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Otávio Banffy

7 simple processes to develop your vocabulary - by LinguaFile

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Hello everyone,

The Lingua File has published yet another set of practices for people to learn more and better their favorite languages, and they are good suggestions.

Without further ado, here are their suggestions:



1. Read and Write Down New Words

Reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary. (...) If you are a native, try reading difficult books (...) or even specialized magazines. Then you don’t understand a particular word, look it up in the dictionary. Then, find a notebook, and write it down. Keep the notebook with you all the time, so you can write down new words whenever you need to.

2. Use Words in the Right Context

After you wrote the new words down, it's time to use them properly. Make sentences with them and find the right context. Google examples if you are not sure of a word’s usage. Read forums and get a full understanding of the word’s meaning. (...)

3. Use Personal Examples

Specialists agree that using personal examples in sentences enhances your learning process. When your brain seizes a personal example, it will remember it better than when it seizes unfamiliar situations. Let’s say that you are trying to improve your English vocabulary. (...) You encounter the word “aberration," (...) you will use “aberration” in a personal example. For instance: “I was talking about spiritual journeys and mindfulness in a room full of conservatives. They might have perceived this as a personal aberration.”

4. Find Your Own Way of Storing New Information

(...) If your mind doesn't “fit the pattern,”, there's no need to feel worried about it. Be happy that you are different from the rest. For some people, associating words with visual images is the best way to remember vocabulary. For others, associating sounds with new words make them recollect what they’ve learned. Find you own way and start learning!

5. Ask Someone to Help You Practice

(...) Ask a friend or a family member to go through the new vocabulary with you. Make them ask you random words. Then take the words and use them in sentences again. Try to make up different examples to the ones you already have.

6. Play Some Games

Playing Scrabble or Hangman is an interactive way of learning and practicing new vocabulary. Gather your friends together and have some fun! Learning is more entertaining when there are more people involved in the process! 

7. Watch Movies

Another great method of building new vocabulary is watching movies with subtitles. Pause the movie whenever you see an unfamiliar word, look it up, write it down, make up a sentence, and play the movie again. At the end of the film, make other sentences using the new vocabulary, and try to remember in what context they were used in the movie.


I believe Brandon (the author) nailed down a few concepts.

Reading does help in remembering things, but writing them down is an even stronger way of doing so. I'm not certain about the technicalities of it, but I believe it is due to you associating movement, with visuals, muscle memory and having to make a creative effort (to generate something new).

Personal examples are something I never thought about before, but they are right to say that personal history when associated with something makes it easier to remember it.

The "new way of storing information" is also an interesting idea. You see, people have different senses that they connect with better than others. By far the most common affinity is with sight, second being hearing I believe... But there are affinities for all senses, a combination of them, and even no senses at all (sometimes it's about emotions). Knowing your own affinity can help you work better on designing your learning methods.

Finally, having fun is one of the greatest ways of storing information, no matter what form it takes. Movies, friends, games, do whatever is best for you, but if you are dreading your next language learning session then it's definitely not gonna be very productive. But be engaged in it, looking forward to the next challenge, and it will be a breeze.

Let us know if any of this helped at any moment!


Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is interested in writing articles on language learning and education. Brandon also loves traveling and playing the piano. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Looking forward to hearing back from you!


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