Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

November 19, 2009

10 ways to increase your vocabulary

Widening vocabulary is always a desire of advanced students (and native speakers too!). There are so many words in English that it is sometimes difficult to know where to begin.

In this post I suggest 10 things you can do to extend your vocabulary. I also recommend two things that I normally tell you NEVER to do!!

  • Get out your bi-lingual dictionary
  • Translate

So, here goes;

 My Top 10 tips!!

  1. Use a bilingual dictionary – look up words you come across but don’t understand and make a note of them or even better use them straight away! (see my post on choosing dictionaries)
  2. Choose one lexical set at a time –  for example animals, can you, hand on heart, say that you know the English word for all the animals? Think of all those you don’t know and look them up in your own language. Do the same for other lexical sets.
  3. Sign up to Gapfillers word of the day it’s free and you can get your word sent by email if you register as a free member, 5 words a week, 20+ per month, that’s 260 a year and you don’t have to do anything! (Gapfillers word of the day)
  4. Play scrabble!- you’re allowed to use your dictionary!
  5. Read and translate – choose a short passage in your own langauge and translate it into good English, oh, and please use your dictionary!!
  6. Use a thesaurus – write down a list of words you like to use and look up 3 synonyms for each in the thesaurus.
  7. Do crosswords – use a dictionary to help you or do interactive ones online (there are a few on Gapfillers)
  8. Listen to the radio and write down any words you don’t know – choose a short piece, you can approximate the spelling and then look them up in your dictionary.
  9. Choose a short, difficult, reading passage and do the same – make a list of the words and look them up.
  10. Look around where you are now – do you know the words for everything you can see? – make a note of the ones you don’t in your own language and then use your dictionary to find out the English word. Do this whenever you have a few spare minutes. Too many words? Give yourself a limit of 6 or 10 etc.. each time.

To do all of this in one place become a Gapfillers! full member. Post a useful comment here for a free full membership!!


  1. […] About 10 ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by More English vocabulary on the GO!! « Rliberni’s Blog — November 24, 2009 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

    • Hi Lorna, thank you for your comment. I hope you will find them useful tips to give to your students.

      Comment by rliberni — November 26, 2009 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  2. Great tips

    Thank you


    Comment by Lorna Allen — November 26, 2009 @ 7:43 am | Reply

  3. […] 10 ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by Linktipp: Rliberni’s Blog - Englisch lernen — December 21, 2009 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

  4. learn new vocabulary. use leitner or other advanced repetition..

    use your iphone/computer to help you learn and repeat new vocabulary.

    Comment by Konstantin — January 2, 2010 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for this suggestion Konstantin. You can also get a new word every day at Gapfillers (www.gapfillers.co.uk) by email or sms.

      Comment by rliberni — January 3, 2010 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  5. […] 10 ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by 10 top tips for improving IELTS Scores « Rliberni's Blog – Radical language — January 18, 2010 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

  6. […] 10 ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by 10 goofy ways to practise speaking skills. « Rliberni's Blog – Radical language — February 13, 2010 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  7. […] 10 ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by What is it that you need? « Rliberni's Blog – Radical language — February 22, 2010 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

  8. […] Blog: Some tips for improving listening skills / 10 goofy ways to practise speaking skills / 10 ways to increase your vocabulary / 7 great virtues to help you write in […]

    Pingback by EastZoneSoupCube - Englisch lernen leicht gemacht — March 11, 2010 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  9. […] 10 ways to improve your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by Business English – what is it you really need to learn? « Rliberni's Blog – Radical language — May 13, 2010 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  10. I m feeling helpful for getting in touch with this amazing website. Thanks

    Comment by gaurav sharma — October 6, 2010 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  11. […] 10 ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by English language learning tips – my Top 10 posts « Rliberni's Blog – Radical language — May 20, 2011 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  12. Dear sir,
    I have some problem to speaking English. Even my writing & litsening English is good..plz suggess me, what should I do.

    Comment by Arvind Kumar — May 27, 2011 @ 6:53 am | Reply

    • Thank you for your questions. Speaking is one of the productive skils (like writing) and as such you do need to do it to improve. It would be helpful to know how much speaking practice you are doing at the moment and then find ways of increasing this and also having someone check it so that you are improving and not just staying at the same level.

      Comment by rliberni — May 27, 2011 @ 7:34 am | Reply

  13. […] 10 Ways to increase your vocabulary […]

    Pingback by 6 things to remember when writing IELTS tasks « Rliberni's Blog – Radical language — November 18, 2011 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  14. good

    Comment by noyrin akther — June 8, 2012 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  15. I am already being studied, it looks like I need to talk to someone that can speak english

    Comment by belajar bahasa — July 2, 2012 @ 8:39 am | Reply

  16. Dear Sir,

    I tried allot behind reading but i was failed, can any one help me to improve my reading

    Comment by sameer — July 11, 2012 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  17. nice tips

    Comment by hamad khalid — February 13, 2013 @ 9:28 am | Reply

    • Thank you Hamad 🙂

      Comment by rliberni — February 15, 2013 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  18. fantastic tips.
    I would like to add playing games .There r some websites where you can create your own wordlist also and learn while playing.
    Also I came across a blog where words are grouped together so you learn many words at the same time.
    Hope I helped.

    Comment by gurjar — May 3, 2013 @ 11:11 am | Reply

    • Thank you Gurjar. I’m sure these will work too.

      Comment by rliberni — May 7, 2013 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  19. i am not getting my good bands in reading please help me ….

    Comment by Darshani — January 14, 2014 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

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