9 Reasons Why Improving Your Vocabulary Is Important
Have you ever contemplated how important vocabulary is in our daily lives?
Vocabulary is the foundation of all language, providing us with the necessary building blocks to express ourselves, connect with others, develop critical thinking and confidence, and build life skills and personal relationships.
Even with a limited grasp of grammar, we can still communicate effectively through vocabulary alone. As British linguist, David A. Wilkins noted, “without grammar, very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed.”
If you’re not convinced yet, consider how children acquire language. They start with single words like ‘duck,’ ‘ball,’ and ‘teddy,’ yet are still able to communicate their wants and needs effectively. As their oral language abilities develop, their ability to communicate effectively also improves.
In this post, we’ll explore nine reasons why improving your vocabulary is important and how it can benefit you in various facets of life.
Let’s dive in!
1. Vocabulary increases reading comprehension
Reading is an essential piece of our daily lives, whether it’s for entertainment or education. However, reading can become a frustrating experience if we come across too many unfamiliar words.
Hence, improving your vocabulary words is crucial if you want to enhance your reading comprehension.
One such study in 2010 discovered that vocabulary size accounted for 64% of the variance in reading scores.
Another study done in 2000 found that kids need to grasp 98% of the words they read in order to comprehend what they’re reading.
That is a significant percentage that shows clearly the importance of having a diverse vocabulary and learning new words every day.
A solid vocabulary will help you appreciate the written word, read between the lines, and comprehend words’ literal and metaphorical implications. It’s similar to possessing a secret decoder ring that reveals the meaning of a text.
2. Vocabulary skills enhance a person’s ability to communicate
A solid vocabulary can help enhance your communication skill, but it is more than just about using fancy or complicated words to impress others. It’s about having an expanded vocabulary to communicate your thoughts.
When you have a good vocabulary, you can better find the right words that concisely and correctly communicate the exact thought you want to share instead of fumbling around and stringing together a collection of words that incorrectly expresses an opinion.
Focusing on your vocabulary development will ensure you have a variety of words at your disposal to convey your thoughts. It allows you to choose the proper term for the right context and express yourself more effectively and accurately at any time.
In essence, it’s like having a communication toolbox in your memory bank, with every word serving as a tool to be used correctly at the right time.
3. Learning new words improves your reading and writing skills
If you don’t have good word power, it becomes challenging to appreciate the written word, understand the nuances of language, and read between the lines.
Reading contributes to your word power as you encounter new words and phrases you may not have otherwise encountered. And the more words you get exposed to, the better your reading and oral vocabulary. Reading is a great way to find out new word meanings.
In addition, a more extensive vocabulary can also greatly benefit your writing skills. With a more comprehensive selection of words, you can better express yourself and convey your thoughts, feelings, events, or ideas.
An excellent tool you can use to improve your reading, writing, and vocabulary is a speed reading tool dubbed AccelaReader by Iris Reading.
This tool will help you learn to read fast and develop a better vocabulary quickly. The more words you read and get acquainted with, the more words you can add to your word bank.
4. Vocabulary helps develop critical thinking skills
A strong vocabulary enhances communication skills and helps you develop critical thinking abilities because words are the building blocks of thought and ideas, and a limited vocabulary can hinder one’s ability to think and reason effectively.
As Henry Hazlitt said, “A man with a scant vocabulary will almost certainly be a weak thinker. The richer and more copious one’s vocabulary and the greater one’s awareness of fine distinctions and subtle nuances of meaning, the more fertile and precise is likely to be one’s thinking.”
When we have a wider range of words and a deeper understanding of their meanings, we can express our thoughts and ideas more clearly and precisely. This, in turn, helps us to think more critically and analyze information more effectively.
5. Vocabulary knowledge increases the probability of academic success
Research shows that students with larger vocabularies are more likely to graduate from college and receive higher incomes. A strong vocabulary correlates with a better comprehension of textbooks and lectures and, consequently, with better academic achievement.
Conversely, students who lack good vocabulary knowledge struggle to understand and fall behind in their studies.
This is even more apparent in entrance exams where your background knowledge is not only tested but your reading comprehension and essay writing skills as well. For instance, many foreign universities require applicants to submit a statement of purpose, which necessitates excellent writing skills.
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6. Good vocabulary opens up career advancement opportunities
In addition to academic performance, the importance of vocabulary skills is evident in the workplace.
Effective communication is crucial in all professions, and your vocabulary indicates your ability to express yourself clearly and persuasively.
Employers seek out candidates who can communicate their ideas effectively and are more likely to offer promotions to those with excellent communication skills.
Several studies also back the above point. For example, the researcher Johnson O’Connor’s conducted extensive vocabulary tests and found that a person’s vocabulary level is the best predictor of occupational success.
In his test, he carefully isolated variables such as scholarship level and age to ensure that it was indeed vocabulary, not something related, that correlated with success.
O’Connor’s findings are particularly relevant for knowledge workers, as professional success depends heavily on thinking and communication skills. Those who master words as tools for thought and communication have a greater chance of success.
So, whether you are a student, an engineer, an executive, or any other knowledge worker, investing time and effort into building your own vocabulary can pay off in your professional life.
Are you looking to advance your career? Irisreading has a course that will help you grow in your career. You’ll learn how to improve your communication, networking, and social skills so you can find a job you’re passionate about and reduce your anxiety in social situations.
7. Vocabulary helps develop life skills
It may astonish you to know that having a solid vocabulary can help you develop life skills like problem-solving, leadership, self-expression, active listening, and the aptitude to adapt to different situations or environments.
For example, a good vocabulary enables you to define problems better, seek innovative solutions, and express your ideas persuasively, facilitating collaboration and finding effective resolutions.
This problem-solving skill is also needed in leadership. With a robust word bank, a leader can succinctly communicate and convey his thoughts and ideas to get results. Without a solid vocabulary, it is harder to fully take on leadership roles or adapt to an environment outside your comfort zone.
You may also like: 5 Essential Life Skills Anyone Can Learn.
8. Having an extensive vocabulary helps to persuade others
One key aspect of persuasion is the ability to present your argument clearly and logically. This is where an expanded vocabulary can come in handy.
A more extensive vocabulary, equip you to choose more precise and impactful words, allowing you to convey your ideas and arguments more effectively.
Additionally, an expanded vocabulary can help you sound more confident and knowledgeable, further enhancing your ability to persuade others.
So, if you have been trying to convince your boss to approve your project proposal or simply trying to persuade your friends to try a new restaurant, now is good time to work on your vocabularies so you can step up your ability to persuade others.
9. Vocabulary increases your confidence level
The ability to express oneself coherently can help effectively convey one’s thoughts, ideas, and opinions. This means that having a strong vocabulary and being able to articulate clearly, are all essential components of communication skills that can lead to greater confidence.
Furthermore, with improved communication skills, you can easily approach people with your proposals, stand up in a meeting and confidently explain your objections, which will help you earn respect from others and build your self-esteem.
An improved vocabulary makes your communication skills more effective, allowing you to connect with others, form meaningful relationships and collaborations, and get more positive outcomes.
Takeaway: Improving your vocabulary can enhance your life!
Improving your vocabulary is a simple but powerful way to enhance your life in various ways. It forms the foundation for language skills, enhances critical thinking, and strengthens writing abilities.
By developing a rich vocabulary, you can become a more effective communicator, informed, engaged citizen, and thoughtful and empathetic person.
As mentioned, one of the fastest methods for improving vocabulary skills is to expose yourself to more unknown words. You do that by learning to read fast, which helps you maximize your memory and improves your productivity in many other aspects of your life.
If you want to enhance your vocabulary further, we invite you to explore our Maximizing Memory Course. It provides valuable insights and practical techniques for improving your memory to comprehend information faster and storing new information or words longer.