While it’s difficult (or merely impossible) to learn all the vocabulary in the world, there are different ways to practice or enhance your vocabulary.
When I was in High School, I had an English teacher who would tell us to grab the New York Times (the most prestigious newspaper in New York) and just read headlines. He said it didn´t matter if we didn´t read the actual articles but to read headlines and write down those words that we didn´t understand and then, of course, to look them up. He suggested keeping a diary to write them down and trying to use them in a sentence. So typical for a teacher to give this advice, right? Well, it worked for me. Usually the words that you have to look up in a dictionary tend to stick better to the brain. You tend to remember them better. I always suggest this.
Something that I´ve always enjoyed and has also helped me to enhance my vocabulary was doing Crosswords. I used to grab a newspaper, whether an old Sunday paper that my dad had at home or even the local newspaper (which was FREE on the metro) and do the Crossword. Crosswords can be a fun and engaging way to pass time, especially if you take the bus to school or work or metro, or in the case of our town, the boat to Vigo. Also, it is scientifically proven that Crosswords can help alleviate or avoid Alzheimer´s. So why not give it a try? It´s a perfect way to keep the mind working and constantly challenge yourself.
If you are not into reading headlines or doing crosswords, you can always watch television. Although I do not recommend sitting by a television all day, I do recommend using the time wisely if you are going to do so. There are many popular television series that can help you increase your vocabulary and could teach you colloquial expressions that are useful. And well, If you are not a ¨couch potato¨ or do not have a lot of time, there is always the radio too.
Think you don´t have time for any of these? How about trying the one word a day method? Here is a dictionary that makes it easy for you. Remember to check back every day and learn one word a day!! http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/