If you want to make your English speech sound as good and clear as possible, it is not enough to train diction and pronunciation. To do this, you also need to regularly enrich your vocabulary. In this article, we would like to share with you how to do it more efficiently, more interestingly, and more diversely!
Let us begin from simple to complex. For daily communication, you need 1,500-2,000 words. This is enough to go as a tourist abroad, chat in social networks with an American friend on general topics, read the menu in a restaurant of European cuisine, and even help a neighbor translate the instruction on the use of a coffee machine in basic terms.
If you are planning not only to travel and have a simple conversation but look for your accommodation abroad, educational institution, and work, then prepare yourself for international exams. And this is the level demanding 5,000 words and higher.
In the event that you have grandiose plans to work as an interpreter,
spy, critic of Western literature, consul, or ambassador, then arm yourself with time and patience. Of course, it is difficult to get to Churchill's level, who knew 45 thousand words, but the border of 25-30 thousand English words can be overcome.
And now, let us talk about the ways to increase a vocabulary.
The Method for Pedants and Maximalists
It is not about me, but you can try. A certain topic is taken. For example, shopping. We break this big topic into subsections: clothes, accessories, shoes, communication with the seller, flirting with the guard, indignation in the dressing room, etc. We distribute the sub-topics on the days of the week. For each subtheme write a dozen of words and a dozen of phrases in 3 columns, as in the case of irregular verbs: spelling (English word itself), transcription, and translation.
In the morning, we just read the list, in the afternoon we close the translation with transcription and read it aloud and translate it into a native language. In the evening, we close the spelling and speak English. All the fun takes 15 minutes a day: for 5 minutes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The ideal ending is to apply these words and phrases in practice at the end of the week.
The Method for Visual Learner
If you live not alone, then morally prepare everyone for the fact that from now everything in the house will be marked: a chair, a table, a cupboard, a coffee pot, a powder box, a magazine, a toy box, a window, a night lamp, a husband's socks, a coat button, the back of the mother-in-law, or the tail of a kitten. Gradually, within a few days, remove the pieces of paper from what has already been remembered.
The Method for Those Who Learn with Ears
This is a rare type of memory, but it should also be considered. Set a radio to a new wave, where they speak only English. Listen to them, argue aloud with anchormen (in English, of course), periodically write down those words and expressions that you particularly liked. The method is very convenient for those who want to use time efficiently even in a traffic jam. The method is appropriate for the students with the English level beginning from Intermediate and above.
The Method for Those Who Learn with Lips
If you like to sing, then the translation of English songs is your variant. It is one thing to just sing along, trying to catch at least the last word on the line. And quite another thing – to perform a literal translation, and then practice with a microphone in the hand. Experience shows that the words from the song are remembered very quickly: the lines rhyme and the meaning you know from the translation. It is no accident that poems are remembered more quickly than prose.
The Method for Those Who Love Public Transport
The cards with words are one more useful method. Yes, it takes the time to prepare them, but then you will always have an interesting useful lesson for you and the curious neighbor in a subway. While others are going to work in the morning, bored and yawning, you briskly look through the cards with English words. On one side of them is a translation, on the other – the actual word. First, translate into your native language, the next day – vice versa.
The Method for Those Who Love a Sofa and the TV
There is also an option for a lazybones. These are Western TV channels and English (American) films on DVD in the original. However, it would be better to put a notebook next to the zapper. At least occasionally, write down in it those words about the meaning of which you could not guess in the context. And when you will manage to tear yourself away from the sofa, find these words in the dictionary.
The Method for Bibliophiles
Here, everything is simple: we read and translate. This does not mean that you need to translate verbatim, armed with tomes of dictionaries, notebooks of 120 sheets, and a set of pens. 3-4 new words from each page are a maximum. Choose books in accordance with the level of your English knowledge. It is better to read the adapted text for schoolchildren and simple works from Agatha Christie, Sheldon, Hemingway than to begin with "The Woman in White" by W. Collins. Because in the first case you will get both pleasure and profit, and in the second one, you will nervously grasp a dictionary after each line until you furiously throw it away.
The Method with 100% Efficiency
Immerse into the language environment. But not the one that is between Tuesday and Thursday, but into the environment where people speak only English. This means that it is time to pack your bags and go at least for 3-4 months for English courses or studies over the Atlantic Ocean or to the island with Big Ben, for example. There, you will have no choice but to learn words in a hurry. The method is appropriate for those who have time and money for such experiments.
The Method for Advanced Philologists
The verbs are the first to learn! Because for a noun or an adjective, you can always choose a synonym, while for a verb, it is difficult (sometimes, it is even impossible). Therefore, try to have at least three verbs in your list of new words every day. Do not forget to learn the forms of irregular verbs, they will come in handy sooner or later. Regarding synonyms: remember that finding synonyms is very useful. When writing new words, add 2-3 synonyms in parentheses.
The Method from a Friend of Mine
I have never seen such a method (or I have been just looking badly for it), but the method of my acquaintance impressed me. It gives a tremendous effect in terms of remembering words and is tested on a huge number of students. The bottom line is that you need to describe the picture in as much detail as possible using as many sentences as possible. What is the best: I personally saw how a person can make a few dozens of sentences on the picture even in the first month of learning. At the same time, of course, the sentences themselves were very simple: "This is Mr. Green. His eyes are blue ... etc. "
Well, there is no way to cover all the existing methods for memorizing English words. Therefore, do not hesitate and share with other learners; so to say, help your neighbor.