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How can I improve my English vocabulary?

I am looking for advice on how I can improve my English vocabulary and suggestions on a good spoken English book.

Kristi Hammond

in Exams and Tests

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Bethany Evans on March 13, 2018

Learning any language can be quite hard when you are an adult. However, it is only challenging, not impossible. Luckily, in your case, you have already had more than basic grammar knowledge. Tips on how to improve English language vocabulary:

  1. Purchase a good dictionary: this should be the first step in your English learning journey. Look for a good dictionary of your liking. You can have a hardcopy pocket dictionary to move around with or simply download an online dictionary App on your mobile phone. It will help you look up meanings and pronunciations of unfamiliar words you come across.
  2. Learn a new word every day: this is the best way to enrich your vocabulary. Look for new words and memorize them. This should include their meaning, spelling, intonation/ pronunciation, forms/ derivatives and how they can be used in a sentence.
  3. Read a lot of English written material: collect magazines, books, journals and blog articles to read for at least an hour every day.
  4. Listen to online videos and TV shows and repeat what you hear: the best way to do this is to listen to a few minutes of the show (with native English speakers), pause and repeat what the characters have spoken. Try to mimic the way they pronounce words i.e. accent and word stressing.
  5. Listen and try to sing along to English songs: they should be songs that use correct words. Avoid songs with too many slang words as they might be confusing. Listen intently to the lyrics and try to memorize the songs.
  6. Speak your thoughts aloud in English: we often process our thoughts in the language we are most comfortable in. However, if you want to be more fluent in English, try to speak your thoughts aloud and in English.
  7. Do online English exercises: there are several free practice tests online. Try them out.
  8. Find a friend you can practice with, you can look for him/her in your circles and have conversations in English. You can learn together even if they are not native speakers too.
  9. Get yourself a good spoken-English book: some good options you should consider including are Effortless English, Mastering the American Accent and Perfect English Grammar.


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