The BEST Way to Learn New Vocabulary

The BEST Way to Learn New Vocabulary

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Language: English

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00:00
hi there steve kaufman here today i'm going to talk about vocabulary words the most important thing in language learning remember if you enjoy these videos please subscribe click on the bell to get notifications the reason i'm talking about this is that i saw in a discussion the other day on uh language learning someone said you know there are uh what does it mean to know a word there are all these different
00:30
stages of knowing a word and there is a great analysis of knowing you know the grammar of the word which word it's used with the different meanings of the word the scope of meaning of the word whether you can just recognize it in context and to me all of that is not important i think there is far too much analysis yes there is a continuum the first time we see a word we
01:01
don't know what it means of course or we may guess at it or we're probably better not to guess by the way better to look it up has been my experience but uh we get a sense of what the word might mean in a certain context and gradually we see the word in other contexts and we have a sense of the scope of meaning of that word maybe the word only has one obvious meaning like you know wood wood can only be wood w-o-o-d uh but wooden
01:32
can mean that someone is not very responsive or emotional so there can be you know shades of meaning of these different words but these are all things that we gradually acquire and there's no particular benefit in analyzing these different ways in which we know a word in my opinion uh for example at link i think one of the very useful things at link is that we count words we count the words that you have read
02:03
we count the number of words or phrases that you have saved we tell you how many words you don't know because you haven't seen them before at link and from that we develop a lot of statistics which are motivating we have milestones of your achievements or you can judge the difficulty of a certain text by how many unknown words there are there i personally find 10 to 15 percent um unknown words is kind of ideal because i'm learning enough
02:35
new words but i'm not having to look up every second or third word but this will be you know it'll vary from person to person so but we don't worry like people say well you know you can't claim to know 15 000 words because at link we count each form of the word as a different word yeah it's easier for the computer to measure that the computer has a tougher time working out if this word is part of a word family or not you know activity active action are they part of
03:07
the same family whatever i don't know so words i think it's best to simplify to have a gordian knot approach the guardian knot of course was alexander was asked to untie this nod he just cut it with a sword simplify the number of words that you can recognize passively in a given context good enough for link it's good enough uh you may find the next time you see it you don't know what it means because we forget so much we forget so much forgetting is such a big part of
03:39
language learning forgetting and relearning forgetting and relearning is is such an important part and because therefore the process is kind of like a fuzzy process where we are gradually absorbing the language and the brain is starting to connect certain things and forgets us to forget certain things and as long as we are motivated and keep going we will acquire more and more of the language now i decided to do a little bit of research for
04:09
today's video by the way you'll notice that my thumb is okay some people expressed you know the wish that my thumb get better and all it is is that uh with the winter weather and i do all the dishwashing and i really should wear gloves but then i start getting these little uh you know chaps or or whatever you want to call it splits in my thumb and so i put a little bit of cream there a little bit of you know saran wrap and bandage it and that way it gets better
04:40
uh now so i went to my uh bookshelf now i have a lot of books on a variety of subjects i like history i like politics i like a lot of different things but also on language so i just went and got the books that i have here that deal with words vocabulary and language teaching second language vocabulary acquisition vocabulary description acquisition and pedagogy the online educator that's a little different second language acquisition
05:11
rod ellis language teaching methodology how languages are learned whatever i have a lot of books i've read them i think they're overly complicated i think that all of that the gordian solution is stephen krashen so here is one book that i got when i was in taiwan attending a language conference where he was speaking it's called explorations in language acquisition and use the taipei lectures very inexpensive and tremendous value
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and it cuts through all the unnecessary uh stuff learning vocabulary in another language and i could go through them and i mean it doesn't really matter any page you open designing and using a simplified reading scheme for vocabulary development making decisions using labeled diagrams vocabulary in discourse reading and sentence completion it's a whole bunch of stuff that just complicates everything just keep enjoying the language
06:12
then they have these also on the subject of how to accumulate words you have these like toefl so they have a bunch of words and and uh you know essential toefl vocabulary you'll work very hard to learn the word treasury or preconception or or whatever in the hope that that word will show up on your toefl test but the reality is that word frequency declines so quickly that a lot of those low frequency words that you'll go to
06:43
all that trouble to try and learn you're going to forget them and chances are they won't show up on the toefl exam so you're better off to simply spend your time enjoying the language reading and listening as much as you can to acquire the language naturally and in that natural way eventually words will stick and words can stick quite quickly it all depends really i'm just going to check my time here you know it all depends and how similar
07:15
the language is to a language you already know so uh i uh did a video where i was doing czech and with my knowledge of russian i accumulated words very quickly uh you know if you know spanish and you do portuguese you're accumulating you're going to accumulate words very quickly on the other hand learning arabic or persian not so fast and in fact the biggest help is arabic words in persian or persian words in turkish and so it depends what language you know uh if
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you're dealing with a language that has very few common you know bits of vocabulary it's going to take you quite a while but the process is still the same it's not doing these toefl books it's not doing special oh and i should i was going to read you something too i googled uh what does it mean to know a word and so you get this tremendously complicated you know understanding it's basic meaning denotation connotation understanding the grammatical form understanding that words may have more than one meaning we know that from every
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language understanding what variety of english the word belongs to the word doesn't belong to any variety okay just by dent of reading or listening to english around a certain context you're going to learn that vocabulary so knowing how it relates to other work words in lexical sets hipponomy mironomy synonymy anthony i mean all of this stuff is tremendously
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complicated it keeps the language teachers busy but it has very little to do with learning learning is very simple learning words and learning words fast if you want to learn fast then choose a language which has a lot of words in common with a language you already know otherwise be resigned to the fact that it's going to take as long as it takes and as long as you are enjoying what you are doing as long as you are enjoying the language
09:19
as long as you have done the things that i referred to in my video on on having a language plan and you've got content surrounding you that meets your needs and meets your interests and is at your level and you keep at it the words are eventually gonna stick and that's all you can really do and uh you know to finish off i would direct you to two videos that i did on the subject of vocabulary acquisition and the importance of words to reinforce what i've been talking about today so there you go thank you for listening
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bye for now

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