How to Improve Your Vocabulary as an Advanced English Learner
Building a deep and unique vocabulary is an excellent tool for your future English capabilities. A broad vocabulary helps you be precise with your speech and is an excellent way to keep your brain healthy and sharp.
Imagine you’re in a job interview and can describe yourself with strong, powerful words like productive, motivated or enthusiastic. This will leave a much better impression than using simple words like good or smart.
While explaining some words is a great strategy for the beginner to the intermediate learner, as an advanced speaker, you want to be taking advantage of a full and healthy base of English vocabulary words. You want to be able to say exactly what you mean with precision.
As an advanced speaker with a deep vocabulary, you’ll be able to pinpoint your exact feelings, motivations and desires. Even better, if you’re able to use native phrases and expressions to describe your emotions you’ll leave a lasting impression on people.
There are even some unique English words that will make you sound like a genius. This kind of vocabulary will make even a native speaker step back and think, wow, this person knows their English!
So, how do we reach this level? How do we cement this language in our minds?
Well, let’s take a look at a few strategies below.
Develop a “Deep Study” Habit
Take one central topic or one vocabulary word and then think about all the different ways to talk about it.
For example, if we start with the word happy, we can make a list of several advanced English ways of saying happy including synonyms, expressions, idioms, and sayings. You can take the same approach with any word or concept.
Here’s another example: start with the English concept of “luck.” You can dive deep into the English language of luck. You can look at history, superstitions, expressions, phrases, and words that all relate to this central concept. All this “deep study” helps create a map in our minds and helps us naturally learn vocabulary.
Find Memorization Techniques That Work for You
Memorization techniques are one of the most effective ways to learn hard English words. You can use visualization strategies or memory devices to help learn and remember complex English vocabulary.
This approach is especially important if you have an exam or project and are required to learn a specific amount of vocabulary words in a short period.
Increase Your Exposure to English Vocabulary
The more time you spend reading and listening to English, the more vocabulary you’ll learn.
Take music, for example. There are many examples of advanced English vocabulary from famous English songs. You can use music to boost vocabulary by taking advantage of lyrics, repetition and context. By simply introducing English music into your daily routine, you’ll increase your ability to speak like a native speaker.
Movies, TV, books and the news are other great ways to increase your vocabulary exposure.
Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you understand every single word in your English study materials, it’s time to find new materials.
There are many ways to get out of your comfort zone. You can choose to study a different type of English like business or technical English. You can start to speak with native speakers from around the world..
A great tip is to notify your native speaking partner that you’re in the process of learning advanced vocabulary. They can consciously try to use more advanced vocabulary when you’re speaking together.