Methods to expand vocabulary
Communication is one weapon that can help you climb the success ladder in every sphere of your life, be it your personal life or your professional life. For effective communication, you need to express your thoughts with the right words at the right time, and for this you need to have a strong vocabulary.
You must have wondered how some people are so good with their words while others fumble to express themselves due to lack of words. No one is born with it; they acquire it in the course of their life. Some do it naturally and faster than the others while others go a little slow and there are some who never do it, may be because they don’t know how to do it.
Here are a few ways to improve your vocabulary to a great level.
1. The first thing is to go back to your childhood and teach your mind to be as open as a child so that it can take in any new word that it comes across.
A child is ever inquisitive and always eager to learn. If it does not understand a thing, it never hesitates to ask for an explanation. We should train our brain in the same fashion.
It is tough for an adult brain to learn a new word and remember it as a child can because their mind is comparatively empty and can easily store these new words. However with little and regular exercise, an adult brain can also teach itself to make space and open up his mind for new words.
2. Words have greater retention when accompanied with related visuals. For instance, it is easier to remember names of persons whom we have met face to face rather than those whom we have only heard of or talked to over the phone. Therefore it would be a good practice to associate any new word that you come across with some sort of visuals.
3. Another great exercise is to take note of any new word that you come across while reading. Now it is told that reading is a great habit to increase one’s vocabulary.
However, one does not always understand every word one reads. So, it is a good practice to note down any unfamiliar word that you come across to look it up in the dictionary later on. While reading you can also try to understand an unfamiliar word relating it to the context, if you can not access a dictionary.
4. When you are looking up for a new word, it always helps when you elaborate on its explanation. You can look up for its synonyms and antonyms, that is, words that are similar and also opposite of the new word.
For example, “enormous” whose synonyms are “giant”, “huge” and its antonyms are “small” or “little”. You can also look up for homonyms in which two words have similar spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings.。
5. When you come across a new word, you can find out the different ways and context in which it can be used. Therefore looking up for the word’s usage helps in understanding the word more easily which helps in recapitulation of the word when needed.
6. Experiments have proved that relevancy of any word helps in memorizing. For example, the word “nocturnal” which means active at night can be related with any nocturnal animal like an owl or a cat.
7. There are several vocabulary games that can be made use of to increase your vocabulary and again having fun. There are many word games which will help you increase your word power.
8. If nothing else works try repeating the words, an age old method of memorizing. You can either read them loudly several times or make repeated use of it in your conversations.
Though these eight methods are tried and tested and very effective, they are not the only ones. One can have one’s own unique way of increasing word power which is the ultimate goal of these exercises, that of increasing one’s stock of words.
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