English has over 170,000 words as of 2020. For new learners, this figure can seem daunting. However, you will be happy to hear that not all are necessary to learn. Many native English speakers and writers will only know half of these words.
Increasing your vocabulary does help express the point you’re making clearly. So, it is better to learn the ‘right’ words that individuals will understand. This also works the other way around. Whereby when listening to someone speaking in English, knowing exactly what they are trying to communicate will help you reply better.
We have put some great tips together to ensure you aren’t wasting time when trying to pick up new words while understanding what they actually mean!
- Put the words you are learning in a full sentence
It is always easier when learning a new language to contextualise the words you are using. When you do this you will be able to picture the words in your mind enabling you to easily remember, and then use it in conversation. Listen to audio clips, read books and watch videos where these words are being used in real everyday conversations to understand exactly what the word means. Doing this will also help you pronounce the word like a native!
- Keep reviewing!
Once you have learnt a new word, it is best to review it regularly to make sure that it doesn’t slip your mind. Our general guidance would be for you to come back to the word(s) you are learning 2 or 3 times and write them out in a sentence.
It may sound simple, but it can be really effective. Keep a note of all the words you are trying to learn for a particular week, review them as said, and then move onto more the following week.
- Ensure you are learning modern vocabulary
When you are learning a new language, your aim is to speak as much like a native as possible. Many words in the English language are hardly used, if ever, so making sure that you are attempting to learn the most common ones should be your top priority. A lot of vocabulary lists floating around on the internet using old English vocabulary, so if you don’t want to sound like an old man, make sure you are reading up-to-date vocabulary lists.
- Study in short periods
Learning new words can often be frustrating and cause individuals to become irritated. Have you ever studied for many hours and felt like you are getting nowhere? This is because your brain can only retain so much information. To combat this human defect, we recommend studying in short 15 minute periods. This should be plenty of enough time per day for you to retain all the keywords you want to learn!
- Get online help when learning new words
Often, once you reach a certain point, you will find that you will struggle with particular words, phrases, or more likely the motivation needed to progress. At B20 British School we cater to students of all levels. Vocabulary lists can only take you so far, so if you are struggling with learning English and would like professional online help, contact us today.