Easy ways to improve your vocabulary


I’ve always been a firm believer of the fact that you can never learn too many words. Many people appreciate my knowledge of a wide variety of different words, as well as my extensive vocabulary. I often tell them, it’s a walk in the park if you have the right techniques of learning up your sleeve. Having a vast vocabulary ensures that you have some great words and phrases in your repertoire, and who doesn’t want that? It makes the task of writing much easier, and you sound smart every time you talk. Also, if you’re planning to prepare for competitive exams like IELTS, having a good vocabulary comes handy.

That being said, digging deep into big, old-school dictionaries would not do you any good. On the other hand, there are a million resources to improve your vocabulary online, but how do you choose? Becoming a master of a great vocabulary is not something that happens overnight. But as daunting and challenging as it sounds, developing a great vocabulary is not a difficult task! Over these past few years of teaching English, I’ve done my fair share of research to recognize some methods that make a difference.


So let’s talk about five easy ways you can effectively improve your vocabulary and speaking skills




Have you ever noticed how a child learns its first words? It listens and repeats the sounds and words that are being used in its immediate environment. English trainers often abide by this method to practice vocabulary. It is fairly simple- you switch on a recorder, listen to a sentence, and you repeat it. This gives you a chance to see changes in your pronunciation, tone, etc. and correct mistakes. Once you like the way the sentence sounds, you keep repeating it to yourself or in conversations with others, to build fluency.

Let’s practice: Listen to this sentence and repeat it.


Media to be attached: 




One common thing I’ve observed with people with great vocabulary is that they love to read. From newspapers & magazines to all kinds of books, reading is an essential part of their daily lives, and this is how they develop vocabulary. People often argue that the world is moving towards digital media like YouTube, and they can learn new words from watching movies and videos online. Is this true? It is, but only to a limited extent. Always remember that recreational media is graded for easy understanding by everyone, and this is why media often avoids the use of advanced vocabulary. However, when you are reading, you come across many new and challenging words that can help your communication and take it to a whole new level. One important thing to remember is that you need to have a clear objective while reading. You’re not just reading for leisure, you’re reading to improve your vocabulary


Now, the most important question! While reading, how do you remember the important words?

  1. You either keep a highlighter and make a note of all the new words and phrases you come across.
  2. You can also note them on your phone. I wouldn’t personally suggest that because we all know that you’re going to get distracted with your WhatsApp and Instagram notifications, been there experienced that! 

To help you develop this gracious habit of reading, here is my list of 10 books to read to improve your vocabulary and learn some fantastic phrases! (We’ll write an article and insert the link here) If you end up reading any of these books, tag me on Instagram/Twitter and let me know which one turned out to be your favorite.  




When I say the word “coffee,” what comes to your mind? My mind thinks about the aroma, the feeling of warmth, and an amazing latte art in a cup. Why is it so? Because our mind loves to associate objects and abstract ideas to words. We can learn a lot of new and interesting words following this associative nature of our minds. 

  • Visualization technique

As the name suggests, in this technique, you visualize and fill your imagination with relevant ideas surrounding the word. For example, a cheesecake or a gulab jamun. Now, let’s see a photo of both of them below.

The moment you see these photos, you start craving for desserts and your mind simply can imagine the objects we are talking about. 




Shadowing is a very simple technique of improving your pronunciation, tonation and vocabulary- all with one technique! The word in itself may sound mysterious, but all you do here is practice listening to your own voice! What we really do here is we write a sentence we want to practice. It may include new words that you want to learn, for example: blend together, mix well, spoken naturally. Why are we using these words together? Because native speakers use the combinations so well and so often that we get a sense of which word to use. Word association. So let’s get to it. This is our sentence (in case you still haven’t written one by yourself.) 

Blend together the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl.

Record yourself saying this, and play it back. Now try repeating what you hear. This, my friend, is shadowing. Some other sentences that you can practice are: 

  1. That’s such a cumbersome task.
  2. He’s such an avid reader.




As a language trainer and a communication coach, I practice and learn new things everyday. And while practicing my vocabulary, one of the first and foremost things that I started doing was “thinking” in english. I would think in english, talk to myself in english sentences and practice it with my friends, family, colleagues and wherever possible. When it comes to  thinking in english, we often feel that it’s too difficult or we don’t know enough english words to form a sentence. So this is where I make “thinking in english” easier for you with a few tips: 




Let’s keep things simple and take the first step of looking at our surroundings and identifying each noun and verb. Everything in single words, no sentences, nothing complicated. For example: pollution (noun), chirping (verb) etc. You may very well be able to easily identify nouns, so let’s take it to a level up. Let’s identify which nouns are countable, and uncountable nouns. And then identify verbs and also find out which verbs can act as gerunds. We’re not only learning new words, we are also learning parts of speech.


Similarly, when you’re reading a book or anything else. Separate each difficult or new word, identify it if it’s a noun, gerund, verb, or something else. Also, remember its meaning as well.




Another effective method of learning new words is by first identifying the objects in your mind and then describing them even if you don’t know their name. This helps beginners a lot. For example let’s take the word “kitchen”. If you see your kitchen, but you’re not able to recall the exact name for it, you can describe it as, “Place where I cook food”. :The place where I was 10 minutes ago”. This technique helps learners of any language to master and improve their vocabulary.




This might be strange, but is a very effective technique to practice learning new words, phrases and sentences. For example you’re in a market, you can tell yourself things like, “It’s such a busy place.” “I’ve so many options to choose from.”

You can gradually move to difficult sentences and can imagine talking to somebody stating all these facts and things around you. You can introduce a sentence and think of a possible reply to it. Practicing these techniques all the time without worrying  too much if what you’re saying is absolutely correct or not. The broad idea is for you to build context around the new words you’re learning and adding relevant information to it, which you’re going to use commonly.




What generally happens is we don’t set a personal goal and tell ourselves how much is enough or how much is too less. We need to set definite goals. For example, practice at least one hour every day. When you’re practicing learning vocabulary every day, over and over again, step by step that’s the key. We’ve to make it a habit to learn something new and use what we’ve learnt before every day. One of the ways you can practice effectively is by forming groups that share the same goal of learning English. Share the words or phrases you’ve learnt everyday and you can as well practice speaking with your group mates which will further help you with the correct pronunciation and help you produce language. Your peers will learn new words and in exchange you’ll learn something new everyday.



Last in this article, but not the least. As a matter of fact the most important. When you practice all these exercises and techniques there will be many words and phrases that you do not know. And at some point you will have to use a dictionary. If you’re at a level where you can use English to English dictionary, I would strongly suggest using one. If you keep a notebook with yourself it really helps. Alternatively you can make notes in your phone, but I think writing the words and their meanings help your mind register and remember the meanings better, and of course you don’t get distracted by your Instagram notifications.

With these tips, I hope you are able to successfully improve your vocabulary, just make sure you give it due time and patience. Learning vocabulary can be very intimidating for some and if you feel that you’re failing or struggling, understand that every step of this learning process is bringing you one step closer to fluent english! It may take longer but with the right goals, lots of practice and positive attitude, you’ll reach there in no time.


Like this article? Learn vocabulary or prepare for competitive exams like IELTS with courses and programs designed specially for you! Click here for details. 

For more fun tips on vocabulary, speech and other English related topics, follow me on Instagram and YouTube.


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