Vocabulary Building: A Guide To Improving Your Language

Why should one put so much effort into vocabulary building?

When it comes to the world that we live in today, English tends to be the preferred language for a lot of people out there. Various social situations like college fests, job interviews, seminars, etc. may demand you to converse effectively in English.

Your fluency and the words you use tend to have an impact on a person’s view of you. This is what makes vocabulary building an essential task.

Unfortunately, learning to speak in English is something a lot of us struggle with, forget about using words on the high end of the vocabulary scale. It becomes tough when certain situations demand you to speak a language you’re not that comfortable with. But don’t you fret!

Learning to speak fluently in English is really not as tough as you think it is. With a wide range of apps and websites dedicated to helping people work on their speaking skills, you really don’t need to worry.

In this day and age, vocabulary building has gotten very convenient.

A few neat tricks and practices in your daily routine can make you go from being a shy beginner to a freaking pro in the matter of a few months.

So here are those minor tips and tricks that I personally recommend to help you build up your vocabulary and gain confidence in speaking the language.

I’m majorly focusing on English alone but if you desire to build your vocabulary in another language, these should work out just fine. So do give them a shot!

Cultivate a reading habit

I know, I know. Most of you are probably tired of hearing this one. And I also admit that it seems easier said than done. But trust me, no matter how old this advice maybe, this is the most effective way to get a grasp over the language and learn new words.

If you are really struggling to develop the habit of reading, what I would suggest is start small. Don’t get all excited about vocabulary building and go off to decipher the editorial page of The Hindu. Start conveniently.

Reading for vocabulary building

As an ardent bookworm, I suggest you start reading books that are the same genre as your favourite movies. Say you are a sucker for romances. Try reading something like P.S. I Love You or Me Before You.

That’s a great way to begin your journey into reading. When you are in the mood, you could experiment with other genres too.

Just grab a cup of tea. Sit by the window with a book. Take it slow, take it steady and read. Trust me, not only will that shape up your vocabulary, it can change your life in ways you can’t even imagine.

Word games and word puzzles for vocabulary building

No better way to learn something than to play a game on it, right?

Just go to Playstore and download one of the hundreds of word puzzles and games that they offer. My personal favourites are Word Connect and Wordscapes. Definitely do give them a try! Once you get the hang of them, they can get pretty addictive.

Vocabulary building by word puzzles

Something more effective for vocabulary building is picture-word apps. There’s a picture. It’s a  clue. Guess the word. Pretty simple yet very efficient. If you want to give this a try, Wordalot and Pictoword are options you can check out.

If you’re secretly an old soul and apps aren’t really your game, grab a scrabble or crossword puzzle book. They will work out pretty fine. They’ve proven to be fun yet informative for decades now!

Join a speaking club

This is one that I shall always stand by.

Often, there is a misconception that you have to be a pro at speaking to be a part of a speaking club (or at least that’s what I thought). In reality, a lot of the people in speaking clubs actually join to gain good language skills and work on their vocabulary.

Speaking clubs for vocabulary building

Speaking in front of an audience every other week may seem very daunting but there is so much you can gain from the experience.

You can get rid of your stage fright. Your communication skills will improve. You could meet new people. And, of course, you could hit what we’re gunning for, vocabulary building.

So try and check out speaking clubs in your college, office and even your neighbourhood. Toastmasters clubs are pretty well-known ones that you could attend. Don’t let the nerves get to you on this one. Just give it a shot!

Keep a journal

Vocabulary building is one of the perks of the habit of journaling.

If you are too much of an introvert to give the speaking club idea a shot, this will probably work wonders for you. The major advantage of journaling is that it is just all you. It’s personal and you really don’t have to worry about making any mistakes.

Journaling for vocabulary building

Because if you are good at hiding and stopping your sister from reading the entries, who’s gonna read it, right?

Just make it a habit to sit at the end of every day and write how your day has been. Try and include words that you learnt that day and carve them into sentences. Once your schedule adjusts to this habit, I can guarantee you that you shall see a significant improvement.

Thesaurus and Dictionaries for vocabulary building

You know when we were kids and whenever we asked our parents what a word meant they’d tell you to look it up in the dictionary? Have you ever considered actually doing that?

People often find it very boring work to take a brick-sized dictionary and look up the word they’re searching for (I am people, people is me). So thank the freaking lord that we’re living in the 21st century!

Vocabulary building by thesaurus

There various apps out there that fit a thousand-page dictionary right in the palm of your hand. Erudite Dictionary and Offline Thesaurus dictionary are pretty good options.

Not only do these apps give you an idea of what certain words mean, but they also give you their pronunciation, origin, synonyms, etc. They just make your life a whole lot easier.

Don’t be scared of making mistakes while working on vocabulary building

Last but certainly not the least, never be scared of messing something up while speaking. Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t let that fear stop you from working on something that you really do want to work on.

Even if you do make a mistake while you talk, just know that people may not always make fun of you for it. Some of them will for sure help you in realising your error.

To those of you who are actually good with English and are just reading this article to kill some time in your currently jobless life, always make sure that you help a person who’s having such difficulties in speaking the language.

Don’t feel hesitant about being a Grammarian for a second there. It could really help the person out.

So here are some of the tips that I promised at the very beginning of the page. Now, all that you have to do is apply and implement. Work on your English and don’t get pulled down by setbacks. When you get the hang of it, trust me, it does make a difference.

All the best folks!

Check out our article on tips and tricks to ace Common Admission Test (CAT).

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