Fri, 11 May 2018 12:46:04 +0000The reason why we study a new language is mainly to reach fluency. We’ve been told that to attain an advanced stage in our second language, we need at least 4,000 to 10,000 words as part of our active vocabulary and much more than that to be fluent and reach a near native level.
How long is it…
The reason why we study a new language is mainly to reach fluency. We’ve been told that to attain an advanced stage in our second language, we need at least 4,000 to 10,000 words as part of our active vocabulary and much more than that to be fluent and reach a near native level.
How long is it going to take? and How much vocabulary should we study daily to accomplish that goal?
I’m sure you’ve heard countless times that you should focus on studying 8 to 10 words daily. This is achievable, but it will take forever to master the language. Some other people recommend 100 words daily. This seems unattainable to me. You wouldn’t have any spare time left and would invest your entire day just studying these words or revising to imprint them in your long term memory.
With the communicative methods I use to teach, the learner starts speaking almost from the get go, but to reach higher levels in the language,you need to be prepared to invest some time. There is no quick fix or magic pills.
So, coming back to the question, I think it’s acceptable to say between 15 to 20 words a day is a fair deal. This is doable, and you’ll have time to revise these words at a later date. Further more, you will have the opportunity to apply them in your language practice.
There are various ways to study, one of them is by writing the words in a vocabulary notebook. Writing boosts memory and your ability to better understand concepts and facts. Through writing your brain forms memory codes that allows the information to be accessed more easily.
The other way, is to use one of the multiple APPS available to help you memorise using the spaced-repetition method. They help you revise the words that you already know at time intervals so that they can become part of your long term memory more easily. Another advantage for the use of these APPS is the fact that learning is more enjoyable. The whole process is like a game by collecting points and badges.
The third option is to learn in context. Let’s say that you want to take cooking classes, find a cooking class in your target language. Your vocabulary will grow astronomically and it will build your confidence in your target language, as well as the added bonus of a new skill.
When learning a new language, you need to be grounded and establish realistic goals from the very beginning. You should rid of the idea of a non-effort approach and think that you will succeed with patience, dedication, practice and a strong will to cross the finish line. One step at a time will help you to do it.
Do you want to know your level at the language you’re currently studying? Take this Quiz!