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How to Learn English Vocabulary & Grammar

by Bill Reynolds, studioD

A strong English vocabulary coupled with strong grammar skills can help make a good impression on your professional and social peers. Regardless of your current level of English language comprehension, there’s no shortage of paths you can take to sharpen your skills. Whether you’re brand new to the English language, a student looking to get ahead, or a business professional looking to take your vocabulary and grammar skills to the next level, various options are available to fit your specific needs.

Hire a Tutor

An effective way to learn vocabulary and grammar is to hire a private tutor. Tutors can gauge your current level of English comprehension and design a course of study tailored to your specific goals. No matter what your schedule is like, private lessons can usually be scheduled to fit your needs. Tutoring can include vocabulary worksheets, writing assignments, quizzes and reading assignments.

Online Resources

Depending on your vocabulary and grammar goals, you may need to look no further than some of the many free English resources available on the internet. Websites such as "English Grammar Online 4U" provide numerous worksheets and exercises designed to hone your skills in a particular aspect of the English language. Such websites include detailed information about grammar rules, high-profile vocabulary words and phrases and language-skill games.

Enroll in an ESL course

If you are looking to learn English as a secondary language, specialized courses exist to help you reach your goals. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are designed to improve students’ English skills. These classes -- usually small in class size -- are taught by a certified ESL teacher and are flexible enough to be effective regardless of each student’s current level of English language skills. ESL programs focus on grammar, vocabulary, writing, reading and conversational English.

Become an Avid Reader

If you are a competent English speaker simply looking to improve your vocabulary and grammar skills, the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation suggests you become a prolific reader. By reading books, magazines and newspaper articles written in the English language, you will not only reinforce the vocabulary words you already know, you’ll run into new ones. The advantage to learning new vocabulary words through reading, as opposed to memorizing vocabulary lists, is that reading helps you remember the word and its meaning by providing a context for the word. Likewise, reading can provide you with a grammatical model to follow in your own writing. Reading can help you pick up small-but-troublesome English grammar rules, such as proper punctuation and subject-verb agreement.

About the Author

Bill Reynolds holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Rowan University. He has written hundreds of articles for print and online media, drawing inspiration from a wide range of professional experiences. As part of the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, he has been nominated for the James Kirkwood Prize for Creative Writing.

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