Experts say that in order to speak fluently in this language you should know at least 10,000 words. Others suggest that 3,000 is more than enough.
Nonetheless that means that there are lots of words to learn, and you won´t be able to learn them all simply by memorizing them. To learn English vocabulary, you must be perseverant and work every day.
We are going to give you some advice for acquiring a large vocabulary in English in a progressive and natural way.
1. Use a Diary or Notebook
While you are learning, it´s very recommendable to take note of each new words that you come across. Do this with paper and pen, or on an online document if you prefer a more modern technique.
In this archive write down new terminology, its meaning as well as its pronunciation. This will be a very useful tool for revising bit by bit. Take your time to learn english vocabulary.
2. Learn a Few Words Every Day
Don´t bite off more than you can chew; a popular saying that is very relevant with this piece of advice. You can´t learn the entire English dictionary.
Learning vocabulary has to be progressive and is better in small doses. We recommend that as a maximum you learn 20 new words a day.
You will see how, bit by bit without realising, you will be widening your vocabulary.
3. Make Mental Associations
A very effective method for learning more words in English. Memorizing is a strategy that doesn´t work for a true knowledge of the language. The brain doesn´t work like that; it has to make connections.
What does this consist of? It´s about associating words with a context. You can link it to a phrase, a scene from a film, or an image that evokes the same meaning…
For example, when I think of the word “scissors” I think about that Tim Burton film.
4. Create Mind Maps
This tool involves creating a drawing or diagram that groups together all words that are related.
For example, you can make a mind map about food with the words “cereal, fruits, pasta, fast food, breakfast…”
In this way it is much easier to memorize and learn new vocabulary; much more than if you did it individually, word by word.
5. Read. Read Lots!
The best way to widen your vocabulary in English is reading as much as possible.
Choose a book in this language that you like, you can choose an author who you already know or a genre that you like.
While you read and encounter words that you don´t know, get a dictionary, find its meaning and note it down in your diary that we already recommended.
Not only will you be reading lots, but you will also be learning new contextualised vocabulary.
6. Watch TV Series or Films
We never tire of saying that learning English can be very fun if you know how. Discover the best TV series to improve your level of English or watch a film that you like.
In both cases use English subtitles to see the words written. Each time you hear a word that you don´t understand, write it down, and then look up its meaning.
It´s a very useful method for learning new concepts as well as improving your pronunciation.
Pay attention to how the actors pronounce each word. It will be a help and perfect inspiration for improving your vocabulary.
7. Listen to Your Favourite Music
For this point, you are going to improve your listening extremely well, as well as absorbing all types of words.
We can´t forget the best accompaniment that we can use daily: music.
Listen to your favourite singers with the lyrics at the side. As you find unknown vocabulary, write it down and look up its meaning.
This is the same as with watching films or series, you will widen your vocabulary in English and perfect your pronunciation.
It is proven that the brain remembers songs that have a good rhythm more easily, therefore you will see how much you are learning.
8. Revise Vocabulary That You Have Learnt
It´s convenient that at certain times you revise all the new words that you have found. Get your diary and review the words noted down, to familiarise yourself with their meaning. In this way they will become ingrained in your memory and you won´t forget them.
This job of revising new vocabulary is fundamental for widening your vocabulary. If you don´t do it, all this effort will be for nothing.
With these pieces of advice, we hope that this task will be easier. Above all be patient and persistent with your goal.
Learning English is possible with the right attitude, and Nathalie Languages wants to be your partner during this process.