Ways to practise vocabulary

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen several ways to maximise the amount of vocabulary you learn and remember. This week we focus on turning language you know into language you actually use.  It takes time and repetition to move vocabulary into your long-term memory and to ‘activate’ it so that you have it ready when you need it.

Image courtesy of Leonard John Mathews

Interactive language games are an excellent way to train your brain to use more of the English you know. Browse through some of the sites listed below and find the activities that suit you.

1. The British Council website has a large selection of word games to help increase your recall speed. One of my favourites is called Pic-your-wits – try it by clicking on the image:


2. You will find a huge variety of games at Vocabulary.co.il – there is something there for everyone from beginner to advanced.


3. For upper-intermediate and advanced students, Vocabulary.com offers a personalised program of study that is based on challenging quizzes. It requires you to sign-up, but it’s a free service and it shows you how you are progressing as your knowledge of English words grows. This page explains how it works.


While games and quizzes are an excellent tool to help you study, you’ll need to make an effort to use your new language when speaking if you want to increase your fluency. One way to do this is to keep a short list of words and phrases that you want to experiment with each week. Try working them into conversations, or thinking about what topics and situations they would be appropriate for.

Do you have any suggestions that might help other students who want to build their vocabulary? If you do, leave a comment below so that we can share as many ideas as possible!


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