How to improve your vocabulary

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Today I want to talk about something many of our students talk about–vocabulary. They struggle with finding the right words to say when they need to speak.

But before I start this post, let me give a huge shout-out to the participants of last weekend’s Presentation Skills Workshop!

All of the participants were amazing and I felt like a proud mama bear at the end of the day, seeing all the transformation and accomplishments.

Here’s a photo of last weekend’s event with our students:

Back to our post!

I’d like to share a tip that I hope would be helpful for improving your vocabulary.

Since English is our second language, we may think in Malay, so we have to translate the thoughts to English before we speak them. This can make us sound less fluent.

But even if English is our first language, we can still struggle. This is because we have all this information in our head, but when we need to speak, we may forget the correct words to use, or we just ramble and confuse our listeners.

So my tip is to rehearse out loud.

If you have a presentation, it’s not enough to just prepare beautiful slides and write your notes on a piece of paper. You need to listen to yourself say those words out loud. That way, you’ll know where you struggle to find the correct words to say and can look for them in advance.

For normal speaking situations, where you don’t have the chance to rehearse, you will need to practice speaking English all the time. Speak out loud at home or in the car when you’re alone. Speak English with colleagues, family and friends as much as you can.

You should also immerse yourself in an English-speaking environment. Watch, listen and read English content. You can find more tips here in a blog post I wrote in 2017.

I hope this post is helpful. Remember, English fluency is a skill. A skill is something that you can train yourself for. That means you need to practice and find ways to improve it. You’re not going to see immediate results, but small improvements every day will build up.

Start today and keep going. What are you going to do today to be better than you were yesterday?

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Sign up to join our free video training, Speaking with Confidence. We’ll send you seven tips to your email address!

Here’s Tip 1 for a sneak peek of what’s in store for you.

Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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