Three Tips to Help You Expand Your Vocabulary

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  1. Expose yourself to as many new words as possible
    If you want to expand your vocabulary, it is important to actively expose yourself to unfamiliar words. One way of doing this is by reading as much as possible. As long as you focus on building your vocabulary, you don’t necessarily have to read books. From food packets, to road signs, to Buzzfeed, we each read a huge variety of words as we go about our day to day lives. We also expose ourselves to words by watching television and online videos, by listening to the radio or podcasts, and in conversations.

    Try to be conscious of the information you are processing. When you come across a new word, see if you can work out its meaning through the context it is used in. Does it sound like or is it spelt like any other words you know? Note down the words and look them up in the dictionary when you have a free moment.
  2. Set yourself goals and keep a word log
    Whether you choose to learn three new words a day or ten new words a week, set yourself a goal and stick to it. It is also useful to keep a log of the new words you learn. As well as helping to track your progress, the act of writing down words will help fix them in your memory.

    Here at Spellzone, we recommend learning spelling using as many senses as possible. You can use the same techniques when building your vocabulary. As you learn new words, pay attention to the sounds of the syllables and the shapes of the letters. Try and make a link between the new word and another word you already know. It might also help to come up with a visual image to link the word to as a memory trigger. While our tips for creating mnemonics focus on spelling, many of the methods can be applied to learning and memorising vocabulary as well.
  3. Practise, practise, practise! (Practice, practice, practice! in the US)
    The best thing you can do to expand your vocabulary is practise using new words as often as you can.

    After you look up a word, try and come up with three different sentences with it in. This is especially useful if a word has multiple meanings. You may want to copy out the definition of the word in your log book and then write your three sentences underneath it.

    Look for opportunities to use new words in conversation. It might help to ask a friend or family member to practise with you – they may even end up improving their own vocabulary along the way!

    If a new word is a synonym of a word you already know and use regularly, commit to saying or writing the new word in place of the old one until you are comfortable and confident using it. Soon it will become a part of your vocabulary and you will find yourself using it without thinking about it.

Have a good week!

21 Feb 2018
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"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill