October 31, 2017
Podcast: Let’s talk about Halloween!
Let’s talk about vocabulary! In this podcast, I want to talk to you about the importance of studying vocabulary and the consequences of not dedicating time to it.
I often receive e-mails from English students who want to improve their speaking skills. Most of them say they are willing to do anything to get better, they ask for recommendations and my best tips to help them improve their speaking. That is why I have decided to make today’s podcast. If you want to improve your speaking skills, maybe it is time to take a look at your vocabulary level.
The first thing you need to know about vocabulary is if your vocabulary is not good, chances are your speaking skills have the same issue. I’ve met so many clients who claimed they had an intermediate level but still used the very same expressions beginners do. I’ve also come across students who can talk about their jobs and work routine, but when the subject is different, they have no idea of what to say. They are literally at a loss for words.
Why does this happen?
There are so many possible reasons why this happens. I strongly believe the main reason is how students dedicate themselves to their study routine. Most of the times students don’t do specific exercises aimed at boosting their vocabulary. All too often, these students try to learn phrasal verbs and feel like that is the way to improve vocabulary as if phrasal verbs alone were the answer to a better English.
It doesn’t work like that. To improve your vocabulary, you need to study several different kinds of subjects. But I have an idea for you. Do you ever feel lost when you start studying vocabulary? Is your first thought “learning idioms, expressions and phrasal verbs” is the best way to learn vocabulary? If you answered yes to these questions, I get it, it is completely normal to feel lost and study way too many unnecessary things.
Today I am going to give you a simple exercise you can do by yourself and that will definitely sharpen your English vocabulary! Synonyms! Yes! That’s the way to improve vocabulary. In this podcast I have already used two synonyms for the word “improve”. I said “boost” and “sharpen”. Is “improve” a phrasal verb? Nope! Is it an idiom? Not even close. It is just a simple verb that I believe most of you know. This is the beauty of learning synonyms. You can start with very basic words and learn some really cool ways to say them in English.
Let’s think of another very popular word. Smart. You can say intelligent, you can say “clever”, you can say “bright” and I could go on and on. Another example is rich. You can say “wealthy” or you can say “well-off”.
What I am trying to show you is that you can improve your vocabulary based on what you already have. Think of words you use all the time such as adjectives, verbs, questions or even phrases. Start looking for different alternatives to help you express the same idea. That’s how you build vocabulary, there are more exercises you can do, but this is a much simpler way to start building from what you already have.
I will talk about this subject again in the future, but I just wanted to get this discussion started. What do you think? Do you think this is a good way to study vocabulary? How do you study vocabulary? In a future podcast episode, I will be talking about different study strategies to brush up on your vocabulary! See, another way to say improve – brush up on
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Thanks a million,