Given the importance that language plays in our daily lives—think about your own communication with your customers and employees—we felt it well worth passing along this valuable column from Brian Tracy, chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International. Last week in part one, Tracy explained why having a strong vocabulary is so important to effective day-to-day communication, and he started giving us some strategies on how we can improve ours. Here, he continues with tips on how to enlarge our inner dictionary.
“Daily Vocabulary Words
Learning just one new word every day is a highly effective way to incrementally expand your vocabulary over time.
To use this method, you can pick a word at random from the dictionary or you can use one of many daily vocabulary word programs that will send a new word to your inbox each day.
Dictionary.com and other online dictionaries also feature a new word each day on the homepage of their website that you can check out.
However you choose your daily word, though, take the time to memorize the word and try to use it as much as possible in conversation or in your mind throughout the day.
If you give your daily word enough focus, you should be able to make it a permanent part of your vocabulary after just 24 hours.
Learn A New Word a Day
Learning a new word a day is such an effective strategy thanks to the fact that it requires only a minimal amount of commitment and effort yet still allows you to add a new word to your vocabulary each and every day.
If there’s only one vocabulary-building strategy that you choose to implement, it should be this one.
An effective addition to your strategy of learning a new word a day that you might want to consider is keeping a list of the words that you choose to learn along with their definitions.
If you keep a list such as this, you’ll be able to review it from time to time in order to further commit your daily vocabulary words to memory and ensure that you don’t forget them as time goes by.
Your list will also serve as a visual example of how much your vocabulary has expanded, which can be a big motivator to keep up your progress.
Learning new words alone isn’t enough to truly improve your vocabulary; in order to make the words you memorize a functional part of your vocabulary that you can use in your writing, you also need to put the words you memorize into practice.
In the next section, we’ll look at some activities and exercises that you can use in order to practice using the words that you learn.
Vocabulary Activities to Help You Grow
There are plenty of effective activities that you can use to put the words you learn into practice as well as learn new vocabulary words in the process.
These activities include things such as:
1. Vocabulary Games
There is a wide range of online games designed to help you improve your vocabulary.
These games can serve as a fun and entertaining way to learn new words and put the words that you already know into practice.
Many online dictionaries such as Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com offer free vocabulary games, and a quick Google search for vocabulary games will turn up even more options.
2. Vocabulary Test
Vocabulary tests allow you to test your current vocabulary and receive a score at the end of the test that lets you know what level you are on. In addition to improving your vocabulary by exposing you to new words, these tests also allow you to gauge your progress so that you will know if and by how much your vocabulary is improving.
As with vocabulary games, a wide range of vocabulary tests can be found with a quick Google search.
3. Vocabulary Quiz
Vocabulary quizzes are similar to vocabulary tests, but are typically shorter and may not provide a very detailed analysis of your vocabulary level once the quiz is complete.
Nevertheless, vocabulary quizzes are still a great way to practice your vocabulary and measure your results.
4. Vocabulary Worksheets
Vocabulary worksheets come in a wide range of formats.
Some can be completed online while others can be printed off and completed by hand, and the exact goal and instructions for the worksheet vary from worksheet to worksheet.
Whatever format you choose, though, vocabulary worksheets are a great way to practice your vocabulary skills.
What Is The Best Way To Learn Vocabulary?
There is no single best way to learn vocabulary, and the most beneficial approach will come from implementing a number of different practices and strategies.
Hopefully, this guide has given you plenty of vocabulary-building methods for you to consider implementing.
If you choose a handful of these methods and commit to them each day, you can rest assured that your vocabulary will improve over time, helping you write more effective content for your business.
Brian Tracy is an internationally renowned speaker and consultant on topics such as leadership, sales success, time management and more. To read more, go to www.briantracy.com.