How to Improve English Vocabulary for Adults

The steps adults can take to improve English vocabulary include listening closely to native speakers, frequent reading, using a vocabulary app, constant practice of English words and a few others.

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In this post, I’m going to give some useful tips that can help any adult improve their English vocabulary. It is possible to use both online and offline tools to improve one’s English vocabulary in such fields as tourism, media, technology, e-commerce, economy, politics and governance and entertainment.

So if you are looking for ways to grow your vocabulary as fast as possible, keep reading.

1. Read all the Time

The best way for adults to improve their English vocabulary is to read unceasingly. The reason is that it is in the written text that you will encounter all kinds of words in their actual form.

Spelling and the correct placement of words in sentences get better for anyone who loves to read. Moreover, it is easier to discover new words when we read from a variety of sources.

2. Take a Vocabulary Quiz Regularly

Another way one can improve English vocabulary online is to look for vocabulary quizzes and take as many as possible. Tests and quizzes are effective learning reinforcement tools.

To be able to remember and build on the new English vocabulary you have been learning, become a regular participant in vocabulary quizzes.

While you are at it, do not focus too much on your initial performance. Because remember, you are not taking online vocabulary quizzes to compete with anyone. You are doing so only to enable you to learn better and consolidate your vocabulary improvement efforts.

3. Join a Vocabulary Course Online

Thirdly, I recommend strongly that you join a reliable online vocabulary course. These days, there are numerous online vocabulary courses. While many such online vocabulary courses are completely free, a few are premium paid courses. It is up to you to decide which one to join – free or paid.

One benefit to derive from a good online English vocabulary course is that it makes the online English vocabulary learning process more focused, disciplined and effective.

Again, a lot of these courses award a certificate of achievement upon successful completion of each course. Your certificate or diploma from online language learning portals like Alison will surely add more weight and prestige to your CV or resume.

Remember, though, that for most online certificates, one has to pay for the cost which, in most cases, is affordable enough for the average pocket

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4. Use a Vocabulary App to Listen to Native Speakers

It is best to listen to native English speakers use words and expressions that you wish to learn. Thankfully, apart from radio, television and YouTube, there are numerous vocabulary apps on the internet featuring native English speakers in action. Anyone can purchase or download for free a good vocabulary app.

If you wish to take your English vocabulary learning to a new and exciting level, I will suggest that you invest in the vocabulary app. The fun and variety the English vocabulary app brings to your learning are definitely worth it.

5. Build A Personal Vocabulary List

Personally, I go about this the old-fashioned way. I mean I use my pen and a dedicated notebook to record any new word I have just learnt. And it works like a charm.

As we write down what we have just learnt, we are able to recollect them whenever it becomes necessary to do so.

You do not necessarily have to build your personal vocabulary list by writing it with pen and paper, It is possible to do so on your mobile phone, laptop or tablet and PC.

Again, the writing software needed for building a personal vocabulary list is not difficult to find. Go to the Google Play store and you will be amazed at the wide variety of writing apps you can download and start using for free.

And if your browser is Google Chrome, find what Chrome Extensions are available to fill this need.

Above all, Google Docs or Google Drive, Dropbox and similar apps can help anyone begin to build a large volume of a personal vocabulary list for quick and easy reference.

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6. Watch Movies on Netflix and Pay Attention                                                               

Trust me, there is so much to learn just by watching movies. I have personally learnt to improve my English vocabulary online just by paying attention to words and expressions that actors use on the screen.

Today, Netflix, Showmax, almighty YouTube and the like have become popular avenues for online entertainment. I would strongly suggest that whether you watch Netflix movies, YouTube Ted Talks or any other online resource, give some attention to the language being used. It will help you to greatly improve your English vocabulary.

7. Learn English Vocabulary Words by Heart

It is true that not all of us are endowed with a magnetic memory. While some are fast at memorizing anything, others struggle to do so. Nevertheless, there is nothing stopping you from learning English words by heart at your own pace. I believe that is the key to making your vocabulary learning process personally fulfilling.

Dedicate yourself to learning by heart as many English vocabulary words as possible. Giving yourself a manageable weekly target will be very helpful.

For example, why not tell yourself to memorize two new English words each week for the next three months? You can increase or even reduce the number to suit your unique circumstances.

8. Vocabulary Practice is Key

Among the best ways to improve English vocabulary online is constant practice. We talked about taking online vocabulary quizzes a moment ago.

Short online language learning quizzes are an effective way to practice those new words you have been learning of late.

Apart from quizzes, it is equally important to use, in your speech and writing, the words and expressions you have been learning.  

9. Study Literature if You Can

Do you enjoy reading and studying Literature texts? I’m referring to popular novels, plays or even poetry. Learning to appreciate literary texts is a sure way to improve English vocabulary online or offline.

And you don’t need to be a Literature student or teacher to start enjoying reading story books. Indeed, anyone can enjoy reading a good book. Just start with the much shorter story books or the abridged versions of longer ones.

While some online bookshops and digital libraries allow visitors to download books for free, others will ask you to pay a few dollars or cents.

Simply choose what works best for you. And with a reliable e-reader, there is no end to the quantity of the best Literature books to access and read online.

10. Download Vocabulary PDF Documents Online

Some people have kindly compiled lists of vocabulary items to share freely online. You will find these free PDF documents on websites like Free eBooks.Net.

Vocabulary documents in PDF format will definitely be a good addition to your repertoire.

11. Play Language Games Online

Look for some language games online and play them at your convenience. This is the fun part of learning. While you entertain yourself with online language games, you are improving your English vocabulary at the same time.

Again, you are free to purchase a language game app if you can afford one. If not, visit a website where visitors have the opportunity to play language games without having to submit their credit card or PayPal account information.

12. Have Fun While You Learn

Finally, you need not take yourself too seriously as you learn to improve your English vocabulary. I have found that learning becomes easier when we don’t make it feel like a chore.

Remember all you are trying to do is to improve yourself via learning to speak and write English better. It is never like it is a life and death matter for you to improve your English vocabulary.

So look at your online language learning that way. Don’t kill yourself trying to build your vocabulary. Take it easy.

Laugh at yourself when you make mistakes along the way. Reward yourself abundantly at every sign of visible progress, no matter how little it may be.

Play around with your new words and expressions as you communicate with your friends. And trust me, you will never want to stop learning to improve your English vocabulary either online or offline.

Wrapping it all up

I have observed one amazing thing about English language learning. And I mean where English is not our mother tongue. Here it comes.

We do it without realizing immediately the significant improvements we are making to the quality of our spoken and written English. Usually, it is at those times when we least expect it that we surprise ourselves. We suddenly display the newly learnt skills when we write an essay or in one form of social interaction or the other.

It is only then that our performance reflects the efforts we have been making to improve our English language skills.

This is why I believe you will benefit a great deal just by adopting some of the methods I have outlined in this post. Make a commitment to yourself to improve your English vocabulary within a given reasonable period of time.

Remember to set tangible achievable goals. Then go out there and begin to have fun as you work to make an improvement to your English vocabulary skill set.

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