For the longest time, I avoided talking about how to improve your vocabulary in English.
I’d refer people to other resources, explaining that I focus specifically on conversation skills, communicating clearly, and sounding more natural.
(Which is still true!)
After all, there are a lot of vocabulary “hacks” out there to help you learn more words, more quickly. There are language experts I respect who have proven techniques.
But when I asked you, the members of the English with Kim community, what you were most interested in improving, so many people asked for advice on how to increase their vocabulary to sound like a native speaker.
The thing is, I don’t often talk about *my* philosophy on vocabulary because it’s not “easy” or particularly quick.
But it is incredibly effective.
What I Did to Become Fluent in Spanish
As an avid reader and a patient listener, I became fluent in Spanish through high-quality input.
I discovered vocabulary through books, reading the newspaper every single day when I lived in Buenos Aires, listening carefully to academic discussions, keeping the radio on at home, and watching movies in Spanish each and every week.
I learned language through context and then tried it out for myself in conversations with friends. I even kept a journal where I wrote about my experiences in Spanish!
When I didn’t know a word, I looked it up in a Spanish-to-Spanish dictionary.
(This was before internet resources were as amazing as they are now; today I use the Word Reference app – and still translate Spanish-to-Spanish!)
With persistence, my vocabulary improved significantly and I started sounding natural in Spanish.
I encourage my clients and students to learn using the same techniques. They discover language through in-depth, thoughtful conversations, where the words, phrases, and expressions come up naturally.
There are a lot of options for motivated independent learners like you!
And I’m going to tell you alllllll about them!
Improve Your English Vocabulary Naturally
I created a series of three in-depth workshops on my approach to learning natural-sounding language, which you can watch above.
These workshops were inspired by your questions, and I hope they help you!
Because these are detailed workshops, you may need some time to process the information, so please take your time with them.
Remember, the most important thing is that you work on discovering new vocabulary that’s interesting to you using resources that enable you to find the right kind of language.
When you learn vocabulary in context, you are much more likely to remember it and use it the way native speakers do.
After you watch the workshops, I would love to hear from you!
Which tips were most useful for you? Are there any other methods you suggest for improving your vocabulary? Where are you going to look for new vocabulary next?
Please leave a comment and let me know.