The basics of learning a new language come down to learning a new vocabulary. There are 171,476 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, and that does not include slang words. For those wanting to speak English fluently, this number can sound overwhelming. Here’s the good news – no one knows every word in the English language. Even native English speakers are constantly adding new words to their vocabulary.
As an English language learner, you know that it is critical to developing your English vocabulary. As you work on to become fluent in English, you will constantly be adding new words to your vocabulary. Fortunately, there are many ways to build your vocabulary. No one way works for each student. Find the learning strategy that works best for you. The study of English is ongoing.
To help you get started, we’ve identified fifteen different techniques for learning English vocabulary.
1. Take an English class in DC
If you are looking for the best way to build your English vocabulary, then you must consider taking English courses in Washington DC. When you study English in Washington DC, you will be fully immersed in the language and the culture making it easier and faster to become fluent. For instance, those who study at Washington language school inlingua will be guided through their English learning experience with highly qualified language trainers and a curriculum designed to help students build their vocabulary.
2. Read, read, and read some more
In order to build your English vocabulary, you must read. And, then, read some more. Reading in English requires you to learn new words. Your mind will constantly be at work as you try to identify the meaning of the words you are reading in the text.
3. Use a dictionary
With technology, we always have access to a dictionary. Make the dictionary your friend. Download a dictionary to your phone or place a dictionary app on each of your electronic devices. Then, use it! In addition to looking up the meaning of new words, dictionary apps also have learning tools such as the “Word of the day.”
4. Sing a song
Many people find it helpful to sing a song using the vocabulary word. Melodies can help us memorize new words. Make it a practice to sing the definitions of the words you are learning.
5. Draw a picture
If you are a visual learner, look for ways to understand the new vocabulary word visually. For example, as you learn a new word, draw a picture that helps you remember the meaning. If you are not an artist, look for images online that you can print off to help you remember the meaning of words you are trying to add to your English vocabulary.
6. Listen for context clues
Context clues are the hints you can find in a sentence to help you decipher the meaning of a word. Look for the context clues (or hints) when you read or when you listen to someone speaking English. Becoming attuned to looking for context clues will help you in conversation and test taking.
7. Write the word in a sentence
For others, it is most effective to write the new word. By writing the word in a complete sentence, you are not simply memorizing a new word, but you are also learning how to use the word in context. Many students try to write the new vocabulary word in several sentences to help them see it used in various ways.
8. Download language apps
There are numerous vocabulary apps that are helpful for building your vocabulary. In addition to language learning apps, there are English-based vocabulary apps such as Magoosh Vocabulary Builder. These apps are designed to build a student’s vocabulary with the intention of helping them score higher on standardized tests.
9. Try flashcards
Flashcards often have a bad reputation, but they shouldn’t. Flashcards are a great way to memorize new vocabulary words. While it is not the most exciting way to master new terms, it is effective. There are many ways to make flashcards, but the basic idea is to include both the word and the definition. Then, review the flashcards until you have mastered the terms.
10. Take vocabulary quizzes
In your spare time, take a variety of vocabulary quizzes online. Many online vocabulary quiz sources allow you to select your learning level (such as beginner or proficient). In addition, you can also create your own vocabulary quizzes with sites such as Quizlet. This is especially helpful for students trying to master vocabulary in a certain area (such as professional English or medical English).
11. Speak in English
Look for opportunities to use new vocabulary words when you are speaking with others. Using new words helps you to add them to your regular vocabulary. Additionally, as you speak with others in English, you will learn new words from them.
12. Keep a notebook of words
Keep a notebook where you write down new English words you read and hear. When you have a chance, look up the definition of these words and write it down. Over time, this will become your own English dictionary.
13. Play vocabulary games
There are many vocabulary app games or individual games to play on the internet. Rather than simply memorizing definitions, these games require you to use vocabulary words in sentences and build upon what you already know. If you like learning through incentive gaming programs, there are plenty of games to choose from online. Additionally, there are vocabulary games such as free rice.com that gives to those in need each time you play.
14. Blog in English
For the writers in the group or those who want to keep their family up to date on their Washington language institute adventures, you should consider starting a blog. A blog is an online journal, but for English learners, it is a great way to practice writing in English and trying out new vocabulary.
15. Ask questions
Lastly, don’t hesitate to simply ask what a word means when you hear it. If you are in language schools in Washington DC or merely talking with a native English speaker, take the opportunity to learn vocabulary first-hand from the people you know.
Think your vocabulary is strong enough? Test your English today!