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.