A good knowledge of English language helps in all stages and sectors of life. During your educational period, it will assist you in performing well in your academic writing assignments. But as you move up the ladder of life, you will find that your knowledge of the language is indeed an asset. To be able to claim proficiency in a language it is not just enough that you know the spoken language; you will have to be good at writing it as well. Vocabulary is an inevitable part of learning a language, spoken or written.
First and foremost, you should understand that having a good vocabulary doesn’t mean knowing a lot of big, long and complex words. There was a time, when proving your proficiency in a language depended on how many ‘tough’ words you knew and used. But it is no more so. Nowadays, simple and straight language is considered as good language. All that matters is that you should know how to bring the best out of those simple words by using them at the right places.
Reading is the best method to develop your vocabulary. Keep aside as much time as possible for reading while you are learning the language. There is no need to force yourself to learn so many number of words every day. If you are reading for at least two hours a day, you will definitely learn a minimum of five new words a day. And that will give you a good vocabulary fast enough.
A powerful vocabulary does not mean big and complex words. But it stands for using the simple words powerfully. And to bring out the power of a word, it should be used at the right time and the right context with the right conjunctions. So learning the usages of words is also a part of acquiring a good vocabulary.
Once you know enough words, watching television shows and movies, will give you an idea of how and where to use them. But remember that on screen, sometimes big words and strong language is used. Do not worry about the words you don’t know and feel disappointed. Look for those which you recognize and watch how it has been used.
Remember to listen to the right people. There is a lot of difference between spoken and written languages. It is not advisable to use too much informal language while writing. Especially academic writing assignments and formal letters don’t allow informal language at all. While writing research papers or completing other types of academic projects like essays and term papers, you will have to stick to a certain level of vocabulary which will be partly academic and partly formal. There will be absolutely no space for informal or colloquial language.
Learning to differentiate between good language and bad one will come to you gradually. But it is important not to get misguided in the initial stages of your learning. So find good books by renowned authors and listen to formal conversations to get an idea of what is the right kind of language to use formally. Try not to put yourself through forced learning. A good vocabulary can only be developed slowly and gradually.