It is important for language students to learn vocabulary. And it is equally important for students to practice the listening skill. After all, listening and speaking always develops hand-in-hand. But how exactly can a language student practice and increase vocabulary in English? And at the same time, develop listening skills?

While it is true that there are no shortcuts to learning, it can always be made easier. If you’re one of the language learners who struggle to increase vocabulary in English, here are some tips that may help.

Make a list of unfamiliar vocabulary in English.

Whenever you encounter an unfamiliar word, it would help if you include it in a list. Making a list is not just for people who need to do their grocery shopping. A list helps with remembering. So if you encounter a new word, less you forget, it is better to include it in a list.

Use these words in a conversation.

It is not enough to make a list of all the new words you encounter. You have to put them in practice. Try injecting these words into your daily conversations. After all, practice makes perfect. And by practicing with this new vocabulary in English every time you can, you’ll be a master English speaker soon.

Keep a diary.

So, you’re done making your list and talking with your peers using these new words. Now, it’s time to take another step further by writing with them. The best option to practice your writing is by keeping a diary. Diaries are personal and are actually meant to be locked up in secret. Here, you can make mistakes that you’d rather skip in a daily conversation.

Diaries are also useful if you’re the type of person who prefers to keep track of progress. You can always read back on some of your earlier entries to see how far you’ve advanced when it comes to mastering the English language.

Listen to English songs.

Another thing you can do is to listen to English songs. Listening is fundamental to language development. So it is no surprise that listening to English songs can help greatly in language learning. Of course, you have to listen to music with lyrics (just in case you didn’t catch that). Most pop songs contain lyrics that are easy enough to understand. It’s easy to remember them because of repetition.

If you want a challenge, you can try out rap music. You’ll not only increase your vocabulary, you’ll be practicing your enunciation and pronunciation as well.

Watch English shows.

If you’re not into music, you can try watching English shows instead. Some students find watching English-language films and television series a big help. Students not only learn new vocabulary in English, they are also exposed to the context of the word or phrase. There are plenty of English-language shows to fit any mood, so it is also a great activity to pass the time.

Build vocabulary in English by reading.

vocabulary in english
Reading is F-U-N-damental!

Of course! Nothing beats reading in building vocabulary in English. Language students are encouraged to read at least one book a month. There are a lot of English-language books to suite everyone’s taste. Non-readers can start exploring comic books. However, if one wants to learn about the nuances of the English language and grammar, reading literary classics is the way to go. Poetry books are also a great option.

Find a buddy to practice with.

It is always better to learn with a partner, most especially if you’re learning a new language. Increasing your vocabulary in English is no exception. Experience is also a great teacher. Try to find a buddy to practice using new vocabulary with. It would be great if you can find a native English speaker to practice with. This does not just serve as practice, but as a learning opportunity as well. Since a native English speaker can correct your pronunciation on the spot. Having regular interactions would greatly speed up the process of both learning and increasing vocabulary.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

It is important to know when to ask questions. And when it comes on how to increase vocabulary in English, asking questions is essential. When you encounter an unfamiliar word, it is best to ask clarifications. Never hesitate to ask for the meaning, use, and even proper pronunciation of a new word.

Increase Your Listening Skills

Another thing that could greatly help increase vocabulary in English is having better listening skills. So, how does one level-up their listening skills? Here are some tips you can follow:

Avoid any distraction.

To be a better listener, one must stay away from distractions. You cannot pay attention if you are surrounded by noisy seatmates, or while constantly being distracted by loud noises. When attending a convention or a class, sitting near the front is better that sitting at the back. You’re not only sitting closer to the speaker, but you can focus your attention better.

Try to maintain eye contact.

Maintaining eye contact is one way to maintain focus. Whether it is a group or a one-on-one conversation, good eye contact shows two things. First, it shows that you’re paying attention. Secondly, maintaining eye contact also shows that you’re interested.

Listen to understand, not to interrupt.

vocabulary in english
When in a conversation, try to stay in the moment by paying attention. Do not let your mind wander.

A lot of people listen just for the sake of giving an answer. This means that half of all misunderstandings happen just because someone failed to listen. When you listen to understand, you are not only giving your fullest attention.  You are also showing whoever you’re talking to that what they are saying is important.

Do not be afraid to ask questions and clarifications as well. Since asking questions also signifies that you’re paying attention. Plus, it shows that you’re attentive to what is being said.

Pay attention to body language

A good listener is also a good observer. A person’s actions tell half of what the person truly means. Once you learn how to understand those that are unspoken, you will become a great listener.

To increase vocabulary in English, and to have good listening skills are usually tied together. In other words, if you want to increase vocabulary in English, you must also strive to develop your listening skills.

So, how about it? What do you think of these tips? Did you learn something new? Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.