Expand Your Vocabulary With These Daily Activities

by Sarah Adams

You may want to increase your vocabulary for personal or academic reasons. However, a strong vocabulary has been linked to higher income. No matter what your motivation, with commitment and practice, you can add words to your vocabulary every day.

Read. The more you read, the greater the number of words you're exposed to. Keep the level of the material that you are reading in mind: the New York Times, Economist, Atlantic, and New Yorker will expose you to more new words than a general-circulation newspaper. Reading literary material - novels and short stories - will grow your vocabulary more quickly than most non-fiction texts will, and may improve your character as well.

Seeing a word in context supplements flipping through a dictionary quite well. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus on hand. Multiple apps are available for your phone. When you discover a new word, go to the dictionary to determine its meaning - or meanings - and pronunciation. Then check the thesaurus to locate similar words and phrases, as well as synonyms and antonyms.

Play games. Challenging word games include crosswords, anagrams, and boggle. Many games are available for your phone or ipad. Put that thumb-twiddling time now wasted on Candy Crush to good use!

Consider the roots. One of the best things you can do to expand your English vocabulary is to study Greek and Latin roots. Prefixes, roots, and suffixes in these languages contribute substantially to English and will help you learn new words.Write in a journal. Maintain a list of the new words you've added to your vocabulary, with definitions, to keep track of your progress. Reviewing the list will help embed them in your memory, and seeing the mass of new words in one place can provide motivation. If you'd rather maintain a spreadsheet, feel free, but note that you will remember the words more effectively if you write them, longhand, in a journal.

Try to pick up at least a word a day. There are word-a-day desk calendars and websites to visit, as well word-of-the-day email services. However, simply reading a new word and its definition won't store it in your long-term memory. Write out both the word and its definition. Say it out loud. Write sentences that use the new word in context. Then recite these sentences out loud. Try to incorporate your new vocabulary in your conversation, or make them the topic of conversation between you and a friend. Your new vocabulary will start making unprompted appearances in your daily speech - and improving your academic performance - before you know it.

Tags: english greek
Categories: Vocabulary