Language serves as a powerful tool for expressing our thoughts, emotions and ideas. Therefore, expanding the vocabulary is invaluable, as it gives us a wider palette of expressions and nuances that can be used in everyday life.
Expansion of vocabulary is useful not only for effective communication, but also enhances cognitive abilities and boosts confidence. While there are many ways to improve your vocabulary, hobbies that involve language learning can be both enjoyable and effective.
If you’re looking to improve your language skills, here are nine useful hobbies to help you build your vocabulary.
Immersion in different genres of books fantastic way to learn new words. This will help you understand the context in which the words are used, making it easier to incorporate them into your personal lexicon. Whether it’s classic literature, non-fiction, science fiction, or fantasy, each genre can open up a unique set of vocabulary for you.
And if you’re still not convinced, check out our Really Good Reasons to read more. As soon as you pick up What specific article, you won’t be able to put it down!
Writing is a dynamic activity that exercises your vocabulary skills. The creative process often requires the use of varied and colorful vocabulary in order to communicate your ideas effectively. Whether you’re writing a personal diary, a blog post, or a fictional story, you’re subconsciously improving your vocabulary.
Here are some great online platforms to help beginners get into creative writing:
- Reedsey: Reedsey Suggests free online creative writing courses as well as a comprehensive blog with free guides covering everything from plot structure to character development.
- Master class: several well-known authors such as Margaret Atwood Neil Gaiman and James Patterson offer courses through the MasterClass on various aspects of creative writing.
- Coursera: Coursera offers courses from universities around the world in creative writing, poetry, screenwriting, and more.
- Writers.com: This site offers creative writing courses online from seasoned professionals covering a variety of styles and genres.
- Romance: An online writing school offering advanced courses to help writers create novels in 90 days. Their courses are suitable for both beginners and experienced writers.
- Udemy: Udemy offers many creative writing courses, some of which focus on specific elements such as character creation, story development, or genre writing.
- Scribophile: This is an online community where writers offer constructive criticism of each other. This is a great place to work on changes and hone your skills.
- Daily Page: A platform that provides daily written practice tips.
- Now Novel: Provides structure and collaboration tools to help newcomers start and complete a novel.
- Wattpad: A platform where writers can share their work and get feedback from a community of readers and writers.
Playing Traditional Word Games
Word games like Scrabble, Boggle or crossword puzzles challenge your mind and stimulate your cognitive abilities by making you create new words and expand your word bank in a fun and exciting way along the way. These games are great for learning new words and their meanings, and they’re just plain fun!
Read: 8 Hobbies That Will Help You Keep Your Mind Sharp
Joining a Book Club
Participating in a book club provides an incredible platform for expanding your vocabulary. As participants discuss their interpretations and feelings about the book, the dialogue can introduce you to words you may not have come across before.
Some of the most popular book clubs in the UK include:
- Pigeonhole: This is a unique concept in which books are issued by staves or sections, allowing readers to discuss each section as they read.
- Reese Book Club: Although Reese Witherspoon lives in the US, the book club has a large following in the UK. Each month she selects a new book, often highlighting the work of female authors.
- Andrew Luck Book Club: This book club offers two books each month, one for “beginners” (younger readers) and one for “veterans” (adults).
- BBC Radio 2 Book Club: This book club is part of The Joe Willie Show and offers a new book every two weeks. Listeners can participate in discussions on the radio station’s website or on social media.
- Willoughby Book Club: This is a subscription-based service that matches books to your reading preferences. Each month, members receive a new book in the mail, which they can discuss online.
Learning a New Language
Learning a new language not only adds to your vocabulary with a new set of words, but also helps you better understand the structure and grammar of your native language, thereby deepening your overall linguistic understanding. This is because it stimulates cognitive skills by improving understanding of grammatical structures and language mechanics that can be applied to your native language.
In addition, the discovery etymology of words can reveal common roots in different languages, thereby expanding your initial vocabulary.
Alternatively, you can delve into basics of english helping you better understand grammatical structures and forms.
Use of Educational Apps
There are many apps, such as Magoosh, Vocabulary.com, and Anki, specifically designed to improve vocabulary. They include a variety of learning methods, offering an engaging platform for effective learning and repetition of new words.
Listening to podcasts on topics that interest you is a fun way to expand your vocabulary. Choose educational podcasts that focus on language, literature, or general knowledge. As you listen, pay attention to new words or phrases and how they are used in context.
To get extra points, why not listen to podcasts O the joy of linguistics? Here are a few of our favourites:
- allusionist – This is a podcast about the English language and its many features, hosted by Helen Saltzman.
- Something rhymes with purple — This podcast is hosted by Suzy Dent, lexicographer at Countdown, and Giles Brandreth, writer and TV host. They discuss interesting words and linguistic phenomena.
- word of mouth – Created by Michael Rosen for BBC Radio 4, this podcast explores the world of words and how we use them.
- English we speak – This is a BBC podcast that focuses on explaining common idioms and phrases used in the English language.
Participation in Debates and Public Speaking
Debating and public speaking require strong command of the language. Regular participation forces you to explore and use a wide range of expressive and persuasive vocabulary, resulting in a significant improvement in your language skills. And that’s before we even look at the confidence that debating and public speaking will give you over time!
Writing poetry requires a meaningful and careful selection of words. By learning different ways of expressing emotions and ideas, you will inevitably enrich your vocabulary. And so, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen (or the Notes app!) and start writing.
These hobbies provide great strategies for learning new words and improving your language skills. By incorporating these activities into your daily routine, you will not only improve your vocabulary, but also improve your general cognitive abilities and cultural understanding. What’s not to love?