Most vocabulary words are learned from context. The more words you’re exposed to, the better vocabulary you will have. While you read, pay close attention to words you don’t know. First, try to figure out their meanings from context. Then look the words up. Read and listen to challenging material so that you’ll be exposed to many new words.
Spend a little time (5 – 15 minutes) studying vocabulary every night.
Use flashcards to practice.
Read the word and its definition aloud a number of times for oral repetition.
Make an effort to use your new vocabulary in your every day speech.
Use context clues to find the meaning of unknown words in readings.
Use a mnemonic device to remember acronyms.
Build sentences with vocabulary to practice using the words.
Put your vocabulary words to music or in art work.
Study and quiz with a classmate.
Practice, practice, practice. Learning a word won’t help very much if you promptly forget it. Research shows that it takes from 10 to 20 repetitions to really make a word part of your vocabulary. It helps to write the word – both the definition and a sentence you make up using the word – perhaps on an index card that can later be reviewed. As soon as you learn a new word, start using it.