You know building vocabulary in English is important. But it’s easy to put off because it seems too difficult. Don’t give up! I started this website to help people with a little English learn more-- enough to use! (Maybe not quite a 'zillion' words, but thousands-- see below.)
The best way to learn vocabulary (and grammar, and gain fluency) is by listening and reading a lot.
There is so much good reading (sometimes with audio) available in English on the Internet-- but it isn't always easy to find information at a level you can understand.
In addition, to learn new words it helps to read and hear the same words a number of times (many experts say at least 6-10 times), so you can recognize them again when you see them later.
Wouldn't it help to have recommendations of appropriate reading material, organized so you would see some of the same new words you're trying to learn a number of times?
What about adding some practice activities and quizzes to reinforce and check your learning)?
English Hints has a free online newsletter for that very purpose.
Jump down to the sign up form here-- or read on for more details and a free ebook on English word formation with roots and affixes.
*If you can read English at an intermediate level—B1 or B2 up-- you should be able to understand most articles.
(Important or less common words used several times are explained in the English Detective vocabulary section below the picture—or can be matched with easy-to-guess meanings when there’s a crossword puzzle instead.)
I check the vocabulary level of every article or talk I think about using in English Detective. I try to have a mix of short and longer articles, all written clearly, without too many idioms or difficult expressions.
(One great advantage of TED talks is their clear, simple explanations (& sometimes translations or captions available so you can check the meanings in your first language as well.)
The first 23 issues of English Detective taught and practiced the 570 words of the Academic Word List. (See the Back Issues or Academic Vocabulary Word Lists to study them. There's more information on the AWL here.)
Each of the 570 words of the AWL actually represents a group of words with the same root, like authority, authoritative, authoritarian, authorize, authorization-- all taught in issue 13
So in those first 23 newsletter issues there were explanations and practice activities for close to 2,000 thousand words. Most recent issues highlight fewer words, but they add up, every issue.
Watch your vocabulary grow-- even as you review many of those basic academic words in new reading contexts.
Just think how much easier it will be to understand what you read in English in a few months!
Sign up in the pale blue box below.
As I mentioned, I will not share your name or email address with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
EnglishHints has a lot of reading and listening comprehension and vocabulary practice (see the sitemap-- the Vocabulary Practice and Skills sections.)
However, many people find it easier to learn in "bite-sized" chunks. That's one main purpose for the English Detective newsletter. By now there have been over 75 issues, and several of them are still being referred to, over and over.
Because of that interest, I decided to offer a quick free five-lesson course using the best of those earlier issues.
You can sign up below to get those lessons by email. I will send the best parts of five of the most popular newsletters. (Some of the earliest were way too long!)
For even more ways of building vocabulary, see Vocabulary Strategies.
P.S. A few of the topics for our first issues were detective methods (& how to investigate English words), the scientific method and the discovery of penicillin, and planning for success (while learning from failure.)
Then there were issues on the roots of English, ancient Greece & Rome, a few highlights of English (and European) history, including the Renaissance, bilingualism and the brain, the value of networks for creativity, business, community service, the environment, cognates, and so much more!
You can see back issues here. If you are interested in which issues teach particular words from the Academic Word List, or the reading selections, puzzles, and practice activities in any particular issue, you can find that information in Academic Vocabulary Word Lists in English Detective Issues.