How To Improve My Vocabulary And Speaking Skills
Building a broad vocabulary over time can help you avoid misunderstandings and attain clarity by allowing you to better explain your views, either vocally or in writing. By choosing and implementing a learning approach that works for you, you can improve your language abilities. Speaking English fluently is also a major aim for many people. We often pause because we are fearful of making a mistake or appearing foolish in front of others. Mistakes are unavoidable at times. You can enhance your spoken English, just like any other talent, if you practice regularly and use these basic tactics. In this post, well talk about the importance of vocabulary skills and how to expand your vocabulary while simultaneously improving your speaking abilities.
Make Associations Between Words
Word connections can aid in the recall of specific words or phrases. The word gargantuan, for example, means very huge. Try using words like tiny, small, medium, enormous, huge, and gargantuan to make a sequence with the term. Making associations with terms youre learning will help you remember them more easily. These associations can also help you recall the word for a longer period of time.
Edit Your Own Writing
After you finish writing, be your own editor and go though the piece with a fine-toothed comb to identify overused and nondescript words with something more precise or colorful. Editing is an important process for spotting writing errors, but its also great for improving the tone, style, and clarity of your writing. It might help to read the sentences aloud, then note any lack of precision. Search through your memory for more descriptive words, or consult a thesaurus if you need to.
As you replace words, remember that using a large number of complex words wont necessarily clarify the meaning, and it may just make your writing more pompous. Ask yourself, Do I know a better word to use instead? You may replace use with acquire or obtain, or do with perform.
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Tying It Up: Talk The Talk
English is the most global language. Being able to speak English will widen your possibilities for higher education and career options. It will also help you access some of the best entertainment straight from the source Hollywood!
When enhancing your speaking skills, be sure to practice a lot. Dont give up! You can practice by yourself, with the help of friends, or use technology to make it work for you.
How To Improve English Speaking Skills And Become A Great Communicator
English is the worlds most studied language around 20% of the world speaks English. Knowing how to speak English can open new life possibilities: from traveling more easily to communicating with more people, and even getting better jobs. It also means that you can study higher education at some of the worlds top institutions, including the University of the Peoples online programs, which are tuition-free! If you are looking for advice on how to improve english speaking skills, there are plenty of methods and techniques.
Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash
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Write And Then Write Some More
Start an online blog: Each and every one of us lives out a different life each day, and yours could well be one of the more interesting ones out there. Why not write about it? This will have 2 main benefits. It will encourage you to write down words on a regular basis, and the more comfortable you become with writing and using said words, the more likely you are to use them in the future. Find that your writing is using the same words again and again? Use your thesaurus to find a good alternative. This will, in turn, give you another word to use in your everyday writing and conversation!
Write a poem or small song: Whilst you will not be expected to write the next hit single for Beyoncé or Iggy Azalea, writing down a song or poem with a simple, yet clear rhyming pattern can be a great tool to use when trying to remember new words. How about writing a poem that contains a certain word and what it means? If it rhymes with another word that you are trying to learn, that is even better. If you want to take the poetry route, then Poem Of Quotes is a hugely enjoyable, easy to follow site.
How To Expand Your Vocabulary
This article was co-authored by Lydia Stevens. Lydia Stevens is the author of the Hellfire Series and the Ginger Davenport Escapades. She is a Developmental Editor and Writing Coach through her company “Creative Content Critiquing and Consulting.” She also co-hosts a writing podcast on the craft of writing called “The REDink Writers.” With over ten years of experience, she specializes in writing fantasy fiction, paranormal fiction, memoirs, and inspirational novels. Lydia holds a BA and MA in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 55 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 673,946 times.
Learning is ceaseless. You can cultivate an erudite persona as an adolescent–or even as an octogenarian–by building your vocabulary. Creating habits to help you learn and use the most accurate words in your language will make it easier to communicate, write, and think. Continue reading after the jump for more specific tips about building your vocabulary.
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Make Use Of Games And Apps
This is probably the most frequent method of learning new vocabulary and mastering new languages among the learners of today. Most language learning apps, such as Duolingo, Memrise or QuizUp are vocabulary-centric and utilize repetition and behavioral patterns to aid your learning process and help maximize your time and effort. They’re easily accessible and usually don’t have any time restraints so you can basically learn only when you want to.
This is highly important because you don’t need any extra motivation to learn you’re just using your phone as you normally would while also learning something new. Playing board games such as Scrabble and Crosswords helps do the trick, as well.
In a nutshell, any interactive competition, whether it’s on a phone or with friends, will test your speed to recall and retain new words while making the overall experience of learning new English vocabulary that much more effortless and enjoyable.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Large Vocabulary
To collaborate effectively with others in person, via email, or through other methods, you must have solid communication skills. Knowing when and how to use certain phrases is a key element of being an effective communicator. One simple technique to improve your communication abilities is to expand your vocabulary. Having a large vocabulary can assist you in selecting the appropriate word or phrase for the situation, allowing you to quickly communicate your thoughts, worries, and judgments. When giving a presentation or meeting with a client to offer a proposal, having a large vocabulary helps boost your confidence and ability to communicate yourself. To construct a solid foundation, its crucial to include both broad phrases and those related to your sector when growing your vocabulary.
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Why Is It Vital To Learn How To Communicate
One of the most crucial abilities we develop is speaking, which allows us to communicate with others and convey our thoughts and feelings. Formal and casual speaking abilities can be distinguished, and we employ both types of speaking skills in a variety of situations throughout our lives. Conversations with friends and family need informal speaking abilities, which aid in the formation of emotional bonds. Formal speech, on the other hand, is required in the job, in presentations, and in conversations with strangers. Formal language is crucial because it allows us to make a good first impression and interact politely with others. Speaking abilities are considered the most crucial component of learning a language as an ESL or EAL student. In reality, many language learners assess their progress based on their ability to speak the language fluently. Because the most successful foreign language acquisition occurs through interaction, this is a talent that may be cultivated to truly grasp the language and culture of Englishspeaking countries. Yet its all too easy to find public speaking intimidating or difficult. Its not as simple as wed like it to be. Students should be encouraged to speak up as much as possible, according to their teachers. They can make it as enjoyable as their instructional plan allows. Role-playing, group work, and even projects can be used to accomplish this.
Study And Review Regularly
Once you have begun looking up words and you know which ones to study, vocabulary building is simply a matter of reviewing the words regularly until you fix them in your memory. This is best done by setting aside a specific amount of time each day for vocabulary study. During that time you can look up new words you have noted during the day and review old words you are in the process of learning. Set a goal for the number of words you would like to learn and by what date, and arrange your schedule accordingly. Fifteen minutes a day will bring better results than half an hour once a week or so. However, if half an hour a week is all the time you have to spare, start with that. You may find more time later on, and you will be moving in the right direction.
In order to review words effectively, all the information on a word should be kept in one placein a notebook, for example, or on an index card. Index cards are convenient because the words can be placed in alphabetical order, which makes them easy to find when reviewing and the cards can be carried around with you, so you can study them anywhere. You should try to be systematic about studying, so that you are sure to review each word at least once every couple of weeks.
Do not throw cards away, though you can get a great feeling of accomplishment by looking at the growing stack of words you have learned and by occasionally glancing at an old card and thinking, Once I actually didnt know the meaning of this word!
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How Do Children Learn New Words
Children learn new words in everyday conversations and situations. For example: playing, listening to stories and engaging in classroom interactions.
The research on word learning shows that young children are able to capture aspects of what a word means by the contextual information present when the word is used in natural situations.
Children first learn a word through developing a general understanding of its meaning but they might not always use it correctly.
For example, a child might first use dog only to refer to their own dog, and then they may use dog for other four legged animals about the size of their own dog. Once they hear dog in a range of contexts, their knowledge of dog develops.
So, children learn the meaning of a word by hearing the word in lots of different situations. This is crucial and underpins all of the ideas that follow- repetition is necessary to improve your childs vocabulary. Repeat the word when reading and when out and about. Use it in different ways and at different times. Build your childs understanding of this word!
What Is A Vocabulary
Your vocabulary is a set of words that you are familiar with. A vocabulary may also be specific to a particular field of knowledge. For example, a scientist will have a set of words they use every day that the general public wont necessarily be familiar with most adults have a vocabulary range of 20,000 to 35,000 words that they can actively use, read and understand.
Vocabulary can be split into three tiers:
Tier 1: Basic, everyday words most children will understand and use before reaching school age. These are words like girl, swim and cold.
Tier 2: Words that arent used often and are usually only learned when there is a specific need to know them, e.g., if taking a science lesson, a child will learn the word photosynthesis.
Tier 3: Some words are used more often in written text than conversation but can be applied to many different settings. These are words like auspicious, articulate, and summarise.
Although the tiers are useful when it comes to understanding the development of ones vocabulary and how advanced it is, educators tend to split the language into four groups:
- Listening vocabulary words you know that help you understand what you hear
- Speaking vocabulary words youre able to say within the context of a sentence
- Reading vocabulary terms you need to know to understand what you read generally, you need to understand 95% of words in a text to read it effectively
- Writing vocabulary this includes the words we use within our writing
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Pool New Vocabulary From A Frequency List
Before you can use any of the above learning hacks, youll need a list of vocabulary to start learning. Ideally, much of that vocabulary should come from encounters in daily life, whether through reading, listening to songs, watching movies, or paying attention to conversations in the elevator. In reality, youll likely need to supplement these with more abstract words to target.
A common theme across my suggestions, and earlier blog posts, is that language should be learned in a way that allows you to use it at the earliest opportunity. That is a key value of learning in context, of learning vocabulary that is personally relevant, and generally engaging with words as blocks you can use to construct something bigger, rather than individual pieces of information.
It should then come as no surprise that my preferred source of abstract vocabulary are lists ordered by the frequency at which they are used in day-to-day language. Ive rarely seen this approach in classroom settings, but found it extremely effective and popular among many successful language self-learners.
In many languages, learning just 1000 basic words will make you understand 90% of the spoken language, and even the first 250 most common words will give you a good sense of the conversation.
Have Some Fun With The Words You Learn
Word games may not be enough in and of themselves, but theyre a fun and effortless way to increase the recall speed of the vocabulary you know already, as well as to pick up an occasional new word from your peers.
Crosswords and Scrabble are a good place to start if youre learning Arabic or Indo-European languages. Boggle is also great fun and localized for several languages using the Latin alphabet. Quiddler is a good way to improve your vocabulary, but unfortunately only exist in English.
Languages like Japanese or Chinese are unfortunately not well suited for these types of board games, but looking through the app store on your mobile device should lead you to at least a few options adapted for phonetics and writing systems.
If you dont want to spend money on board games, or prefer meeting with friends over coffee or hiking, you can try playing a spoken word game instead. Some old time favourites include Word-chain or Shiritori , Associations , and Metaphors .
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Tips On How To Improve Your English Speaking Skills
English is the worlds lingua franca, a common language that people with different native languages can use to communicate.
Whats great is you can improve English speaking skills without a classroom partner or stressful lessons.
This article will take you beyond the foundational aspects to reach communicative competence.
Talk With Yourself In The Mirror
One of the best ways to practice your speaking skills is to talk yourself in the mirror. I know it might sound a little bit strange but think about it youre the only person alive that will never judge you, make fun of you, or make you feel ashamed.
Therefore, speaking aloud with yourself in the mirror about anything you want or anything you have on your mind is the best way to practice without feeling stressed that you pronounced something wrong.
As well, speaking in front of a mirror will help you look better when you speak if you try to use gestures, face mimics. Basically, youll look better, more charismatic when you speak and youll deliver your message more effective.
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Practice Communicating With New Terms
Its possible to have a better vocabulary without knowing how to utilize it. This suggests that you must use a dictionary of your own choice. Make a point of using an exciting word you come across in your reading in conversation. You may learn the art of word choice and, with a bit of trial and error, honing down on the correct terminology for a particular context by practicing in minimal contexts. Youre probably used to these empty words in your speech , but youre also inclined to provide them with your writing. Look for empty words in your report that dont contribute positively to the readers experience and replace them with something more appropriate.
Make Use Of Spaced Repetition Algorithms
Although the scientific community is still debating some aspects of learning, there is consensus on how memories form, and solidify in our brains.
The basic concept of spaced repetition is that memories begin to fade shortly after theyre formed, and disappear into oblivion lest we are exposed to the information again.
With each exposure, the forgetting curve of the memory becomes longer, and longer until it eventually outlasts your lifetime. This is why reviewing what youve learned regularly is so important to effective learning.
The biggest benefit of using a spaced repetition approach to learning, whether you follow the Leitner system with your old paper flashcards, or go for spaced repetition software on your phone or computer , is that it prevents you from wasting time on vocabulary that is still fresh in your memory.
The way most students use flashcards is by adding more and more cards to the deck, and then reviewing them all together every day, or every week, or eventually never at all. No surprise, given how unmanageable the pile becomes after a few learning sessions.
SRS goes beyond regular flashcards by predicting the point when the memory is about to fade based on your past performance, and then reminding you at this optimal moment. In theory, if you review regularly every day, you shouldnt see the word more than 4-5 times before it enters your long term memory!
I Used Proven Scientific Methods To Increase Effectiveness
Looking at just a word and recalling its meaning and coming up with rapid-fire examples where that word can be used introduced elements of deliberate practice, the fastest way to build neural connection and hence any skill. For the uninitiated, deliberate practice is the way top performers in any field practice.
Another proven method I used was spaced repetition.
Gather Words From Your Passive Vocabulary For Deeper Exploration
The reading and listening you do, over months and years, increase the size of your passive vocabulary. There are plenty of words, almost inexhaustible, sitting underutilized in your passive vocabulary. Wouldnt it be awesome if you could move many of them to your active vocabulary? That would be easier too because you dont have to learn them from scratch. You already understand their meaning and usage, at least to some extent. Thats like plucking to use the word weve already overused low hanging fruits.
While reading and listening, note down words that youre already familiar with, but you dont use them . We covered few examples of such words earlier in the post pluck, dump, salvage, munch, etc. If youre like most, your passive vocabulary is already large, waiting for you to shift some of it to your active vocabulary. You can also note down completely unfamiliar words, but only in exceptional cases.
To put what I said in the previous paragraph in more concrete terms, you may ask following two questions to decide which words to note down for further exploration:
- Do you understand the meaning of the word from the context of your reading or listening?
- Do you use this word while speaking and writing?
If the answer is yes to the first question and no to the second, you can note down the word.
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Strategies And English Trainings
Everyone has their own favorite methods and ways of improving their English communication. There is no one right or wrong choice, so you can pick as many or as few as you wish and mix it up:
- Talk to Yourself: Share your thoughts or read out loud.
- Use a Mirror: Watch yourself speak to build confidence.
- Focus on Fluency, Not Grammar: Its ok to take time to learn grammar. But its more important to be able to communicate your thoughts first.
- English Tongue Twisters: Try English tongue twisters to master the sounds of each letter.
- Listen and Repeat: Practice and keep practicing by listening and repeating what you hear.
- Pay Attention to Stressed Sounds: The language has a rhythm and certain syllables are stressed in both words and sentences.
- Sing Along to English Songs: Use music to memorize words.
- Learn Phrases, Not Words: By learning longer phrases, you combine words in context and can memorize both their meaning and pronunciation.
- Learn Your Most Common Sayings: First, start with things you need to say the most. Whether its words for work or eating at a restaurant, you can start with specific situations in your life.
- Have a Debate: If theres something youre particularly interested in, talk about and debate it with English-speaking friends.
- Dont Stress: Dont be afraid to make mistakes and be kind to yourself in the process of learning. It takes time, so dont stress!