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7 Ways You Can Improve Your Reading Vocabulary. It is a lot easier than you think.

Language is tricky, and often people will play games with you based on words — so, a major advantage of reading is learning new words.


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Teronie Donaldson

3 years ago | 3 min read

Words are essential.

If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say. So you should always aim to mean what you say.

Language is tricky, and often people will play games with you based on words — so, a major advantage of reading is learning new words.

Why?

Because “New words can equal new worlds.”

There is a set of words or language for everything. I am not speaking of voluminous words that professors or academics use.

I am talking about jargon (unique words or expressions used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand), different dialects, slang, different languages, etc.

Everywhere you go, there will be some form of interchange of words. Of course, you won’t understand them all — not even polyglots (a person who knows and can use several languages) will.

But learning new vocabulary will increase your understanding of the world and enhance your communication.

A famous entrepreneur, author, and speaker, Brian Tracy traveled worldwide for decades, building his successful business. Even though he doesn’t speak many languages, he diligently made an effort to know two words in every language of the countries he visited.

Tracy recalled that knowing how to say the words “Please” and “Thank you” opened the doorway for communication — because he took the time to learn the local language — albeit two words of it. That is a small example of the power of words.

So how do you increase your vocabulary?

The best way is through reading, and it is easier than you think. You can read practically anything and learn new words. This is because in a book the language is laid out before your eyes. So it is page upon page of examples of how to use the words yourself.

The more *advanced the book, the more words you come across. (*Advanced meaning that you are unfamiliar with the subject)

The easiest way to increase your vocabulary is reading, so here are 7 ways to improve your reading vocabulary;

#1- Select a time to read — daily.

Vocabulary building is easiest when you encounter words in context. Once you see the usage, it’s easier to apply them in real life. Novels and other fiction books are great for this as it’s a steady flow of words in story form. Also, by doing it daily, you are developing a great habit to improve your mindset.

#2- Use flashcards or notepads.

Gather one new word a day and practice using it. Flashcards were helpful for me when I started reading books above my reading level. I created cards and reviewed them often. Sometimes I’m surprised I remember the definitions I wrote down.

#3- Use the dictionary.

As you read, highlight/underline what you dont know and look it up after reading. A dictionary can educate you about root words and related words — which is another way to learn vocabulary.

Any dictionary, physical or online, will do. Plus, there is always Google available.

#4- Use a thesaurus.

A helpful resource when used correctly. It gives you the synonym(similar) and antonym(opposite) of words. This way, you have a wide range of options to use in context.

For example, synonyms of the word love are devotion, fondness, infatuation, and antonyms of love: indifference, hate, and animosity. Now, if you use these different words with others, they will elicit different reactions. So be careful with your words.

#5- Play word games.

The games condition you to notice the words. My favorite is Scrabble, as you have to think up different words to get as many points as possible while expanding your vocabulary. There and many others like Boggle, Bananagrams, and word association. In addition, Crossword puzzles are helpful as well.

#6- Subscribe to “word of the day” feeds.

I use these feeds with dictionary.com and investopedia.com.

The daily feed helps me learn new words and financial jargon. I would suggest these feeds as you get more comfortable with reading, so you don’t get overwhelmed with the words you already have been writing down on the flashcards/notepads.

#7- Practice.

Use the new words in conversation.

No matter how much you read — always remember that true learning comes with the application. Put the words to use. Experiment, try a different word than you are comfortable with, and see what happens. Of course, you’ll feel awkward at first, but you’ll get over it and be comfortable expressing yourself in no time.

So if you;

  1. Select a time to read daily.
  2. Use flashcards or notepads.
  3. Use the dictionary.
  4. Use a thesaurus.
  5. Play word games.
  6. Subscribe to “word of the day” feeds.
  7. Practice.

You will be surprised by how easier reading different books will become and how well you communicate with others.

Thank You for Reading

Take Care

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Teronie Donaldson

Writer | Motivator | Reading Habits Coach | Content Creator. Around Me, Everyone Wins!


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