Learn New Words Every Day
What is it about?
Having a large vocabulary is a great gift. It increases our power of expression, comprehension, and imagination. Whether in our mother tongue or in any other language we’ve learned, words define the shape and scope of our understanding. Knowing and using accurate and diversified words make it easier to communicate, write, and think.
That’s why it’s important to expand our vocabulary throughout our lives. Although it can seem tricky, you can easily create good habits that will help you discover, learn, and use new words on a daily basis.
Discover new words
The most natural way to discover new words is to read – A lot! Every time you read, there are chances you will encounter a word you’re not familiar with, especially in other languages. So read every day and diversify your readings: classical literature (rich in elaborate words and figures of speech), technical and scientific books (a lot of specialized vocabulary), newspapers…
The other, most efficient way is to use a dedicated “word of the day” tool. There are plenty of websites, applications and books specifically designed to teach you a new word every day. Using an app is particularly recommended as you’ll get notifications and will be able to easily browse through past publications. Checkout the “Learn More” section for our selection of tools.
Ideally, combine the two methods: select a “word of the day” tool that you’ll consult every day and program at least one daily reading session.
Build your personal dictionary
The next step is to create your “personal dictionary”, where you’ll log all the new words you’ve learned.
Every time you encounter a word you don’t know, check for its definition and pronunciation (for foreign languages, google translation is your friend) and write it down (in a notebook or in a note-taking app for example). Make it visual by underlining or putting in bold the words and write a short definition for each one of them.
This collection will be a precious ally in remembering and learning all the words you discover throughout your readings.
Review your dictionary
To assimilate your new vocabulary, you need to frequently review your dictionary. Take some time in your schedule, at least once a week, to refresh your memory, and assimilate the last entries.
To help you remember words, try to create a connection with something you already know, that sounds close (e.g. wallop: strike or hit very hard – sounds like Wallace) or of same meaning (e.g. smash).
Associating a word with a visual representation is also powerful (nival: living in or under snow – can be associated with a polar bear).
Another trick is to study the word’s etymology. Understanding the linguistic logic of words is a good way to memorize their meaning. For example, Eavesdropping.
Use the words in your dictionary every time you can, in a conversation, a presentation, when writing… By using them frequently, you’ll make them part of your vocabulary, once and for all!
Choose a "word of the day" app and/or schedule a daily reading session
Every time you encounter a word you don’t know, log it in your "personal dictionary"
Review your "personal dictionary" at least once a week
Expand your vocabulary
Express your ideas more precisely
Improve your expression
Exercise your memory
Improve your comprehension