Most of us are plagued by problems of poor communication in what is arguably the most spoken language in the world. Language is like a muscle- if exercised often enough, it develops to its full potential. However the problem with a lot of people isn’t that they don’t know English, rather they know their own version of it. While there are several indigenous, localized versions of this very popular language, bad grammar and vocabulary can never be right. Here’s how to ensure you improve your English vocabulary in five, basic steps:
Refer to a Dictionary: A good dictionary is your best friend. Whether it is learning new words or finding out the meanings of words you find confusing, a dictionary holds all the answers for you. Get the latest edition possible. Popular dictionaries are The Oxford English Dictionary, The Cambridge English Dictionary and others.
Refer to a Thesaurus: Most dictionaries come equipped with a thesaurus, and it’s possible to find a dictionary cum thesaurus in the market, of you’re keen on finding one. A thesaurus is an invaluable guide to building your vocabulary. It tells you all the possible synonyms and antonyms of a possible word and much more, helping you use words more creatively.
Refer to a good vocabulary guide: An invaluable companion to your learning journey is a comprehensive vocabulary guide that tells things as they are. The English language can be mastered only with some practice, and if you like it enough. A good vocabulary guide ensures both. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis is a great vocabulary guide.
Read the daily newspaper: Research proves that people who read the newspaper on a daily basis have better vocabularies than those who don’t. When you read the newspaper, scan the articles and news-stories for words you find confusing. Look them up in the dictionary and thesaurus later.
Read voraciously: Like mentioned earlier in this article, reading is like a muscle. So read everything you can find, and keep an open mind. It’s natural to develop your favorite genres and read more of them than of others, but that shouldn’t stop you from rejecting other genres that might improve your vocabulary. From essays, poetry, science fiction, chick-lit to murder-mysteries, read them all and then some more. Join a local book club so that you find yourself among like-minded people who encourage your reading habit.
These five ways are sure to help you achieve your English vocabulary goals in no time. Don’t forget to speak in English and practice what you’ve learnt!
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