enjoy some of them! And hopefully, you can make them part of your daily or weekly routine.
AND if you’ve got your own suggestions about ways to learn vocabulary, make sure you add them in the comments!! Share the love!
CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.
Hello! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! What’s the best way to learn new vocabulary?
Ahhh the million dollar question! If only I could give the ultimate answer to that question. It’s a question that I get asked daily – literally! There is no single best way. There is no quick solution, but I do have 10 tips or recommendations in this lesson that will help you to improve your English vocabulary.
So you need to find the best way for you and to do that you need to take a few moments to think about YOU. Think about your interests. Do you like reading? The movies? Watching the news? How do you like to learn, inside or outside, in a group or alone? What type of learner are you? How do you best take in information? And what’s your schedule like? When can you study? On the train or with your kids?
Use this information to find the opportunities to learn and enjoy English. The truth is that to successfully learn new vocabulary, you need to create really good study habits. You need to keep it interesting and you need to make sure that you’re having fun! It’s something that you need to be doing every day so you need to find a way to involve things that you love to do.
Me? I get really bored reading grammar books and listening to words through dictionaries. I’m much more likely to stay motivated if I’m eating or drinking so I like to study around meals. Hey, you may laugh but it works for me!
Consistency is key when you’re learning new words. You can’t just learn them once and magically they’re kept inside your head forever. You need to hear them again and again. Understand how they’re used in different, in word families. You need to use them yourself. The truth is that we all learn differently.
So in this video I’m going to talk about 10 different tools and techniques that you can use to improve your vocabulary. You might not like all of them but you will definitely enjoy some of them and hopefully you can make them part of your daily or weekly routine. And if you’ve got any of your own suggestions about ways to learn vocabulary, then add them to the comments below! Share the love with everyone, people!
So, the first suggestion or the first tip is get better at studying new words. Don’t roll your eyes at me, you can do this lots of different ways. If you think it’s dorky to carry around a notebook, then find a way that works for you. There are lots of apps that can help you to do this – apps on your smartphone. And it’s just as easy to make notes there. Your phone is great because it’s always with you but if you prefer to keep a notebook, that’s just as good.
So neat ways of doing this are creating lists or by creating vocabulary maps. However, you do it, you need to keep updating it and you need to keep building on this list and don’t just write the word down. Go deeper! If it’s a noun, learn whether it’s countable or uncountable. Learn the prefixes or suffixes so that you can build on those words. Learn synonyms for those words.
You know, if you said “I felt angry”, there are so many other options. Annoyed, irritated, furious, frustrated or cranky. Learn if any of these words are used in phrasal verbs or idioms.
Number two. When you do learn new words, don’t just learn them on their own. Learn them with the words that they are often used with. These are called collocations. Two or more English words that are often said together or used together. They sound right because native speakers often use them together.
For example, you throw or plan a party. You don’t make a party. Or instead of memorising the word, apply, learn the phrase “apply for a job” or “apply for a citizenship” or “apply for a visa”.
You can learn hundreds of new individual words but you’ll be frustrated if you can’t put them together in a sentence that sounds correct and natural. When you learn words in groups, you’re learning the words with the verb, the nouns, the prepositions that they are commonly used with so you’ll sound much more natural when you speak.
Three. Learn new vocabulary through stories. Stories are full of new words, phrases and interesting expressions that show you how words come together in a really entertaining way. Just like the collocation method, you are learning new vocabulary in context. You’re not only learning what words to use but you’re learning how to use them. An important note to remember is that it’s important to challenge yourself but not feel completely overwhelmed and confused.
Read stories that are fun, that are enjoyable and that help you to feel confident with English. Start with children’s books if you need to!
“Emma, are you serious? Start with children’s books?”
Yes I’m serious! There are lots of great children’s books out there that are interesting, they’re funny, they’re full of adventure. Start with children’s books and when you’re reading them and it becomes too easy, you can try something a bit more challenging. In the description below I’ve linked to some great books that you can get started with.
In this wonderful day and age that we live in, you can also find audiobooks for almost any book that you can imagine and when you’re learning English, hearing how the words are pronounced is so important because English is not phonetic. In English, words are often not pronounced the way that you think they are, so listening and reading at the same time is even better! I use Audible to download my audiobooks and listen to them while I’m jogging, while I’m travelling, while I’m drifting off to sleep.
And I’ve listed some really great books in the description box below. Plus, there’s a link down there to try your first audio book for free and I really recommend it. Make sure you choose stories and topics that you love and that you’re interested in.
TRY AUDIBLE – Get Your First Audio Book For FREE!
Links mentioned in the video
40 Professional Phrases To Host A Meeting in English
BY & UNTIL Can You Use These Prepositions CORRECTLY?
Let’s TOUCH BASE! 15 English idioms to use at work