Not only do people judge you based on the words you choose to express yourself but your ability to effectively use words can affect every aspect of your life. Developing a good vocabulary will help ensure that you reach your full potential in your career, education, relationships and life in general. It is crucial to start building your vocabulary as early as possible.
The following are a few proven strategies for improving your vocabulary.
- Regular Reading
If you want to improve your vocabulary then you need to become an avid reader. Most vocabulary it is learned by reading textbooks, novels and other literature. The more you read, the faster you will build your vocabulary. Try reading on different topics, with different reading materials. However, there is a vital strategy to reading in order to build your vocabulary. Even if you read everything in your local library, your vocabulary will not increase a lot if you do not use the correct reading strategy.
The key to building your vocabulary through reading is to figure out the meaning of the difficult words that you encounter. To discover their meaning you can look them up in a dictionary. However, much of the vocabulary you’ll learn in life won’t come from reading the dictionary. Often you’ll figure out what these words mean by how they are used in the text you are reading. Most literature includes context clues to the meanings of words that some readers may not know. The context clue is most often presented in the sentence or paragraph where the word is located.
- Make it Personal
Making words personally meaningful will make them stand out, and you will be able to remember better. There are several ways to add personal meaning to words, and all of them will effectively contribute to enhancing your vocabulary. One of the easiest ways to make a word personally meaningful is by association with familiar things, people, or events. Another way to make a vocabulary word personal is to use rhymes or other kinds of word play to help you enhance your word retention. There are a variety of ways to add personal relevance to a word -- you just need to be creative.
- Employ Word Games
Believe it or not word games can be just as effective at building vocabulary as other strategies -- if not more effective. Word games not only teach you new words, but they are fun and consequently you're likely to spend more time and expend more effort building your vocabulary. The following website provide some great word games that will help you improve your vocabulary.
Shockwave - http://www.shockwave.com/wordgames.jsp
Gamehouse – http://www.gamehouse.com
Yahoo! Games – http://games.yahoo.com
Terragame – http://www.terragame.com/downloadable/word/index_1_sort2.html
- Word Repetition
Word repetition is a useful tool for building vocabulary. If you really want to build you vocabulary you should repeat words several times a day, every day, to keep the words in your memory. Write them down on a notepad if you need to and read the words to yourself frequently. Each time you read a word analyze its meaning and use it in a sentence. Focusing on the meaning will help you remember the word next time it is needed.