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When we learn a new language, our focal point should always rely more on finding new ways to enhance our vocabulary rather than grammar. Given today’s global reality of the English language, this is relatively easy to do. Having a great English vocabulary doesn’t just indicate that you can understand lots of words and phrases: it also indicates that you can use these words and phrases and that you can remember them when you require them. In this article, we will try to discuss the importance of vocabulary and how to improve it. So want to upgrade your English vocabulary? Read on to know more.
Importance of Learning Vocabulary
Since understanding is the ultimate purpose of reading, the importance of vocabulary growth cannot be overestimated. A strong vocabulary enhances all areas of communication — listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
In a nutshell, vocabulary is essential because it’s the basis of all language. It’s the basic building blocks that we can use to communicate our thoughts and ideas, share information, understand others and grow personal relationships.
Even if we hardly know a language and have zero grasp of grammar, we can still communicate (although we might end up sounding like cavemen!). If you’re a native speaker, you’ve likely experienced a time when a particular word is ‘on the tip of your tongue but you’re incapable to remember it. It can be irritating and often cut the conversation short.
It functions similarly for a second language learner who hasn’t learned that particular vocabulary word in the first place. If they don’t know (or can’t remember) that part of the vocabulary, they will be incapable of completely expressing their message. For this reason, knowledge of vocabulary is widely believed to be perhaps the most crucial factor when it comes to a person’s ability to speak a foreign language.
100 Most Common English Vocabulary Words
This list of the 100 most common vocabulary words in English can be operated as a reference for beginner English students. It’s a good idea to learn these words fully before trying to move on to less common words since this is the vocabulary you will experience most often. These are some of the first words that native English-speaking children know how to spell. You can also make sure that you not only identify these words and know how to pronounce them, but that you can also spell them accurately. Mistakes in spelling these short, common words are more important than mistakes spelling more difficult words you may learn later on.
Ways to Upgrade English Vocabulary
A language is a strong tool, and the better you are at exerting it the better your results will be. If you like to engage your audience and pique their interest, you ought to develop exceptional written communication skills. A big part of enhancing your English skills is simply learning how to enhance your vocabulary.
Keep a personal dictionary
To begin the list, we’re going old-school. Remember those early primary school days when you had your first classes of English and each new word learned had to be written either in a separate notebook or at the back of your current one? Well, this is one of the most efficient methods to learn new vocabulary and track your overall improvement. Buy a new notebook or start a new memo on your phone where you will regularly update a word list of all the new English vocabulary you have mastered thus far.
Repeat, repeat, and repeat
For number 2 on the checklist, we’re prospecting deeper into the vaults. They say recurrence is the mother of learning. It is – plain and easy. The way the human brain results is it utilizes repetition patterns to strengthen the meaning and usage of everything new that we learn. While you must constantly learn new vocabulary, it is appropriate that you revise every new word to make the most out of your learning experience and always keep your head in the game.
Complete each new word meaningfully
Research has shown that our brain understands new verbal ideas better when they are connected to an image or another idea. For instance, if you learn the word “temperament”, you may link its meaning to “temperature” to learn it easier, and more significantly, be able to recall its meaning based on that link at any given time. The ideas you connect don’t have to be bonded in any way as long as they help you memorize new vocabulary.
This one requires little to no justification. Reading, in combination with a dictionary, is one of the best methods to come across new vocabulary. What is more, try to read as many diverse reading materials as possible, e.g. books, newspapers, magazines, etc. to be capable to discover a variety of new vocabulary.
Examine vocabulary in context
When reading, try to test yourself by not restricting the meaning of new words in a dictionary directly. Instead, guess the meaning from the context. Just continue reading after struggling with a new word and you’ll see that this special task is, in fact, not that hard. It’s a more progressive method of mastering new vocabulary but it’s worth a shot.
Once you have a particular amount of words in your vocabulary list, try to look at the world around you to discover examples of their usage, e.g. in songs, movies, newspapers, etc. This is highly valuable because not only can you observe the context this new vocabulary is being used but you can also see the collocations that can be composed, as well – something you cannot necessarily complete by very flipping through a dictionary. Knowing when and how vocabulary is used is more significant than just knowing its meaning.
Make use of games and apps
This is likely the most systematic method of learning new vocabulary and learning new languages among the learners of today. Most language learning apps, such as ENTRI, Duolingo, Memrise, or QuizUp are vocabulary-centric and utilize repetition and behavioral patterns to help your learning process and help maximize your time and action. They’re effortlessly accessible and usually don’t have any time restraints so you can learn only when you want to.
This is highly significant because you don’t require any extra motivation to learn; you’re just operating your phone as you normally would while also learning something new. Playing board games such as Scrabble and Crosswords helps do the trick, as well.
In a nutshell, any interactive competition, whether it’s on a phone or with friends, will test your pace to recall and keep new words while making the overall experience of learning new English vocabulary that much more effortless and satisfying.
Actively use what you learn
Don’t limit your practice of new words to sheer app usage and simple repetition to check what you know. Your true talent glows when you are able to use new vocabulary in a real-life environment. Confront in conversations. While doing so, try to have those new words suitable as a sign of confidence and for additional practice.
This is the backbone of learning anything new, specifically when it comes to languages. We’re speaking about motivation. In order for you to enhance your vocabulary as much as you can, you ought to cultivate an interest to learn new words every day. It’s the inner motivation that can fast-track your improvement and get you way past your goals on any given day.
The last one on the checklist is something most learners fail at, leading them to either lose the motivation to learn new words or even quit the learning method on its whole. To avoid doing so, set a quite new word count as your daily or monthly goal.
Learning a new language is like sowing seeds to grow a new plant while regularly watering it. It is a constant process that needs all your attention and simply cannot occur overnight. Rather start small and grow your word count as you enhance.
Moreover, this will furnish you with the clarity to follow your improvement and have a detailed understanding of the exact number of words you wanted to learn and how many of your goals you’ve met. Join us to set your goal of learning English speaking through our ENTRI Learning App!