Can Reading Improve Your Vocabulary? Here’s What to Know!

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You may have heard that reading can improve your vocabulary and help you learn a language. Learning a language is time-consuming so finding new ways to increase your vocabulary is really useful. So can reading improve your vocabulary? 

Reading regularly improves your vocabulary. Reading is a great resource that can help you to learn advanced words you haven’t mastered yet. Reading can help you to understand the phonetics of a language which makes it easier to speak.

You can’t expect to improve your vocabulary in five minutes by reading a sentence phonetically. But phonetics can help you to increase your vocabulary in your everyday life. Learn more about how reading can improve your vocabulary with our advice.

You Can Improve Your Vocabulary by Reading

Reading books appropriate to your reading level can help you to accelerate the buildup of vocabulary, understand grammar rules, and improve your writing. 

You can read anything, and it will help to improve your vocabulary. Slang and local phrases can be picked up more easily by reading fiction books.

It is common for faster-paced stories to contain more dialogue between characters. Take your time when reading but lookout for new words and also common words characters are using.

While you are reading what you don’t know, you should mark the words that you are unsure of their meaning or usage. Use a pencil or highlighter, so you can come back to the words later. Grab a dictionary or find one online to check what new words mean.

A dictionary is your secret weapon to improving your vocabulary quickly. When you check for the word meaning you’ll notice some sentences which explain the usage of a word. Read these and compare them with the book you found it in.

It’s a very active way of learning new words and being able to use them in your speech.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Create a Reading Habit for Improving Vocabulary

Read at your level

If you do not have a huge vocabulary or read often, don’t start with more advanced materials. Begin with newspapers. They’re easier to read and each section is smaller, so it takes up less time.

It’s important to take chances in reading, to encompass topics you might not understand yet but are useful in your learning. Once you allow yourself to become comfortable with books of topics you don’t understand, you will be more confident when navigating topics you do.

Read about what interests you

Learn by reading things relating to topics you are interested in. Otherwise, you may find it harder to focus when the topic bores you. 

You could also read about something you are planning on pursuing in the future. Either way, the goal should be to read something in which you are interested, to improve your vocabulary and the context of the content.

Read often

If you want to be a productive person, you should set a reading schedule for each day and make it a habit to read every day, whether or not you have plans.

Reading doesn’t require much effort. If you can find the time to read for 30 minutes every day your vocabulary will start improving quickly. Of course, you won’t be able to read every single day but if you can make this into a habit you’ll be picking things up in no time.

Reading Improves Your Grammar

Grammar has a lot of rules that need to be followed. They won’t make sense immediately to a beginner, particularly if they are learning a second language.

The preposition words like at, in, of, and to can be used in many different ways by themselves. Any beginner would struggle to understand at first. But by reading you’ll be able to naturally understand where one of these words fits into a sentence.

When you are reading, your brain is strengthening correct grammar rules as you develop fluency. Reading out loud helps to lock in what you’ve been learning.

Grammar activity books can be used to help understand the basics. To create a deeper understanding you need to support this with additional reading and listening. Although grammar exercises can be a valuable tool to learn, reading real books is better in the long term.

Reading Improves Your Writing

The fastest way to improve your writing and vocabulary is to learn from published authors and read their work. Learning how to structure paragraphs, construct arguments, build sentences, and transition between paragraphs are skills you’ll gain from reading a lot.

If you have a favorite author, read as much of their work as you can. Try to emulate their style of writing and create a dialogue between two characters. How do they use slang in their work? If you can master your favorite author’s style it will help you to develop your own. 

What Other Methods Can Improve Vocabulary?

If reading isn’t your preferred way to learn vocabulary then there are other methods. For example, you could learn by listening to other people talk. Here are some more great ways to improve your vocabulary:

Playing word games – Word games like Scrabble or Boggle can help to improve your vocabulary. Make a list of the words you learned playing these games, and refer back to them from time to time.

Word of the day – Get yourself a word of the day calendar or notebook. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a daily feed on the internet. Learn what the word is and how to use it in a sentence. 

Flashcards – You can either use physical cards or download an app on your phone. Aim for one new word a day as this is reasonable and manageable. You can go for more, but it may be difficult to learn multiple words every single day.

Practice, Practice, Practice – You can reinforce your vocabulary as well as your conversational skills by finding a word that is interesting in your reading and using that word as a part of a conversation. With a bit of trial and error, you can practice your word choice and perfect your abilities.

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