12 Ways to Improve Your Verbal Ability
Table of Contents:
- Read as widely as possible
- A new word a day
- Use what you learn
- Keep a journal
- Become an active learner
- Take a homophonies test
- Look into common grammar mistakes
- Study the roots of language
- Play word games
- Read a quality newspaper
- Practice comprehension
- Take grammar, spelling, and reading ability tests
1. Read as widely as possible
Reading is an excellent way to improve your verbal ability, but only if you make sure that you read widely enough to cover a range of genres, topics, and even eras. When you start to read outside of your comfort zone, you’ll encounter a range of new words that can help lift your verbal ability, but only if you remember to put them into practice.
2. A new word a day
Plenty of websites offer a word of the day service which delivers a new word direct to your email each day. Subscribe to one of these services to slowly build up a stronger vocabulary. You could choose a general word of the day or one relating to your occupation, or both if you really want to boost your verbal ability.
3. Use what you learn
The best way to improve your verbal ability is by using the words you learn in your everyday life. When you hear a new word, phrase, or expression, try to incorporate it into a discussion with someone else; the more you use new words, the easier they are to remember.
4. Keep a journal
Journaling is a great way to keep track of new learning. When you come across a new word or comprehend something in a text that you haven’t noticed before, note it down and spend some time reflecting on it. Later, you’ll be able to flick back through all the new expressions you have learned, which will help you use and retain your newfound knowledge.
5. Become an active learner
When you see a word you don’t understand, watch a movie you’re unsure about, or read a text you can’t quite grasp, why not look it up to see what the professionals have to say? Whether you look up an entry on the dictionary or a literary analysis on SparkNotes, you will gain a little more understanding and insight that will help you comprehend and understand things you encounter in the future.
6. Take a homophonies test
Homophones are defined as words that are pronounced the same but actually have very different meanings, spellings, or origins. Knowing the difference between high frequency homophones is the difference between a high verbal ability person and one with reduced ability. Take a homophonies test to see if you are making common and hard-to-catch mistakes. If you find you are making errors, no problem. All you need to do is spend a little time learning the differences.
7. Look into common grammar mistakes
Everyone makes grammar mistakes from time to time. Thankfully, there are plenty of grammar-related blogs that highlight common grammar mistakes. Sign up, read their most popular posts, and begin to identify where you may be going wrong. Be sure to keep these common mistakes in mind when talking to people or reading the news; they are bound to pop up.
8. Study the roots of language
Language roots give us clues into the meaning of words in use today. If your native language is English, you could consider learning a little Latin or Ancient Greek, to help you comprehend how those languages shape the language that we use today. Doing this makes vocabulary tests easier, as the meanings are often incorporated into the root words.
9. Play word games
Learning is fun when it’s a game! Visit your local game store and pick out a few verbal games, such as Scrabble, and spend time mastering it. Scrabble is an excellent verbal ability booster as it requires problem-solving skills as well as a high vocabulary, but anyone can play it as long as they are willing to try. The best part about it is you can learn at your own pace while acquiring new vocabulary direct from your opponents.
10. Read a quality newspaper
Whether you subscribe online or have a physical newspaper delivered, quality reporting challenges your comprehension and vocabulary in a productive way. Try to remember what you have read, do your best to understand the specific vocabulary relating to each area of current events, and use them in your daily life. As always, if you come across something you don’t understand – look it up
11. Practice comprehension
Instead of quickly reading something; why not get into the habit of slowly reading it and then summing it up? Comprehension gains can be made when you actively try to reflect on what you read, rather than just skimming it and moving onto the next thing. Try to explain what you have read to someone else and discover where you need to improve next time.
12. Take grammar, spelling, and reading ability tests
There are plenty of high-quality grammar, spelling, and reading ability tests online that will help you identify and work on your weak areas. Take a test and see how well you score today.