Have you ever wondered why your command over spoken and written English always comes across as average even though your fundamentals about grammar and sentence construction are all in place? You have only one thing to blame- your limited vocabulary. A limited vocabulary not only forces us to sound repetitive and unimaginative but also restricts us from expressing ourselves freely. Here are some handy tricks for improving your vocabulary:
1. Read, Read, Read! It's important to read a variety of materials - fiction, non-fiction, text-books, general knowledge books, newspapers, journals, magazines, comics, poetry and so on. The more you expose yourself to new words from varied sources, the more words you will learn.
2. Always look up the words you don't know While you read, pay close attention to words you don't know. First, try to figure out their meanings from context. Then look up them up in a dictionary. If you have a dictionary program on your computer, keep it open and handy. You can also get into the habit of using dictionary.com online.
3. Don’t hesitate in using new words liberally Usually it takes from 10 to 20 repetitions to really make a new word part of your vocabulary. So as soon as you learn a new word, start using it without hesitation both while speaking as well as writing, to merge it into your vocabulary.
4. Play with words Play word games like Scrabble, Boggle, Sudoku, Text-Twist and do crossword puzzles. Many other creative word games like wordomatic are available online that can be played alone. All these word games help a lot in getting accustomed to new words.
5. Learn one new word every day Sign up with 'the word of the day' mailing list of dictionary.com and 'a word a day' mailing list of wordsmith.org. They send you a word every day free of cost, along with its meanings and a few examples of sentences to show how this word can be used.
The idea is to make words your friends. Once you start with this interesting process, you won't be able to stop. And your vocabulary will flourish automatically.
A tape recorder can be used to great advantage while learning a new language. Read aloud and record your voice. By listening to yourself speak you can pinpoint mistakes if any, in accent and pronunciation. Besides, the act of recording will in itself be a motivating factor to do better. Every time you aim for perfection, your skills are honed further. After all, that is what the exercise is aimed at!
Learning a new language? Well, here is a way to master it. Dedicate a part of the day in speaking and listening to the language. Stick by a self-imposed rule that you will communicate only the `new’ language and none other in that slot of time. You are bound to find considerable improvement in comprehension and speech following continual practice. After all practice does make one perfect!
Learning Languages Made Easy
A few tips on understanding and learning a new language:
• Find an entertaining way to absorb a new language. Anything that is to be 'learnt' tends to lose its charm. So be creative and do things differently. Watching a couple of good movies (made in that language) usually helps, since the visual media enables one to understand the context even though it may be difficult to follow the story word by word. • Imitation is the best learning tool, so bear that in mind the next time you are learning a new language. One can learn a lot by hearing others speak a language. Make friends with those who converse in that tongue and interact with them regularly, this will boost your comprehension skills. • Another important factor to bear in mind while learning a new language is inhibitions - shed them from the word 'Go.' Being ridiculed for speaking in a strange accent or not using the correct words are sharpening tools that will help you master the language. Take ridicule in the right spirit and persist in trying out your newly acquired skills, even at the cost of providing momentary entertainment to some.