Category - Vocabulary

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the topic of vocabulary and explore some of the reasons why it’s so important, and how it can help students achieve their language learning goals and achieve fluency faster. Vocabulary is not an end in itself. Many ESL students are studying English because they want to attend an English-speaking university, excel at higher level study and land a well-paying job. A large vocabulary can help them do just that.

A rich vocabulary makes the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing easier to perform. Vocabulary knowledge is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to reading comprehension, both for native and non-native speakers. For example, if you sit down to read a book and you don’t know the vocabulary used, you’ll struggle to understand the meaning of the text. We see similar evidence when it comes to listening skills for the language student, for obvious reasons. Clearly, if you have never seen or heard a particular piece of vocabulary in a second language, it will be much harder to recognize and decode the sounds and therefore extract the meaning. If you’re a native speaker, you’ve probably experienced a time when a particular word is ‘on the tip of your tongue’ but you’re unable to remember it. It can be frustrating and often cut the conversation short. It works in a similar way for a second language learner who hasn’t learned that particular vocabulary word in the first place. If they don’t know (or can’t remember) that piece of vocabulary, they will be unable to completely express their message. You’ll also find it much easier to express yourself in writing if you have a larger vocabulary. You’ll have a larger selection of words to choose from and you’ll be able to be more precise when you’re expressing a thought, feeling, event or idea.

Vocabulary is the foundation of language

In a nutshell, vocabulary is important because it’s the basis of all language. It’s the raw building blocks that we can use to express our thoughts and ideas, share information, understand others and grow personal relationships. Even if we barely know a language and have zero grasp of grammar, we can still communicate (although we might end up sounding like cavemen!)