If you've ever been in a situation where you couldn't think of the right work to get your point across, you know the importance of an expansive vocabulary. Whether you are learning a new language or have been a native English speaker your entire life, there is always something to learn. Fortunately, there are hundred of ways to increase your vocabulary that will also keep you entertained, active and eager to learn more.
Other People Are Reading
Crossword puzzles are a fun, even addictive, way to learn new words, as well as to relearn old ones you haven't used in a while. People of all ages and education levels can find crossword puzzles appropriate for them, and they are one of the best ways to train your memory and keep your mind sharp as you get older. If you do them often enough, you'll find that the same clues are repeated, giving you the chance to reinforce your knowledge of certain vocabulary. Newspapers, the Internet and bookstores are all great resources for getting started on crossword puzzles.
Learning vocabulary by memorising the lyrics to songs is particularly effective because the rhythm of the music helps you embed the words in your head. It is a convenient method, because you can do it almost anywhere and the availability of resources is practically endless. As with any learning exercise, you retain a portion of what you're exposed to, so if you can learn five new words from one song, the results are worth it. If you can find the written lyrics to these songs on the Internet, they are also valuable as a study tool.
I like My Friend With An "A"
This is a good parlour game for adults or a great classroom activity to build vocabulary. Everyone sits in a half circle, and the first person begins by saying "I like my friend with an 'A' because her name is April, she is attractive, she comes from Atlanta, and I gave her an apple." Then, the next person begins with "B." Take turns going around the room until all the letters have been used. For letters you have trouble completing, make it a point to look up new words for that letter.
Bring the sports page or sports magazines to your class, and identify vocabulary words that fit in certain categories (for example, equipment, skills and rules). Before using a dictionary to find the meaning of words, try to define the words based on their use in the context of the article. Once you have learnt the definitions of the words, identify words that the writer used to try to make the article interesting and not just descriptive. Pay special attention to headlines and words used to describe pictures.
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