What are the best ways to increase vocabulary?

4 Jul

From my experience as an ESL Teacher as well as a learner of a second language myself (Korean), I know that increasing your vocabulary can be a challenge.  You may have some solid sentence structures in your disposal, but lack the vocabulary to use them beyond a few simple sentences.

Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to increase vocabulary:

  • Use an iPhone app that allows you to practice on the bus or subway, or when you have a few minutes
  • Write words on sticky notes on everyday items in your home (works best for nouns, but try adding verbs or adjectives, too)
  • Repetition in context – sitting down and writing the words over and over doesn’t seem to help many people retain the words over a period of time.  Instead, try repeating a list once a day for a week.  For examples, try colours one week and see how many you can write down.
  • Practice speaking with native English speakers.  Nothing motivates you to increase your vocabulary more than the need to express yourself.
  • Keep a page in your journal that you add to each day and review.
  • Use an index card stack on a ring (stationary stores have them) and add a few words on one side with the translation on the other.
  • Watch tv shows with subtitles.
Hope this helps you increase your English vocabulary use and retention.  Please share your comments below on how you best study vocabulary! ^^
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One Response to “What are the best ways to increase vocabulary?”

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  1. What are the best ways to increase vocabulary? (via Jennifer Teacher) « English Language Teaching/Learning (EFL) - August 18, 2011

    […] Vocabulary From my experience as an ESL Teacher as well as a learner of a second language myself (Korean), I know that increasing your vocabulary can be a challenge.  You may have some solid sentence structures in your disposal, but lack the vocabulary to use them beyond a few simple sentences. Here are some of the best ways I've found to increase vocabulary: Use an iPhone app that allows you to practice on the bus or subway, or when you have a few minutes … Read More […]

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