Enhance your vocabulary
- Last Updated: Wednesday, 07 November 2018 15:13
- Written by IELTS Mentor
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Your vocabulary is your power when you express yourself. It is particularly true for the English language which demands your mastery in your vocabulary in order to impress an audience or an examiner. Your IELTS test score depends so much on your vocabulary power -be it writing, reading, speaking or listening. Not only your rich vocabulary will help you read faster, write well, speak in an organised fashion and understand what you listen, but it is a skill that would help you in many ways throughout your life.
The words you use to express an idea determines how effectively you convey it to others. However, a rich vocabulary does not come overnight. You have to work hard to achieve it.
Follow these tips to enhance your vocabulary:
1. Write down new words: To enhance your vocabulary, write down new words in a notebook/ diary and revise them once in a week. It is likely that you would forget some of the words you will learn, yet try to learn at least 5 new words each day. You will find that after 2-3 months you have learned many words and you would be able to use many of them in your use of English. Reviewing the words that you read is another important aspect to enrich your vocabulary.
2. Do it regularly: Whether you are trying to strengthen and broaden your vocabulary for a test or personal growth, the key is a commitment to regularly learning new words.
3. Read, read, and read: The more you read the more words you'll be exposed to and learn. Whenever you encounter a new word, try to derive the meaning from the context of the sentence, not just the word meaning from a dictionary. Read literary works, novels, newspapers, magazines and online articles that you find interesting.
NB. Did you know that IELTS reading topics are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and have been written for a non-specialist audience? Some of the reading passage comes with fascinating topics and can enhance your general knowledge. So it would be a good idea to read the reading passages from general interests. Read IELTS reading passages - https://www.ielts-mentor.com/reading-sample/academic-reading
4. Play games: Word games that challenge your vocabulary and help you discover new words are a great tool in your quest for expanding your vocabulary. You can find word games online, can download on your mobile phone and boost your vocabulary. You can even play such games with your friends on a paper.
5. Use Mnemonics: Mnemonic techniques are memory tricks you can use to remember new words. Use this technique to remember a word by sounding it out and thinking of a funny sentence that matches the meaning. Mnemonics can be a bit controversial in the language learning community, but they can be incredibly effective for some people.
6. Ask for opinion: Someone else can offer a great deal of insight and spot problems you may not notice yourself, including poor word choice. That's why you should often turn to a friend, teacher or someone who can review your writing. Always notice the way they edit your choice of words. This can be a great way to enhance your vocabulary for writing.
7. Motivation: This is perhaps the most important aspects of expanding your vocabulary. Enhancing vocabulary is a tiresome and slow process and motivation can keep your interest to learn new vocabulary alive.
8. Discover your own way: Tip and tricks do not work for everyone. They are general suggestions and a set of rules and guidelines that can be handy and effective, but not for all. Thus we believe that you definitely have your own best way to enhance your vocabulary. Maybe you can learn more words by watching movies and listening to music or by having a conversation with someone! Do it your way.
Many students ask us about reading resources they should follow. We suggest that start with something that you find interesting. No matter how great a source is, if you do not find it interesting, you will soon be out of your reading habit. Start with a novel or storybook that you have at home and then slowly buy or borrow more books. In this era of the Internet, it has become easier than ever. Following are some of the online resources you can follow to boost your reading -
1. https://www.bbc.com - BBC website comes with news, opinion, articles, views, videos and much more from the UK’s most famous media institution. Follow this website and enhance your English skills in a great way.
2. https://www.economist.com - A great resource for business news, international politics and opinion. They even have audio editions (might require subscription). This is one of my personal favourites as a reading resource.
3. http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/business-magazine - A great resource for IELTS candidates. It includes texts about work-related topics to help you improve your language skills and get ahead in your career.
4. https://www.the-scientist.com - It covers environmental issues, culture, nature, science, biology, psychology and animals. It has a rich collection of multimedia contents as well.
5. https://www.newscientist.com - It includes a wide range of interesting topics including technology, space, physics, health, earth, human and life- very similar to the IELTS reading topics.
6. https://www.nationalgeographic.com - Great source of reading- both for IELTS and general interest. It comprises article on science, environment, animals, history and culture.
Many others have done it and we believe you can do it as well. Why not start today?
When we initially included above resources for your reading skill enhancement (which in a way would enhance your vocabulary as well), some of our students requested us to add some resources which directly work on enhancing vocabulary. Hence we have decided to add a few more resources for you.
Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary: This resource has 5 parts and is designed to present you the type of words and phrases you need to use to complete a report writing (graph summary writing). We hope you will find it resourceful.
Vocabulary for Letter Writing: This resource is useful for the candidates who are planning to take the GT IELTS. In the writing section, GT test takers have to write a letter and the vocabulary presented in this page has been designed to teach them what words and expressions they should use and when. Browse this page if you are a GT IELTS candidate.
IELTS Essay Writing Vocabulary: It is not easy to compose the words and expressions you need to use while writing about a topic, especially while writing an essay. However, this page lists down many such words you would be needing to use while you attempt to write a good essay. Learn them and try to use them. If you are looking to get a list of Linking words to use in your essay, browse Linking Words for IELTS Essay Writing. A further list of words for better writing could be found at Vocabulary for Better Writing.
Expressions to Use in Speaking Part 3: This page lists down the works you would be using in your speaking test, particularly in the part three part of the speaking test.
Best of luck and happy learning!
I am replying you here after a long delay but just for the reason that someone else can catch the trick.
First of all, writing and speaking in English are two quite different scenarios. So you should learn techniques to handle each one separately. Reading is just like writing while listening is just like speaking.