Enlarging Your Vocabulary

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

You don’t have to have a huge vocabulary to write well. However, it does help to have a sizable vocabulary so you can properly express yourself. If you find yourself searching through a dictionary and thesaurus often, maybe you are not comfortable with expressing yourself yet.

Of course it is good to look up words we don’t know, but if we are constantly looking up words, this is a sign we need to learn many more words. The best way to go about increasing your vocabulary is to be systematic and repetitive. By systematic, I mean that you should try to learn a set number of words per day. Three to five words per day is ideal, as the brain can only create a certain limit of new synapses per day.

Not only should you learn new words–through pictures, reading, speaking, and listening–but you should also recall previous words you learned. The more ways of remembering, the better: reading, speaking, seeing images related to words, hearing words being spoken, and so on. Note down words you have the most trouble with and create a “My Difficult Words” list. Go over that list each day and soon enough, those won’t be difficult words for you.

So, there are two phases: learning and remembering. Some people like to plow ahead and learn 15 new words each day and not recall previous words learned. But this is a huge mistake: without trying to remember words that may be fading in your memory, you will lose much of your effort to acquire new words.


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