Best Vocabulary building Apps & Games

Many a times we come across instances where we are unable to comprehend a long piece of text. We might have to read and re-read to understand its essence. The most probable reason could be that our knowledge of words is limited and we are seeing many of those for the first time.

That brings us to the need of why it is important to have a good vocabulary. We often tend to believe that learning new words is only for writers and speakers. But sometimes it is one of the most overlooked ways of improving our lives personally and professionally.

Vocabulary is not about flaunting or using flowery, complicated words. It in fact improves your communication in being able to choose the right words with greater precision. This makes communication a lot simpler.

Having a good vocabulary opens up your mind. Do not consider them as just words. Each new word corresponds to a new idea. So a large pool of words opens you to new insights and lines of reasoning.

words

Norman Lewis in his best-selling vocabulary improving books has mentioned the following.

“Educational research has discovered that your I.Q is intimately related to your vocabulary. Take a standard vocabulary test and then an intelligence test- the results in both will be substantially the same”.

And lastly, in case you already didn’t know this, the more extensive your vocabulary is, the better are your chances of success. Success in attaining educational goals, in moving ahead in professional career and in achieving your intellectual potential.

So now that we have understood how having a good vocabulary pays rich dividends, let’s get started with ways of improving it. These are some of the best Vocabulary building Apps & Games.

In the tech-savvy and mobile apps age we are in right now, you don’t even need to carry a pocket dictionary around. Technology is always at your helm and this article gives all the necessary and useful resources to help build your vocabulary.

The first one is installing a dictionary app.

WordWeb is one of the most popular dictionary apps available on android store with over 5 million downloads. It is a free offline English dictionary and thesaurus with synonyms, related words and great search – and no adverts. Audio pronunciations are available with the separate Audio Edition app. It is also available for iOS at wordweb-dictionary

Dictionary app on android.

Dictionary.com is the leading free English dictionary app for Android – with over 2,000,000 definitions and synonyms. This app works offline – you do not need an internet connection.

dictionary app

Oxford Dictionary App : Available for Android, Windows and iOS platforms.

The Oxford Dictionary of English is the foremost authority on current English usage. Offers the most comprehensive coverage of English from around the world. It’s completely revised and updated to include the very latest vocabulary. It also has a search tool and learning tool to further enhance your vocabulary.

Merriam-webster app for android and iOS.

It’s yet another popular app.  In addition to all the definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, this app offers voice search – to let you look up a word without having to spell it – along with synonyms, antonyms, example sentences, Word of the Day, and more. It’s a great tool for reference, education, and vocabulary building.

This Thesaurus app helps you to better understand the word meanings, facilitates the quick finding of the correct meaning and allows you to quickly memorize words.

Game apps to Improve Vocabulary

To make learning more fun there are also some cool vocab based games available. Here are some of them.

Vocabulary building games

PowerVocab Word game on android

Challenge yourself and others with this game. Every time you go through Word Challenges, you not only test your understanding of a word but unlock more words. Hit Review if you want to check the words that you got wrong. Hit the Learn Words option and the app will give you a random word.

Magoosh quiz vocabulary

Build your vocabulary with Magoosh’s free vocabulary game for your Android phone or tablet. Quiz yourself every day to learn the 1200 most important words!  Each level you beat unlocks a harder one: more words and more advanced vocabulary.

This app gives you free access to all of Magoosh’s general, GRE, SAT, and TOEFL vocab quizzes.

uVocab app for android

This is a useful English vocabulary learning tool to prepare for competitive exams like SAT/GRE/GMAT or simply enhance your words repertoire. uVocab contains a comprehensive database of nearly 5000 quality, hand-picked words, considered ‘high-frequency’ in various competitive tests and essential for every advanced vocabulary learner. Take realistic tests to evaluate your vocabulary strength.

Dictionary flashcards

This app on android helps you to study, learn and master words on your phone. Create and play fun, tailored study programs anywhere, anytime. Create your own or choose from over 70,000 flashcard decks.

Fun Easy Learn English app

This is an easy and fun way to learn English – whether you like listening music from other countries, travelling abroad, working for an international company, or chatting with foreign friends.

It helps you learn 6,000 words with images to illustrate words, phonetic transcriptions and English pronunciation recordings by native speakers.

Mind games app available for android, iPhone/iPad, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.

Exercise Your Brain! Mind Games is a great collection of games based in part on principles of cognitive psychology to help you practice different mental skills. This game helps you exercise your ability to quickly differentiate between words with a concrete vs. abstract meaning.

Playing scrabble: This age old games also helps to put your knowledge of words into use. Hers is a popular app Classic words solo.

scrabble

It’s a word game to play against your Android phone or tablet (solitaire mode). Enrich your vocabulary thanks to the built-in word definitions!

Vocabulary crosswords for windows phones

With 500 puzzles, zero repeating words and ability to play offline at your own pace, vocabulary crosswords will keep you busy for long time.

So use these apps for a great vocabulary database in your mind and make learning fun.

Guide to improve communication skills

What did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther king Jr and Swami Vivekananda have in common? Apart from being great leaders of their times, they were also exceptional orators. They could keep the audiences captivated and spell bound with their inspiring speeches. That brings us to the topic of what are the prerequisites to have good communication skills?

Communication skills refer to the ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently. The benefits of good communication are too numerous to list, for they enhance all aspects of life from the personal to the professional.

In today’s day and age, there is no denying that it is extremely important to be skilled in the art of efficient communication as it is vital to the success of any endeavor.

In our day to day life the various forms communication that we involve in, most often are spoken, written, public speaking, Business communication and the likes. The basic premise of all these forms ultimately remains the same. That is to make yourself clearly understood.

5 basic steps to Good Communication skills.

Be smart

Listen: This is an important tool because learning how to value different viewpoints and maintaining an open mind can help us become better communicators.

Connect: Become genuinely interested in other people and show appreciation. A real sense of connection can really a difference in the outcome of the communications.

 Practice: A time tested method and absolutely no substitute to it! Be it in front of the mirror, communicating with peers and acquaintances or taking the lead in a group discussion, these are the best possible practical ways to improve yourself.  Also use technology constructively to communicate you opinions and viewpoints in the form of blogging, micro-blogging etc.

Request Feedback: It is always good to confirm that there is a mutual understanding of what’s being communicated as there are often times when we are completely misunderstood or the vice-versa. Always try to end your communication in a friendly manner to leave the other individual feeling understood and valued.

Stay positive: This is important for any kind of productive communication. It is easy get bogged down by failure, or when people shut you down. Be constructive and have belief as there is always scope for improvement in any situation.

Free Courses to improve Communication Skills

These are some of the best courses that helps in improving you communication skills. Some of them are MOOC courses starting soon.

public speaking

Conversational English Skills

If you are finding it difficult to start the conversation, or find the right words when communicating in English, then this is the right course. You will also learn more about American, British, Canadian, Australian, South Korean, Colombian, and Chinese cultures.

Introduction to public speaking

It is a self-paced course on Coursera platform. The overriding goal of this course is to demystify the process of writing, practicing, and performing a clear and engaging speech. It can help students improve the quality of their speeches and confidence with which they present them.

Along with communicating, it is also important that we use logic and reasoning to put forth our opinions or arguments effectively.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking in today’s communication

Course starting from 18th May, 2015 offers an introduction in Critical Thinking, with an emphasis on using reason in our daily communication.

Its main topics cover the structure and analysis of arguments, the study of inductive reasoning as basis for scientific knowledge and as key ingredient in how we understand reality.

Communication Course 

“A man is as alive as he can communicate,” L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of scientology wrote. And communication is a facet of life which he explored very deeply.

This course helps you learn the exact formula of successful communication—and how to vastly improve your ability to communicate with anyone.

Better spoken English 

Very often students have to present as a part of college seminars, project work and paper presentations. So it becomes all the more essential to get rid of fear of public speaking. This course with 40+ video lectures on communication skills offers an insight into various aspects of presentation and public speaking skills.

ALSO READ :  10+ Websites to Learn any Language for FREE

Written communication:

Although under rated when compared to verbal communication, writing is often essential for communicating complicated information. As it is something that can be recorded and referred later, it is important to ensure that relevant information is accurate, clear and concise.

Writing Skills

English Grammar and Essay Writing

Improve your English grammar, essay and persuasive writing with this introductory college writing course.

Adventures in Writing 

It is designed to help you learn more about and practice a range of effective written communication skills and to apply what you’ve learned, is offered by Stanford edu.

Non-verbal communication

Sometimes our body language, facial expressions, gestures and even posture can seriously undermine the message contained in our words if we not careful to control them.

A weak hand shake could mean lack of confidence or frowned eyebrows can show displeasure! So it is important to learn how to use non-verbal methods to communicate more effectively.

Business Communication:

Business communication skills

Business Communication: Fundamentals of Business Writing 

This course introduces one to the theory and practice of writing in the modern business environment, so that one can express his thoughts and ideas in a clear, concise, and efficient manner.

Enhance your career and employability skills

This MOOC would be complementary to any additional course of study as it enables you to recognize your own strengths and skills and understand how to best articulate those preferences and achievements to future employers or academic institutions in the future.

Taking this journey forward to leave no stone unturned in your guide to effective communication, below are some great tools and sources online.

  • Warren Buffet once told a class of business students that better communication could boost their value by fifty percent.
  • Forbes mentions this book “What MORE Can I Say,” by Dianna Booher, one of the most recognized business communication gurus, which clearly calls out the parameters of effective business communication.
  • This book How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published. It can really come handy for you!
  • Check this e-book at free-management-eBooks to understand the basic principles of communication so that you can create an open and honest communications environment in any situation.

Having a little effort, enthusiasm, patience and with so many tools at hand, one is definitely bound to improve their communication skills and advance their personal and professional lives!!

Guide to Learn Spanish in 10 days

Ever fancied learning a new language? If the answer is yes, then why not start off with Spanish? This language is the second most widely spoken in the world. So now whether it is to boost your CV or manage with locals during your next holiday or just for the simple joy of flaunting your newly acquired Spanish skills, let’s get started.

¡Hola! ¿Cómo Estás!! Well, that was “Hello! How are you?” in Spanish.

Here are a few tips to help you learn the basics in a short span of time.

  • Make technology your friend. Why not change the language settings on your phone and computer to Spanish? Download some free apps. Duo lingo is a popular app and focuses on the most commonly used words in Spanish language.
  • Set a goal of learning say 50 words a day. Read them aloud, write and use them while conversing with people. Invite the language to your daily life. Listen to Spanish songs, watch movies to get the pronunciations right.
  • Taking online tutorials in Spanish, having video chats with a native speaker helps in gaining more proficiency. The Mixxer is a meetup website for language learners to converse with each other via skype.
  • One is bound to encounter difficulties in the beginning. Leave your comfort zone, be willing to make mistakes as that is the only way to improve and gain confidence.
ALSO SEE : 15 websites to learn a new language online for FREE 

And the most important of all is stay motivated all through and have fun learning it!

Here is an info-graphic by ThomasCook, helping you in learn Spanish in 10 days.

How to Learn Spanish in 10 Days

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