The best way to learn English vocabulary,part 2:The “Free Reading” technique.
In part 1 of this post series, we talked about the 80/20 principle and its application in learning English vocabulary. You knew that by focusing on “Core vocabulary”, you will be able to master communication in English easily . Today we will discover how to learn “Core vocabulary” in the most effective way.
People often learn English vocabulary by trying to memorize a list of words. If you are learning that way, stop it ! It will not work. Memorizing a list of words out of context is one of the worst methods to learn vocabulary(Read this post to know why ?) . We have a better way to learn English vocabulary and we call it the Free reading technique. This technique will help you acquire the most common words and retain them in your brain. Follow Free Reading technique step by step as below :
Step 1: Select the appropriate materials
There are many sources of English learning materials available out there. But we will not use them. You should use materials that are used by native English speakers in their daily lives rather than English learning textbooks. Remember to put your area of interest at top priority, choose something that are useful and compelling to you. These materials include:
- Non-fiction books: Just look for English books that belong to your area of expertise or interest. You can easily find many free ebooks on internet or you can buy at online bookstores such as Amazon.
- Fiction books: If you are a fan of stories, this will be a great source for you. This kind of book has the great advantage is that the compelling content of the story will motivate you. Reading a compelling story always make you more exciting than reading a boring textbook, right ?
- Website, blog and online forum : There are milions of websites, blogs and forums out there on internet. Again,choose the topic that excite you and choose the website, blog or forum that written by native English speaker.
Step 2: Read and relax
After choosing the appropriate material for you, now it comes time to begin reading. Everytime you face a new word (or a word you don’t remember its meaning), use a dictionary software to check its meaning quickly then continue to read. DON’T take note its meaning and DON’T force yourself to remember any word. Just read and relax, whenever you face a new word, just check its meaning quickly and go ahead. Try to read as fast as possible.
After reading a few sentences, you might see a certain word that you have just checked the meaning of a minute before. However, you might not remember its meaning (because you didn’t take note). Well, no problem! Just relax; go ahead and check its meaning again using your software. Then, continue to read.
After seeing a certain word 3 – 4 times and checking its meaning over and over again, you will remember it the next time you see it. The great thing is that you have learned a common word . Here is the key: those words that you have seen over and over again are the most common words, because the most common words must show up repeatedly.
After reading a long piece, you will forget many words and retain some words. Those that you forget are uncommon words, while those that you retain are more common.
How this technique will help you learn vocabulary effectively ?
Below are the reason why Free reading technique is the best method for you to learn English vocabulary:
- Free reading technique drives your focus to the most common words and phrases, and at the same time, helps you save time by not making you struggle with the uncommon ones.
- You will retain vocabulary naturally when you see a certain word over and over again in various contexts and in different sentence structures. This helps you understand the real meaning of that word and gives you a sense of it. And you don’t need to force yourself trying to memorize vocabulary, you learn vocabulary in the painless way.
- You are free to choose any content you want to use as your reading material. Reading the content you interest will keep you excited while you are learning. You will no longer feel tired and bored and you learn much faster.
Many of our students have been using this technique to learn vocabulary and they always achieve great results. In the next part of this post series, we will introduce to you some tools to speed up your learning process.