Advertisement

Easy ways to improve your vocabulary

Easy ways to improve your vocabulary
Shutterstock

The average English-speaking adult has a vocabulary ranging from 20,000-35,000 words. If you feel that you’re could do with a bit of expanding, read on.

Read to your children

Read to your children
Shutterstock

Parents and children can both benefit and improve vocabulary from reading bedtime stories snuggled under the covers. “The words in many children’s books are often outside the realm of adults’ day-to-day discourse, so parents can learn more words just by reading to their children,” says Susan B. Neuman, professor of Childhood and Literacy Education at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University in New York City.

Watch movies

Watch movies
Shutterstock

Watching the movie version of your favourite book isn’t just a guilty pleasure, it’s also a vocabulary booster. “If you see the movie version of your favourite book you’re likely to have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the words in it,” says Neuman. “Seeing and reading something on the same topic is really important.” The phenomenon is called dual coding; you read something, then see it on the screen and end up remembering better because you have a visual representation, she says.

Here are 40 of the most magical movies from your childhood.

Make good use of your tablet

Make good use of your tablet
Shutterstock

Next time you’re reading an e-book and come across a word you don’t know, try highlighting it with your finger and looking for the option to look it up. Many tablets provide a dictionary definition in a little bubble, so you won’t lose your place or have to switch between Google and your novel.

Now, read up on these 20 funny words to improve your vocabulary.

Read magazines

Read magazines
Shutterstock

If you want to improve vocabulary, don’t just flip through your favourite magazine, really read it. That means don’t just look at the pictures or skim product roundups; pay attention to the articles and photo captions. According to the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, magazines on topics you’re interested in like sports, interior decorating or health are filled with words you probably don’t think to use in your daily conversations. When you read the next issue, keep an eye out for the words you learned the month before; chances are, you’ll remember what they mean this time.

Here are 11 irregular plurals that don’t sound like real words… but are!

Listen to how words sound

Listen to how words sound
Shutterstock

Many people won’t remember tricky words unless they come across them frequently. But if you hear a word that you think sounds interesting, you become word conscious and start using it yourself, says Neuman.

You’ll probably learn some new words among these 10 body parts.

Advertisement

Get out of the house

Get out of the house
Shutterstock

“Going places and having new experiences are great ways to build new knowledge,” says Neuman. “Go to a museum or take advantage of other opportunities where you live. When you open your eyes to new experiences and people, you also get new words.”

These 17 “modern” words are much older than you’d think. 

Join a book club

Join a book club
Getty Images

“Book clubs are a wonderful strategy to learn new words,” says Neuman. Not only will it force you to set aside time in your day to read, it’s also a good way to discover books you might not normally be drawn to, which in turn exposes you to new words and helps you improve vocabulary.

Start with one of these 25 best-selling books of the last decade. 

Listen to the radio

Listen to the radio
Getty Images

Spend your commute listening to talk radio or podcasts instead of zoning out. Those types of programs can expose you to topics (and subsequently words) you may not be familiar with.

Pay attention to your surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings
Getty Images

Next time you walk down a busy street or take a walk in the park, try to describe what you’re seeing as descriptively as possible inside your head. This tactic can expose gaps in your vocabulary and provide an opportunity to fill them.

Now look at these 25 calming pictures and describe how you feel while looking at each one.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: