1. Read, read, and read.
The more you read – especially novels, but also magazines and newspapers – the more words you'll learn. As you read and uncover new words, try to work out the meaning from the sentence as well as from looking up the definition in a dictionary. Write down new words. Your vocabulary will sky rocket!
2. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy.
Use whatever versions you prefer – in print, software, or online. A good quality dictionary is one hundred times better than google translate, and electronic ones are quick! When you uncover a new word, look it up in the dictionary to get both its pronunciation and its meaning(s). Next, go to the thesaurus and find similar words and phrases – and their opposites (synonyms and antonyms).
3. Build your own dictionary.
It's a very good idea to write down the new words you discover. Just by writing them down you will start to recognise the words when you read. Plus, keeping a dictionary of all your new words will give you the confidence to learn even more words – especially when you can see how many new words you've already learnt.
4. Learn a word a day.
Using a word a day calendar, a website, or develop your own list of words to learn. This is a great technique many people use to learn new words. Don't feel you must learn a new word every day.
5. Play some games.
Word games that challenge you and help you discover new meanings and new words are a great tool for expanding your vocabulary. Examples include crossword puzzles, anagrams, word jumble, Scrabble, and Boggle.
6. Don't try to remember words alone
It is better (and easier) to learn new vocabulary by giving them some context. One way to do this is to remember words in a sentence. This is a great option because you will not only know the word, but you will also know exactly how to use it in conversation.
Another option is to remember words by groups. If you just learned the word “humongous” (very large), you can memorize it by thinking of a group of words getting bigger and bigger – large, huge, humongous.
7. Engage in conversations.
Simply talking with other people can help you learn discover new words. As with reading, once you hear a new word, remember to jot it down so that you can study it later – and then slowly add the new word to your vocabulary.