There are many reasons people want to improve their vocabulary – for their own personal development, to help them through school/college/their career, or to better their chances in popular word games such as Wordle. Knowing the best ways to go about extending vocabulary can be difficult as there are many different tools available. Some, such as using television and books, are well-known ways of developing language – these forms of modelling are how we learn language as a baby, by processing not only words but also sentence structure.
Watching your favorite shows and movies can extend your vocabulary in the same way by exposing you to words in the correct context. Books, magazines, newspapers, and online articles can also teach you new words and, as you are reading them in the context of a larger piece of writing, you may be able to decipher their meaning yourself. If not, e-readers often have a function to find the definition of a word or you can always check a dictionary.
However, if you want to take your vocabulary to the next level, these tools are a great place to start. Together they will teach you a wide range of new words and their meanings so you can impress your friends and family with your new-found rich, diverse vocabulary.
If you are a visual learner, Lexipedia is a useful website. A visual word thesaurus that presents words in a spider web to present their semantic relationships, Lexipedia has been helping people extend their vocabulary for over fifteen years.
Word of the Day
With Harvard University and Google estimating there were 1,022,000 words in the English language in 2010 and predicting this would grow by thousands each year, actively extending your vocabulary can seem a daunting task. Committing to learning one new word a day is a manageable way to build your vocabulary and can be fun, too. Merriam-Webster has a word of the day podcast and British lexicographer Susie Dent posts a word of the day on her Twitter account, @susie_dent.
Unscramble is a cloud based word unscrambler. This English language word unscrambler is ideal for anyone looking to widen their vocabulary and perfectly complements popular word games such as Words with Friends and Scrabble. By inputting a range of letters, Unscramble will offer a range of anagrams as well as showing the points value of each word for both the above games – you’ll wonder how you managed without it!
Mobile apps such as vocabulary.com work by giving you the opportunity to learn new words as well as use the classic dictionary function. With the option to save words you are learning into lists and access to pre-formulated lists such as ‘100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know’, this is an accessible way for all the family to learn new words.
With Wordle taking the world by storm in 2022, closely followed by a range of copycat word games, improving your vocabulary has never been so much fun. Not only will it help you remember words you use less frequently, but it will also introduce you to unfamiliar lingo. If you prefer traditional alternatives, many newspapers have word wheels or other games such as crosswords and word searches, and Scrabble continues to be a popular choice with board gamers. Keep a dictionary on hand to check the meaning of any words you’re unsure about.
Whichever tools you use to develop your vocabulary, you are developing yourself and your understanding. With so many fun options on the market, extending your vocabulary has never been so much fun.