HOW to Improve Your Vocabulary Daily (Part III)

memory-vocabTo fully benefit from this article, make sure you read parts I and Part II if you haven’t already.

Don’t you hate when just can’t seem to remember a word in English (or any other language you’re learning)? Maybe you’ve already learned it, or it’s a word you feel you should know because it’s so common.

Learning vocabulary shouldn’t be boring and it shouldn’t be difficult. In parts I and II we covered how useful a vocabulary journal is, so you won’t forget new words that you hear and see. You can also subscribe to “Word of the Day” and RLE Daily Expressions. And of course lifestyle English is useful, like watching TV shows and movies, reading, and talking to people (in person or online). This final part of the vocabulary series will cover:

Now let’s have a little fun improving our vocabulary:

7. Anki 

Anki is a flashcard (card for studying) program for computers, tablets and smartphones. It is an amazing tool for language learning. With Anki you can download decks (a package of cards) that other people have made and you can also make your own. I recommend making your own decks with the vocabulary that you write down in your word journal in order to help you study. You can attach sound files and photos to the flashcards.
The reason Anki works so well is because it asks you the difficulty of each card. If it’s a word that is easy for you, you won’t see it for several days. But if it’s difficult you’ll see it within a few seconds or minutes. This makes sure that the words are engraved into your memory over a long period of time. And these time periods change as you study the words more–so, for example, a word you know really well you won’t see for a couple months, but you will see it again so you never forget.
You can synchronize Anki on your computer to the application on your phone, so you can take your flashcards with you everywhere, and anytime you have a spare (extra) five minutes, you can study them. I love having Anki on my smartphone because anytime I have to wait, it’s free study time!

If you want to try this amazing tool, read our article on Anki and our article on how to use it with Duolingo.

8. Other “English for Life” Tools

Some other lifestyle English tools that I recommend you use to increase your vocabulary are radio, music, podcasts, and applications (apps).

Listening to the radio is a great way to improve your auditory skills and learn new words. It’s not necessary to understand every word when listening to the radio. If you listen a little bit every day, you will become more accustomed to hearing English and slowly start to comprehend more naturally. As you begin understanding more, you’ll acquire new vocabulary, which you can add to your word journal and Anki.

Try the app “TuneIn” to listen to radio stations from anywhere in the world. I like to turn it on (listen to French or Spanish radio stations for example) while I’m working on my computer. I don’t listen attentively; it just plays in the background. But I’ve noticed overtime that I can understand more of what the broadcasters are saying. It’s amazing!

The same goes for music. We have several articles to help you fully understand songs here.

Podcasts are an awesome tool as well. There are podcasts in English about every subject. If you are a beginner, then you can choose a podcast especially for English learning. Once you become advanced, you may choose to listen to a podcast about one of your hobbies or interests. Try listening to one about rock climbing or even one about French wines. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to check out some of RLE’s Podcasts.
Several useful and free apps exist for smartphones and tablets. The advantage of this is that you can practice your English anywhere when you have a little extra time. You can read about free English apps here. And read our English for Life Guide to learn about even more ways to improve your English daily and learn new vocabulary.

9. Sign Up for RLE’s Email Newsletter

The last way to help you improve your English vocabulary is to sign up for RealLife English’s email newsletter. When you do this you will get occasional updates, which will allow you to read and watch a short video update of community highlights.

The best part is that you get a report on the best resources for improving your English online for free! This gives you a bunch of new vocabulary, and you will really sound much more fluent and natural, like a native speaker, once you’ve mastered it. It’s an awesome resource, and it’s free.

In Conclusion

Take the Challenge. Right now get up from your computer and go find a pocket-sized notebook (go and buy one if you have to). Write on the cover “ENGLISH VOCABULARY”. I encourage you to take a 30-Day Challenge to increase your vocabulary by five words each day using one or a combination of these suggestions.

It doesn’t have to be a struggle; there are fun and easy ways to improve your vocabulary doing things that you do anyways, like watching TV and reading. This article barely scratches the surface of (begins to discuss) all the resources there are for you to increase your English vocabulary, but it is an excellent base for you to start with. And once you’ve made a habit of gaining new vocabulary (after the first month you can decrease to five or less words a day) you’ll find that you understand more, and if you’re taking a class you will notice that you improve much faster in your English than your classmates.

Don’t make excuses for yourself; start the challenge now. Don’t forget to let us know how it’s going in the comment box down below or on our Facebook page. We love to hear from you and help you in any ways that we can. Making friends in the community is just another awesome way to increase your vocabulary.

If you liked this article don’t forget to like and share it.

  • The best ways to learn language! I understand everything what I didnt before.