This page goes hand in hand with my post on expanding your vocabulary as your 80/20 guide to English vocabulary learning.
Once you have a list of new words – you need to find ways to use them to make them an active part of your speech.
The key? Use the words again and again!
Below I list suggestions on how to find opportunities to practice your English-including one which led me to practice the Queen’s English with Prince Andrew over dinner.
Keep reading to find out which one…
Keep a Diary
You don’t have to tell the truth or record actual events. Just keep a diary in which you actively use the words you have learnt.
The repetition of using your new vocabulary will soon make the words a part of your active speech.
If you have not mastered new vocabulary – you should not try to use the words on test day.
Attempting to use words you learned a couple of days ago will likely result in hesitation.
Pausing affects your Fluency and Coherence and Pronunciation scores.
Create a Quiz
Creating your own quiz helps to ensure you embed new vocabulary in your memory.
Create sentences which contains one of the new words you have learnt – then create a gap by deleting the word.
Read the sentences often and fill in the ______.
This exercise will help you to use the words you have learnt almost without thinking.
Treat a Friend to a Meal
Create your own English corner in a restaurant or pub.
Offer to buy your friend a meal or a drink on one condition – they agree to speak English the whole time.
As well as appearing generous, you get to practice vocabulary you have learnt in a fun setting.
The more you use a word, the more readily you will recall it.
Nope – this isn’t the technique which led me to have dinner with Prince Andrew 🙂
Join a Club
Many cities have an English-speaking club or organisation.
Try Googling ‘English speaking organisations’ and the name of your locality to see if you can find one near you.
You never know who you might meet! As the Executive Director of the Mongolian chapter of the English-Speaking Union, I received an invite to have dinner with Prince Andrew.
Eight of us attended – which meant we all had a chance to practice our Queen’s English.
Get Online English Lessons
If you live in a remote area – there is hope!
Many people offer English conversation online. You do not even need to hire a qualified native speaker. Your goal should just be to find someone you can talk to.
For more expert tuition focused on the IELTS test, contact us!
Join an Online Discussion Group
Many Facebook groups communicate in English.
You might even find an expat group for your area that would value the help and advice of a local.
Go to Facebook and search either for groups in your area or around one of your interests.
Apps & Flashcards for English Vocabulary Learning
These days apps can help you to create digital flashcards.
These allow you to review your vocabulary whenever you have a spare minute.
The best apps include an algorithm which monitors how quickly you forget words. They then calculate the optimal review rate for you so that you see the words just before you might have forgotten them.
Two that my students have recommended are Memrise and Anki.
For advice on how to find new vocabulary visit our How to Expand Your Vocabulary page.
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