Boosting vocabulary is daunting. Whenever we think of learning a new language besides our first language or enhancing our communication skills in the second language, we often find difficulty remembering new words. Challenging lexicon can lead to resistance from learning altogether. The purpose is to learn and remember and actively use what we have learned and incorporate it into our daily lives.
Enhancing vocabulary can sound like a chore when you must do repetitive activities like cramming the word of the day, using flashcards, or simply writing what you have learned all day. Repetition in learning tasks can be boring and exhausting. In this fast world, most of us do not have enough time to invest in an activity that requires too much focus.
To make this process more feasible and get help from media: not in traditional ways like reading books, listening to podcasts, or reading research articles. These steps are efficient but not as interactive, addictive, and fun as using social media or watching a movie or a season.
Regardless of your interest-whether, it is science fiction or comedy, you can always learn new words, and it will be easier for you to do that if you are watching something that interests you a lot. For instance, if you belong to movie fandoms like Star Wars, or the Marvel franchise, you can always pick new vocabulary or even newly coined words.
To make the new vocabulary learned from a movie you have just watched, talk about it with any of your friends and family who have watched it too. Discuss all the possible things about the work that makes you wonder. Having a conversation about it will make you remember a lot of important details about the movie and surely pick new words and concepts you never knew before.
The same is the case with TV shows or watching seasons online on streaming platforms. When you are emotionally and mentally invested in a movie, you automatically try your best to learn every possible thing about it. You look for etymologies for the words you just learned. Look up concepts that made you curious. This process of doing mini research just for the sake of fun indirectly ends up enhancing your lexicon.
As far as social networking sites are concerned, the vocabulary in use here is slang most of the time. But when heated debates arise that are mostly related to any political stance, a good lexicon plays a significant role in supporting your argument. You cannot beat about the bush or be disrespectful by mocking someone. With active observance and research comes knowledge, and with knowledge comes good vocabulary. Social media sites are the best way to practice good use of learned language while having a good debate about something and eventually broadening your spectrum.
To make your task much easier, here are some fun tips to keep on adding newer words in your vocabulary even when you do not actively feel like doing so:
Research: Tired of studying and reading subjects in bulk and still not feeling like reaching anywhere in the lexical game? Here is an easy way out. Research about the movie or a TV show you last watched. Look for the things that built your interest into it: it can be its plot, the cinematography, the dialogue discourse, the movie’s cultural significance, and so on. There are countless possibilities when it comes to media. It is common to observe that the things that appeal to us stay in our heads for a longer time. Like if you have just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit, if you are a person with no background knowledge of chess, you will still end up learning about many words related to the chess jargon, such as “endgame” or “en passant.”
Social media would be a bit different since it is an open world of false information and manipulation. But if you have fair insights, you can always make a way out of it. Research about the subject you argued about last night with a close friend. Think about the points they presented, research them, and develop a better counterargument if you can. You might be thinking, what this has to do with your vocabulary bank? It is simple: research is a collection of sentences. Sentences are a collection of words. Words are the building block of an argument. A word has the significance of holding the entire discipline within itself. Think of googling a simple term such as “structuralism.” You will surely get the idea.
Have as many conversations as you can about the things that interest you: The best thing about belonging to fandom is: you can talk for hours and hours about your favorite thing and never get tired of it. It can be a book, a movie, a TV series, or any social media celebrity you admire. Excluding the toxic phases, veery fandom has to offer; you will get to know what NOT to talk about more than what you want to talk about.
Collect the words you like the most from these conversations. Pick up vocabulary (not curse words) from fan wars, analyze a character, or discuss the plot development of a series. In this way, you will end learning new stuff almost every day, even when you do not feel like consciously getting up for learning.
Add subtitles: We highly underestimate the power of subtitles. They can do wonders. Even if subs are available in your first language, do not skip them. Proper spellings, the context of words, and what not? By simply adding a subtitle while watching your favorite show, you can always stumble upon new words and phrases you never heard of before. Practice streaming Netflix by keeping the subs one. You will see a difference after a while.
Look out for mistakes as soon as possible: Being corrected or “schooled” in front of social media acquaintances can initially be embarrassing. You might think about a lot of stuff: what would everyone else be thinking about me? I’m a grown-up. Why did I end up presenting such a naïve narrative? Will I ever get out of this black hole of low self-esteem just because I have a below-average vocabulary?
Good news? You are not alone. Taking these thoughts as steps to improvement instead of feeling insecure will encourage you to learn more and more words every day—set minute goals. Take baby steps. Words make up sentences, and sentences will build your narrative.
The way you see the world is depicted by your choice of words. Pick the best ones.
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