Benefits of Expanding Your Vocabulary

BENEFITS OF EXPANDING YOUR VOCABULARY

I know we can all remember back to the time when we had to take spelling class and learn vocabulary. Some of you may be going through that currently. I don’t remember it ever being any fun, however, if I would have known the importance of learning words and expanding my vocabulary when I was younger, I would have spent more time learning words when I had the chance. We can all benefit from an extended vocabulary.

Words carry so much meaning and influence depending on the individual using it. Words, terms, and ideas help shape our understanding of the world around us. Some are so powerful, the thought of a word moves us emotionally. As an actor, words carry different but similar purposes. For an actor, each character comes with a unique set of vocabulary. It is the job of an actor to adapt, to BECOME that character. The ability to portray the actor and its attributes accurately will depend on your understanding of the language and its use to define the reality of the characters and communicate that reality.

CREATE A POSITIVE HABIT

With any modification of behavior, habits are the binding force for anything we do; positive or negative. Expanding your vocabulary through habitual actions, over time, will become natural, expected, fun, and challenging. Even learning one word a day will mean 365 new words learned every year.  The aim of this brief article is to point you in the direction of helpful resources that will help you begin to expand your language tool box so that when a character comes along that requires a certain kind of vocabulary, you are fully armed with the tools that character needs in order to come to life.

It is said, a new habit takes about 40 days to kick in. Doesn’t matter which habit we are speaking about either. Learning language has always been a passion of mine. What prompted my interest in the writing of this article is my own personal desire to create a habit of learning a new word each day.

WORD OF THE DAY APP – One of the greatest benefits of living in today’s world is the availability and advancement of technology and our ability to have whatever information we need when we need it. One “App” I have started using is “Word of the Day”. You can download it from your app store and within minutes you will learning a new word each day with a reminder. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

DICTIONARY APP – Another great app for you to download is a dictionary app. Today, when I read a book and come across a word I don’t know, I can simply pick up my phone, open up the dictionary, type in the word and I am now reading and learning a new word.

READING A LOT – App’s are great tools to help us in the moment, but nothing creates a better platform to learn a new word than reading. The funny thing about words, especially in the English language is the definition can only go so far. The best way to understand a word and its use within a culture, society, or group are to hear the word used in live communication. We, as human beings, derive much from hearing a word used in one or more different context. Reading serves this purpose beautifully.

For those of you who think reading is not for you or tell yourself you don’t have time. I leave you with this. Create the habit of reading 10 (ten) pages a day. Over the course of the year, you can read 3600 pages. The average book is 200-300 pages. With that said, reading just 10 pages a day, you will read between 12-18 books a year. Can you imagine how quickly your vocabulary and your knowledge base will improve with just 10 pages a day?

I can say, from experience, this is easy to do and so valuable. I met Jeff Olson, the author of, “Slight Edge”. He taught me the importance of reading 10 pages a day and the impact it could have on my life. I was 23 at the time and began practicing that rule consistently ever since. Each of us can build up our muscles when we choose. For the mind: reading, learning new words, and having a challenge is the exercise we need.

USING NEW WORDS IN CONVERSATION – With all new habits and learning, you must use what you are learning in order to fully grasp the meaning and in this case, remember the word. Making a conscious effort to communicate (verbally or written) using your new words. This doesn’t necessarily mean to just throw the word out and hopes it makes sense! If the opportunity doesn’t arise, hold off and wait until the right time.

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