1. Use a thesaurus

When you learn a new word, look it up in a thesaurus as well as a dictionary. That way, you will find out the synonyms of the word. Maybe you will know some of them already, maybe there will be some words you haven’t heard of before. Either way, it will help your understanding of the word, and give you some new words too.

2. Write down new words

Carry a notebook, or use your phone, to write down new words when you discover them – probably a tip you have heard before, but definitely a useful one.

3. Set daily targets

Try to learn 3 new words a day – some people recommend 5, but we think 3 is the magic number. 3 words are easier for you to remember, and more manageable. Carry the words with you in your pocket or wallet, so they are easily accessed and you can look at them wherever you are.

4. Use images

After you have discovered the meaning of a new word, try to find some images of it, so that you can associate a picture with the word. Google Images is great for this.

5. Create mind maps

Take a central theme, such as Time, and list down all the words, phrases and idioms you associate with it, such as ‘clocks’, ‘minutes’, ‘on-time’, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. This will help you to create links between words and categorise your vocabulary.


About ingwhiz

We are a couple, half English and half Indonesian. Corinne is an experienced teacher. She has taught in a well-known English school and has been a Director of Study. She has taught English to many top companies and government organisations in Indonesia. Currently, she works in an International school in Jakarta, teaching English to children. Giri has lots of experience working in many different areas of a language school, and of learning English. He knows how difficult it is! Currently he works for a leading English language school in Jakarta. We hope you find our blog useful!

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