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
So, here goes;
My Top 10 tips!!
- 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)
- 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.
- 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)
- Play scrabble!- you’re allowed to use your dictionary!
- Read and translate – choose a short passage in your own langauge and translate it into good English, oh, and please use your dictionary!!
- Use a thesaurus – write down a list of words you like to use and look up 3 synonyms for each in the thesaurus.
- Do crosswords – use a dictionary to help you or do interactive ones online (there are a few on Gapfillers)
- 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.
- Choose a short, difficult, reading passage and do the same – make a list of the words and look them up.
- 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!!