When starting to learn a foreign language, it can be overwhelming to think how many words one needs to learn.
But panic not; there are a few things you can do to start learning your new foreign words efficiently.
1. Don’t stick with the usual textbook structure-you can do this later. You are learning far too many words you don’t need right now, and will not need for a while. It’s ok for travel, survival etc but learning new words from a textbook, chapter by chapter, is not a way to become fluent. What you really need to learn, and fairly quickly, is your own vocabulary and that’s something you need to understand and identify, in order to learn the right words. This is why following a textbook often doesn’t work very well; each person has their own vocabulary needs.
2. Can’t remember or don’t know enough vocabulary? Does it stop you from being fluent? Learn how to describe things. This skill is crucial for self-instruction and independent language acquisition: it is essential to learn how to ask questions and how to ask for the important word you are missing in your message.
3. Learn to explain words you don’t know with other words. This is of course based on the scenario you are trying to have a conversation with a native speaker who speaks no English. You can also use your hands and legs, facial expressions and pen a paper for drawing, anything really is acceptable if the scope is to promote understanding in your counterpart. Don’t be shy. It is hard, but try not to be. Forgetting your inhibitions and trying to explain yourself at all costs will get you very, very far and will certainly enrich you with new experiences, vocabulary and perhaps even new friends.
(More related articles coming soon- watch the space!)