Putting in the effort to study English, be it for personal or professional reasons is always worthy of praise. However, to reach proficiency, one must be adept in many aspects of the language. In this article, we’ll be focusing on one of them － your vocabulary.
Even if you’re already knowledgeable in terms of grammar, pronunciation, and the like, you’ll still be ways off from being proficient if your vocabulary isn’t up to par with the rest. Given how most people that take up English as their second language are busy with either work or school, it’s understandable that they won’t have much time to expand their vocabulary. To continue learning new words, even when you’re not in your English class, here are three helpful tips to pick up more English words while you’re on the go.
1. Interact with people in English
Putting your English skills into practice will undoubtedly improve your proficiency before you even realise it. Interacting with others in English, be it through face-to-face conversations or modern messaging, will allow you to soak up and absorb new words that you’ll eventually keep on using over time. The best way to learn is to develop an insatiable curiosity towards the words you’ve never seen or heard of before.
Whenever you encounter such words during a conversation, you could politely ask the other person to kindly explain what it means and how it’s used in context. If you feel like it’s fine to go the extra mile, ask them to humour your request of temporarily revolving the conversation around the new word so that you can get some immediate practice.
In an office setup, make friends with people who speak the English language. With time, you would have collected a bunch of new words and your speaking skills will have improved!
2. Develop a reading habit
Reading is one of the best ways of building vocabulary – all thanks to the millions of reading materials available. Similar to the first advice, encountering words in context makes it easier for you to discern their meaning, usage, and spelling.
Newspapers and novels are especially valuable than reading a list of vocabulary words. Make sure you have a notebook and dictionary with you when reading these texts to better aid your learning journey and include the meaning of the words you list down.
3. Watch the news in English
We are lucky to be surrounded by a plethora of international news media and entertainment platforms that we can instantly access to boost our vocabulary. By incorporating them into your daily routine, simply spending 10 minutes a day on your daily commute to work or school can help you pick more diverse words that range from political, business, and sports use.
With the help of subtitles, there is no excuse to pick up some new words from your favourite English movies and Netflix shows as well!
Vocabulary is extremely important when trying to improve your English language skills. Although it is good to pick up new words, it is better to use common words than using acquired words incorrectly.
Should you need extra support in understanding certain words and how to use them, try signing up for an English course in Singapore with English Explorer. Offering structured English programs and taught by tutors that are CELTA and TESOL certified, we can help you build a solid foundation that empowers you to keep learning both in and out of the classroom!