There can be several ways to improve verbal fluency, the 5 ways we will discuss in this post are:
- Reading out loud
- Thinking of matching words
- Reading books with new, complex vocabulary
- Learning about different topics
- Talking to people
Let’s dive a bit deeper into these different ways you could improve your vocabulary and verbal fluency.
1. Reading out loud
Reading out loud is one of the simplest ways to improve verbal fluency.
When you read things out loud, you will simultaneously:
- Learn to pronounce the word
- Improve speech
- Read the word with thought
- Memorize the written text more efficiently
Not only will you be more likely to learn the text when you read it out loud, but you also get to practice pronouncing the word.
Since reading out loud is slower than reading silently in your head, you are forced to give more thought to the reading process.
Keep in mind that if the word is new and you have no idea how to pronounce it, it’s better to double-check the proper way to pronounce the word than to learn it incorrectly.
2. Think of matching words
Since verbal fluency is somewhat tied to vocabulary, being able to come up with the right words at a right time can be really helpful.
You could try to think of as many different spices as possible in a given time. Just do this silently in your head or out loud, and time yourself with a stopwatch on your phone for example.
This can also be done with professional vocabulary. If you have a hard time coming up with the right words when you are working, try this with words related to your work.
That might be different car parts, car brands, furniture, or whatever your job is related to.
3. Reading books with new vocabulary
Books can also be different. More complex books with different authors can be really valuable due to the new words they might contain.
Every time I pick up a book that is written in English (I am a native Finnish speaker), I learn new words. Of course, that will make the reading process slightly slower, but that doesn’t make the learning any slower, since I am learning:
- New English words
- About the topic of the book
- Strengthening my English overall
On top of that, if I read out loud, I will also practice my spoken English. Ever since certain events of the past years when traveling was pretty much off the table, I was not using my spoken English that much and I might have gotten a bit rusty. Reading out loud and filming YouTube videos in English has really been helpful.
4. Learn about different topics
Learning about a new topic means learning new words.
Learning new words will improve your vocabulary, and that way also improve your verbal fluency.
You will be able to have a conversation about a different topic and come up with relevant words easier.
You could learn new topics from books, but also by taking courses or simply watching some documentaries from your favorite streaming services or from YouTube.
5. Talk to people
The last way to improve your verbal fluency is simply having a conversation with people.
Engaging actively with other people in conversations about different topics can refresh your memory and keep your vocabulary up to date.
Especially if you are working on a job, where you don’t talk to people actively, going out with your friends or just talking to people on the phone can keep your spoken language in better shape.
How to measure verbal fluency?
Verbal fluency can be measured. Verbal fluency tests usually require participants to come up with as many words in a given category, in a given time as possible.
That might be for example naming as many different animals in one minute as possible.
In conclusion, verbal fluency is the ability to come up with the right words at a right time.
There are several ways you can improve this, even without you noticing it.
These are just 5 simple ways you can do pretty much every day to keep your verbal skills and vocabulary up to date and ready to go.
I hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day!