Although you may be undertaking a formal course at an English language school, Australia offers many informal and spontaneous opportunities to increase your vocabulary. By taking advantage of the formal education, as well as a range of different exercises available to you, it is possible to effectively and rapidly increase your English vocabulary.
In this technologically advanced age, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to online learning opportunities. While face-to-face education — such as the kind delivered in a formal English course (Melbourne and other Australian cities offer an impressive range of quality courses) — is usually the most effective way to increase your command of the language and English vocabulary, this can be positively supplemented with online activities.
The great news is that many credible sites of excellent quality offer resources free of charge; other sites do charge for access and resources.
So, what can you expect to find and do online that will increase your English vocabulary?
Many online resources are so effective because they have been created to be fun, challenging and educational. These include:
Games — The Internet features many fabulous vocabulary-building games. These games are fun to play and students simultaneously acquire skills in using and understanding the English language. Games that challenge students to complete particular tasks before proceeding to the next level are especially effective. Even students who may approach online learning with some trepidation tend to find themselves addicted to the challenge while learning a lot of useful vocabulary building skills.
Word puzzles — Puzzles that encourage students to work out particular words before entering them into a puzzle are often a great way to build English vocabulary. Similarly, ‘mad libs’ style activities that require students to complete sentences and passages with appropriate (and sometimes even humorous) words are a great way to expand knowledge of the English language and build vocabulary and linguistic confidence.
Tests — Online tests are plentiful in number and have the advantage of allowing students to test their knowledge without the pressure of a formal assessment task. Such tests vary in nature and format, but multiple choice style questions are an effective way to practise and measure vocabulary. They also have the benefit of providing students with an almost instant assessment of their answers.
Activities — Both online and offline, students can find a range of exercises that can be undertaken daily to increase their English vocabulary. For example, students can undertake tasks that involve:
- Describing processes
- Describing subjects of interest (such as movies, famous people, business trends, video games)
- Compiling a list of adjectives to describe characters or people and their behaviours
- Translating passages from their native language into English and then analysing these passages
- Preparing a horoscope for their zodiac sign. This task can assist students to build their vocabulary in terms of personality traits
- Giving words that have an opposite or similar meaning to words from a list
Explore the dictionary — While it may not outwardly seem a very exciting task, finding out the etymology (the history and origin of words) can be a great way to add new words to your vocabulary and become familiar with their definitions.
Talk, talk, talk — One of the most effective ways to increase your English vocabulary and confidence with the language is to talk to native speakers as often as possible. No matter whether you are completing a Diploma of Business or a game design course, be committed to practising your speech and try to expand the range of words that you use in conversation. Don’t worry too much if you initially misuse words — ask your speaking partner to assist you with the correct use.
There are many exercises that can be done on a daily basis to increase your English vocabulary. Technology has opened up many new possibilities for learning in this regard, while speaking to native speakers as often as possible is still one of the best ways to improve the way you use the English language.