Great vocabulary is essential for the success in all the TOEFL activities. Writing, reading, grammar and listening sections will be more efficiently completed when your active vocabulary comprises a wide range of words, phrases and collocations.
In order to build up your vocabulary, you need to have fun and enjoy the process. The following tips will help you in effective learning new vocabulary:
1. Read a lot but choose the material that interests you. Try to diversify the styles of the books you read, but do not take literature that bores you from the beginning – reading such materials won’t bring any fruitful results.
2. Check the meaning of the unknown words in the dictionary. It is useful to try and guess the meaning of the words from the context first, but checking whether or not you are right is essential.
3. When you hear any unknown word from somebody speaking, remember it and then look it up in the dictionary. It is even better to ask the speaker what the word means, usually people are eager to share with you their knowledge and respect those who want to know more and are not afraid to ask.
4. Using software products and programs on building power vocabulary (the most essential and necessary vocabulary usually to a certain topic) will save time in comparison to the old-fashioned ways of learning words.
5. Newly learned words must be practices as soon as possible either in conversation, or in written form (e-mail, letter). You can even talk with yourself using this word – the main thing is that you activate your knowledge.
6. Highlight or circle the words you have already learned in the dictionary you use. In this way you will review them (even without being conscious of it) every time you will open this page of the dictionary to find another word.
7. Choose several words to try and use it as many times during the day as you can. The next day choose another group of words for the same activity.
8. During the classes of English language or even after it with the friends that also study English play word games – enjoy and learn!
9. Have specific goals. For example, choose a topic or some sphere which the vocabulary you learn during a week will concern. Change it the next week or improve it when you feel it is necessary. Be sure to reward yourself as you achieve the goals you set.
10. When trying to remember words apply your imagination. Picture in your head the word, make some analogies or stories with the word. It is most effortless but very enjoyable and effective in remembering words.
The last and most important tip is to choose the methods that best suit you and use them as often as possible.