Language is constantly changing and growing. You can always learn new vocabulary whether you’re in elementary school or retired. Words help you communicate better and more precisely. They also help you to better understand the world around you. You may become confused by books or scientific papers with high vocabulary or find it difficult to participate in some conversations with a limited vocabulary. However, learning vocab doesn’t have to be memorizing a bunch of words on a list. Here are a few visual tools that will build your vocab while making it enjoyable.
- Learning Online
In the age of electronics, websites and apps are readily available to help you learn your vocab. Using these, you can build a visual dictionary in your mind, especially if you use Visual Dictionary Online which provides pictures to each word. Confusing Words give you a collection of words that are commonly misused in writing or confused in reading. Vocab Grabber is another great way that analyzes a text you are reading and generates a vocab list from it while also giving you the context of those words. Vocabulary.com is both an app and a website where you can look up words on the go or build a list of words to learn.
- Post-it Note Word Association
Word association is one of the best ways to learn new definitions. You can use sticky notes, the place you live, and a pen to start learning words today. For example, to remember that “lethargic” means without energy or alertness, you might put the sticky note on your bed as you may feel lethargic going to bed or getting up in the morning. Writing words down will help you remember them, but attaching a visual object to its explanation can help you remember even better.
- Comic Strips
While you may not think comic strips can help you learn vocabulary, reading anything can build your language skills. Comic strips have the added benefit of giving pictorial context to the word you are trying to learn which, for visual learners, can help you connect the two in your mind. Better yet, draw your own cartoon and fill in the speech bubbles with words you have recently learned. This combines your visual and kinesthetic learning so that the word is cemented in your brain.
- Playing Games
We all played a few word games as kids, but there are still options to have fun while also expanding your vocabulary. The first option is word puzzles. Even if you keep the difficulty on easy, word puzzles will offer you a multitude of words that you may not know. These new words can spark your interest to find out what they mean. Crossword puzzles also offer definitions or word clues for you to puzzle out which word is meant to fit. Pictionary is another fun game that you can get your family or friends involved with to learn vocabulary. They probably won’t even realize all the words they’re learning! If you want to get creative, make your own Pictionary cards from the vocabulary lists you’ve created.
- Write It in Context
Writing something down has long been backed by research as the equivalent to reading something seven times. This means that if you wrote a word down seven times, that would be like reading it 49 times. It’s obvious that just writing something down is more likely to help you remember. However, writing the word in a context of a sentence will help you remember the meaning as well as give you practice for when you use it in the real world.
You should make sure you don’t overload your brain with new words. Learning breaks give your mind a chance to form new pathways and cement the visual dictionary inside your brain. Word learning doesn’t have to be hard. Visual learning tools can help you build a better vocabulary without making it feel painful or repetitive so stop stalling and start learning more words today.