Hello my foreigner friends from YearOfEnglish.com! (and everyone else, of course!)
This time around let’s focus on building your English vocabulary and the related habits you should create for yourself.
You see, the main problem is that many foreigner English speakers believe English vocabulary has to be built the following way:
- Learning abstract vocabulary lists;
- Learning meanings of individual words;
- Learning translations of words from your native language into English.
Now, I can rubbish all these assumptions in an instant!
First of all, vocabulary lists are abstract word compilations and they have very little – if anything! – to do with your life and things YOU have to talk about on a daily basis.
Secondly, fluent English speech doesn’t happen just by sticking individual words together. Every English word is actually associated with other words creating word groups or the so-called collocations.
Thirdly, if you keep translating from your native language, you won’t get rid of the habit of preparing the speech in your head prior to speaking it out loud and that’s not what I’d call true fluency!
If you want to build your English vocab the natural way, you’re way better off by creating a routine of thinking of what new English words you should learn as you go about YOUR DAILY BUSINESS ❗
You’re on a train looking out the window as buildings are flashing by, and you’re thinking to yourself: “I wonder what it’s called in English when you’re driving at a high speed and objects are going by you so fast your vision barely registers it?…”
Next thing you should do (if you haven’t got any other English speaker to ask what it’s called) is go online and do a quick Google search by typing in something like “looking out the train window and seeing”. Sure enough, many of those Google search results won’t reveal the words and context you’re looking for, but some of them will definitely contain terms such as:
- Speed by
- Fly by
- Whiz by
… and they’re exactly the ones you’re looking for!
Next time you’re either in a similar situation with someone else OR you’re telling someone about your experiences on a train, you’ll know for sure how to describe the process of outside objects shooting by at a high speed!
So, this is the type of habit I’m talking about, and the more you push yourself to think how this or that particular thing is called in English, the more your active English vocabulary is going to reflect your personal life and personal experiences which is what true fluency is all about – your ability to function in YOUR LIFE!
P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!