How do you increase your vocabulary if you're living in a non-English speaking country?
Hello Salamanca explains what you can do if you're in such a situation.
1. Exposure is key
Expose yourself as much as possible to the language you're learning. So when you're watching movies, watch movies and TV that you would enjoy in your own language. Then change the subtitles.
Hello Salamanca recommends three ways to do it:
- Listen in English and read the subtitles in your native language
- Listen in your native language and read the English subtitles
- Listen in English and read English subtitles
Other ways to expose yourself to the English language include:
- Finding podcasts in your own language and then finding an equivalent in English
Finding a speaking buddy among our language assistants at Hello Salamanca.
2. Make learning interesting for you
Hello Salamanca advises you to try and find the English equivalent of anything you read in your own language to make learning more interesting for you.
3. Subscribe to news feeds in English
Find newsfeeds that are published on your favourite social media.
Hello Salamanca claims that this is helpful for language learners.
"These are short and sharp news stories, often just one sentence per story. It’s relevant news to their context, it helped them understand, they could look at the pictures and understand what’s happening and it increases their vocab.
"So quite often it’s short and sharp but you don’t have to spend hours reading it."
4. Integrate learning into your schedule
Integrate learning into your schedule and make it personal, Hello Salamanca recommends.
"You can find songs you like and use websites where you listen to a song and type in the lyrics.”
"While you’re waiting for the bus or while you’re travelling or waiting for friend - these are all pockets of time for you to learn."
You get to a point where you can understand but you don’t have the vocabulary to reply. Now, there is always the challenge.
5. Put word lists in visible places
Make lists and stick them at places around your house that you look at all the time.
You might stick them next to your TV so when the ads are on and you don’t want to watch the ads, you can look at the words.”
6. Figure out your learning style
Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner? If you're a visual learner and you're trying to learn phrasal verbs, have a visual representation so you can remember the words easily.
Hello Salamanca advices you to group the words by the head word (i.e. get, take) or by situations (i.e. phrasal verbs to use on the phone).
"Another way is to classify phrasal verbs by the grammatical structure - one, two prepositions, separable or inseparable,"
"If you can’t get the word, get around the word."
7. Just have fun with it
Hello Salamanca advices language learners to have fun and not to give up.
"FAIL [stands for] first attempt in learning,"