Do you know how to find new vocabulary?
Okay, maybe that’s a difficult question. Here’s another one:
How often do you try to improve your vocabulary?
I’m sure you know that constantly improving vocabulary is important if you want to speak English well.
The problem is, most people don’t know how to find new vocabulary or they look for vocabulary in the wrong places.
Finding new vocabulary and language is actually quite simple. It’s definitely not rocket science. But to do it well, you need to know a few things.
One, you need to know why you’re improving your vocabulary
And two, you need to know how to find the vocabulary.
So that’s what we’re going to do today.
We’re going to set up a system so you know what to look for and how to look for it. It’ll take you 10 minutes to complete (after reading this post), and it’ll help you to improve your English in a shorter time.To make the most of this lesson, you should download the New Vocabulary Finder Worksheet here. It’ll help you to discover what you’re looking for.
Let’s be honest, your reason for improving your vocabulary is probably, “So I can say more words.”
But I want you to go a bit deeper than that.
I want you to think about how you’ll use those words.
This ‘why’ is something that I’m always talking about.
Will you use those words in conversation or in writing?
Who will you talk or write to?
Are you learning these new words to make you better in conversation or so you can talk/write about a topic?Write down your answers on the New Vocabulary Finder worksheet. You can download it here.
Answering these questions is important. It gives you more clarity about your English learning, it gives you more control over what you’re doing and it will help you to decide how to hunt for more words.
And that’s what we’re going to cover next.
So, now you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to plan your hunt.
And you have two choices here:
Intentional vocabulary hunting and unintentional vocabulary hunting.
These two ways to find new vocabulary are effective for different reasons. They also have different purposes.
So, before you move on, watch this short video where I talk about what intentional and unintentional vocabulary learning are and how you can use them.
Okay, so in that video you learnt a few things.
You learnt that finding vocabulary is kind of like shopping. You either know what you’re looking for or you browse.
You also learnt that the answers from part one – the ‘how will you use the language‘ questions – are important because that will tell you how to look for vocabulary.
So, with that in mind, you should now be able to decide whether you are going to do intentional or unintentional vocabulary hunting.Use the New Vocabulary Finder to help you decide. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can get the worksheet by clicking here.
When you know what kind of vocabulary hunting you’re going to do, you need to know where to look.
So, I’ve made another video to help you decide where to look for the new vocabulary you want to learn:
So, after watching that video you should have an idea about where to look for new vocabulary. This is good because already you’re 10 steps ahead of where you were 10 minutes ago!Go ahead and write down where you’ll look on your New Vocabulary Finder worksheet. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, just click here to get it.
Now all you need to do is go out and FIND the vocabulary you want to learn.
That’s something I can’t help you with because I don’t know your individual situation. But it’s easy enough to do if you spend a bit of time working on it.
After you’ve found the vocabulary, you need to actually learn it!
If you’re very motivated would like my help to improve your English to a level that you can be proud of, I offer several language learning programs.
The best way to learn about my different English learning programs is to join my email list where I send out regular English lessons by email.
And if you’re really motivated to improve your English with me, you can send me an email introducing yourself and telling me why you want to improve your English.
Enjoy, and happy hunting!
By the way, if you didn’t download the New Vocabulary Finder workbook, click the button below to get it:
Sam is the founder and creator of English For Study. He's also a lecturer in EAP/Academic English. Apart from making Academic English easy, he likes learning languages, lifting weights and eating good food.