COURSEAwesome tips to improve your IELTS Vocabulary:
“Why is vocabulary important in the IELTS exam?”
The IELTS exam includes 4 sections – Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. The only parameter common among all these sections is vocabulary. To successfully achieve a desired band score, one must be ready for the IELTS with a lot of preparation, which includes understanding the test, knowing the strategies, and practicing. In addition to this, you need to have a strong grip on vocabulary since it is important for the reading section, the listening section, to write a good essay and for being able to speak imposingly in the speaking test.
To acquaint yourself and to become familiar with new words, you have to expose yourself to the usage of a new word many times. So here are a few methods which will help you incorporate new words into your vocabulary.
- Read, read, and read!
Reading is very important for the preparation of the IELTS exam since it helps in increasing your English fluency as well as pronunciation. So you have to start practicing reading books, novels, articles, journals, newspapers etc., and also about topics that might seem interesting like Food, gardening, fashion, celebrity news, economics, science, politics, etc. While reading you may get exposed to new words in various contexts. Look up the meanings of these new words in a dictionary and practice using them in your everyday speech. This helps in building your vocabulary.
- Use English to English dictionary and thesaurus to understand and look for new words.
Start using hard copies or online versions such as dictionary.com and thesaurus.com. When you encounter a new word, look it up in the dictionary. Online dictionaries help you find the definition and also let you hear the pronunciation. Do not just use these dictionaries to translate the meaning into your native language. Use them to look for the meanings in English since they will help you integrate the words into your English mental library. You should make yourself capable to think of a word in English, and not in your own language. Use the thesaurus to find synonyms of new words. This helps you remember the alternate words for a single word.
- Use a vocabulary journal to keep a record of all the new words that you have come across.
Use a small notebook that you keep with you all the time where you record new words that you hear or read. This lets you revise and look for words when you want to use them.
You may categorize the words together that relate to a similar topic to make it easier to remember and relate them. These classifications could be food, hobbies, nature, society, etc.
- List the different forms of the words in your journal.
A dictionary usually provides you with the different word forms. For example noun, verb, adjective and adverb form, as well as the past participle. So, list the different forms of the new words in your journal. Let’s take the word “arrange”. It is a verb. The noun form is “arrangement”, the adjective is “arrange able” and the past participle is “arranged”. Now you know 4 new words instead of one! This might help influence the IELTS examiner and increase your mental word bank.
- Write, write, and write!
Writing helps to drill in new words into your memory. When we do not use new words very often, we only understand them and forget to use them in our everyday speech. Writing assists in correcting this condition. So write sentences using the new word in two or more of its word forms. An even better option is to integrate reading and listening with writing by writing a short summary of an article you have read or listened to using 2 or 3 new words from the article in their various forms.
Listening helps you understand the various contexts in which the new words are used and also accustom you with their pronunciation. Watch music videos or short movie clips aired on the television or on the internet with English subtitles. When you hear a word that you are not familiar with, or have difficulty in pronunciation, play it again and sound it out. Programs like Ted ESL and Ted Ed are great sources for interesting and inspiring talks on a variety of subjects. You can watch videos and read the transcripts to see the spelling of new words that you hear in the talks. This will help you understand the pronunciation of words, their usage in different contexts, and also how they are spelt.
- Learn a word a day.
Check online dictionaries for a new word each day with its definition, pronunciation and word form and example sentences. Add them to your journal list and use them in your journal writing and IELTS writing practice. Frame example sentences on your own pertaining to different contexts. This helps retaining the new word in your memory.
Include the new words into your everyday discussions. Talk to your friends, family or colleagues about a movie you saw or an article you read in newspapers or a magazine, using the new words you learned that day or that week. The best way to remember words is to use them! This will enhance your vocabulary and make these words a part of your mental dictionary. By using the new words, your speaking fluency will increase which will assist you in the IELTS Speaking test and also in your everyday speech.